By Vicki Roper, Director, Prevent Child Abuse Kansas, for the Fall 2020 Issue of Kansas Child magazine.
The outbreak of the coronavirus has changed our world – dramatically – and rapidly. Although the risk to the physical health of young children appears to be low, their risk of experiencing child abuse and neglect in times of extreme stress and uncertainty is quite high.
Measures taken to decrease the spread of the virus have the unintended consequences of social isolation, loss of income and increased parenting stress – all of which are risk factors for occurrences of child abuse and neglect.
Families need to be connected to resources in times of stress. The Kansas Children’s Service League, which serves as the Kansas chapter of Prevent Child Abuse America, can help with resources by phone or online.
Through the 1-800-CHILDREN phone line, parents can speak to a trained specialist to get help, resources and support without judgment. The phone line is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and calls can be received in hundreds of languages.
Please note this is NOT a crisis line or a suicide line. The suicide helpline can be reached at 1-800-273-8255.
Families also can email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or download the free 1800CHILDRENKS app. This new app connects Kansas families and professionals to helpful resources in their local communities in all 105 counties.
The app was developed with funding from the Preschool Development Grant, and can be downloaded from the Apple store or from the Google Play store.