As more and more families are forced to stay home during the escalating coronavirus pandemic, children are hidden at home and away from mandatory reporters, who can identify cases of child neglect. This month was National Child Abuse Prevention Month and it has never been more important to look out for the children in your community, as they are isolated at home. Since March, there has been a significant drop in hotline calls in Jefferson County, which shows as a community we need to be more aware.
1 in 5 Colorado parents say they feel like they have no one they can turn to for day-to-day emotional support in raising children. We all play a role in strengthening families, one of the best ways to prevent child abuse and neglect. Anyone concerned about the safety and well-being of a child should call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437). Calling to share concerns can mean a family gets the support needed to overcome difficult circumstances. All callers are able to speak with a call-taker 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, and all calls remain confidential.
The first step in helping to end child abuse and neglect in Colorado is learning to recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect. Below are some common signs of neglect, as per the CO4Kids guidelines:
The presence of a single sign does not mean that child maltreatment is occurring in a family, but a closer look at the situation may be warranted when these signs appear repeatedly or in combination. Trust your gut instinct and call 844-CO-4-Kids if you are concerned for the safety and well-being of a child.
You can help. When it comes to preventing child abuse and neglect, caseworkers and social workers need your help. Visit CO4KIDS.org and learn about the signs of neglect and abuse. By becoming more aware, you can give families access to the support they need and create a brighter future for the children in Jefferson County.