SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Just about everyone is feeling the stress of COVID-19. And when you add that to spending a lot of time in close quarters, it can lead to a dangerous situation.
Stress during the COVID-19 outbreak and self-isolation could lead to an increase in things like child abuse and domestic violence. That’s why Children’s Inn wants to remind everyone of the resources out there if anyone needs help.
“What I’m seeing and hearing across the country is that child abuse is increasing because, obviously, children are home more, parents are more stressed, parents might be leaving kids at home because they have work,” Amy Carter, the Operations Director for Children’s Inn said.
Carter says the challenge right now is children not having interaction with other adults like teachers or daycare providers who can check on them.
“Who can look out for the kids right now? They really are very much at home. So, I think maybe other family members are aware of what’s going on or have some concerns,” Carter said.
Carter says neighbors can watch for children outside who might be alone or seem like they don’t want to be at home. Traci Jensen, a social worker with the Sioux Falls School District says the district is doing what it can to maintain engagement with students to make sure everything is okay.
“When we don’t have that physical space where you’re actually seeing them, you’re next to each other, but you can have that conversation. You see their faces on the screen and their talking. Teachers know their students, so when they’re talking to students virtually and they notice that hey, there might be something off here Johnny might be a little down or whatever,” Jensen said.
If you notice something that doesn’t seem right, Carter encourages you to call the Children’s Inn, law enforcement or Child Protective Services.
“There are national hotlines that are available, locally there’s the 211 number that somebody is always available to answer. So really, I think that’s the safest and easiest thing for people to do in this case is make a call and get those professionals involved,” Carter said.