The pandemic has caused hardship for everyone, especially our most vulnerable children who are at risk of abuse and neglect. This April, we mark Child Abuse Prevention Month by sharing how COVID-19 has impacted children at risk and how your actions can help.
It’s no secret that public health emergencies increase risk for child abuse and neglect. Increased parental stress, loss of finances, and more cases of substance abuse are all risk factors for child abuse. The CDC reports that “During the COVID-19 pandemic, the total number of emergency department visits related to child abuse and neglect decreased, but the percentage of such visits resulting in hospitalization increased, compared with 2019.” This means that families aren’t getting enough support to prevent child abuse. Children are suffering as a result.
To put it in context, let’s drill down to some of the local data for Harris County and South Texas:
- Nearly 30 out of every 1,000 children in Harris County are confirmed victims of maltreatment (TACFS).
- In 2020, 48 child died from abuse or neglect in Harris County.
- In 2020, Child Protective Services removed 1,289 children from their homes in South Texas.
- According to Child Protective Services, between Jan 1-March 25, 2021, there have been 1,715 confirmed victims of child abuse or neglect in Harris County. This is an increase from 1,496 victims from this time last year.
You can play an active role in child abuse prevention.
Help us provide hope to the 20,000 children in the Texas foster care system.
How You Can Help
- Make a Donation. With your help, we can place more children with safe and nurturing permanent families so they finally experience the love and security they deserve. Visit this page to contribute.
- Wear Blue on April 9th for Texas Go Blue Day. Join us and other Texans as we wear blue to raise awareness of the abuse and neglect that exists in Texas and nationally. Post your photos of your family in blue on social media for #GoBlueDay and tag us @ArmsWideTX.
- Educate yourself on how to help meet family needs before the child experiences abuse or neglect. This EdSurge Podcast is a good resource, especially for those who interact with children virtually during the pandemic.
Thank you for helping us break the cycle of abuse and neglect. With your generous support, we can transform the lives of children in need of safe, loving families!