Child advocates remain worried for children as virtual learning is extended

Posted at 10:21 AM, Jul 29, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — Child abuse concerns continue as many schools are continuing to hold classes virtually this fall.

In March, when the pandemic started Call 6 Investigates found an 11% decrease in the number of calls to the Department of Child Services hotline. A statistic that is still raising concerns for child advocates.

“Here we go again, or here we go still,” said Sandy Runkle with Prevent Child Abuse Indiana.

Runkle said as things remained closed and children remain at home they are pushing the same message.

“If there is going to be continued stay-at-home measures, then we are just asking people to continue to be vigilant,” said Runkle.

She said if you suspect a child is being mistreated, you should call DCS at 1-800-800-5556.

“Everyone is essential in keeping children safe and go ahead and make that report if you have concerns cause it could be a situation where the family does just need some extra resources or extra support,” said Runkle.

Runkle said not to worry about if you are wrong—just follow your gut feeling.

“If you think about it, you want to be wrong. Right? Because that means the child is safe and the family is doing OK, but that’s something that isn’t for us to make that judgment,” said Runkle.

Indiana is a mandatory reporting state, which means all Hoosiers are required to contact the hotline if they suspect child abuse or neglect. Again that number is 1-800-800-5556.