Advocates concerned about child abuse as schools move to remote learning

SPOKANE, Wash. — Without the watchful eye of a teacher, some students learning from home could be vulnerable to child abuse and neglect.

Any time children have less face-to-face time with trusted adults—such as teachers—there is cause for concern. With more kids learning from home it will be more difficult for other people to notice signs of abuse.

Lutheran Community Services says it is more likely a child can be harmed by someone they know and trust. Coming together as a community can help fight that.

Every child processes trauma differently, so sometimes there may be no obvious sign of abuse. But, experts say you should start a conversation with a child and just ask how they’re doing.

“I think there’s a lot we can do as a community to increase the safety net for some of our most vulnerable people in our community, the children,” said Millini Goodman, Lutheran Community Services, “and I think it starts with ourselves, what can we do to increase collaboration with our own friends, our own family, our own neighbors.”

If a child comes right out and tells you something bad has happened, Goodman says you should stay calm and listen to what they’re telling you, and believe what they are saying.

Lutheran Community Services encourages people to report that information to a local child abuse agency or the police.

LCS does have a 24/7 support line for families to connect to Washington State Certified Victim advocates – 509-624-7273.