COVID-19 cases are spiking again across the country. Many schools that resumed in-person learning just a few weeks ago have since closed – and will not reopen until the new year. Virtual learning is now the norm for millions of children. But for a child stuck living and learning in a dangerous home – with an abusive caretaker — quarantine restrictions are a nightmare.
Children need our help now – more than ever. And teachers, coaches, and counselors are our best weapons in the fight against abuse. Why?
Educators are among the most frequent reporters of abuse and neglect. So much so that when schools closed in the spring, reports of child abuse plummeted (reports in Delaware dropped by 50% in March alone). While calls to child abuse hotlines decreased, calls to domestic violence hotlines increased — many reports coming from child and teen victims themselves.
To help shield children from further abuse, the Beau Biden Foundation developed a new workshop to help these frontline professionals recognize the signs of child abuse and neglect through their virtual interactions with students. The training also reviews key policies and procedures needed to prevent grooming and abuse of children within an organization. It’s called Protecting Children in Virtual Learning Environments and, so far, we’ve trained more than 2,100 adults.
As we take steps back to help ensure the health of our nation, we must take steps forward to ensure the safety of our nation’s children. We invite every school and youth-serving organization to join us in helping to protect children and confront abuse.