Possible Wave Of Foster Children Coming When Schools Reopen
Nearly eight months into the COVID-19 pandemic, Arizona Department of Child Safety is seeing fewer calls to report abused and neglected children.
Speaking on Arizona Horizon, Kris Jacober with the Arizona Friends of Foster Children Foundation says this is not a good sign. Since many schools are closed, children are losing a layer of protection: without in-person interaction, teachers and staff miss an important opportunity to notice signs of abuse and neglect.
"This pandemic has sort of created a perfect storm of bad conditions for kids in foster care and kids in homes where teachers are mandated reporters don’t have eyes on them," she said. "Teachers are mandated reporters, and teachers have not had their eyes on children for six months."
Jacober says this increases the risk of creating a huge backlog in the system once schools are able to re-open.
“I think child welfare professionals are concerned that once everything goes back and mandated reporters have their eyes on children, there will be a flood of children coming into foster care," she said.