Child Abuse Prevention During a Pandemic: Considerations for Early Intervention Professionals

By Wendy Morrison

 Child Abuse Prevention

Every April is Child Abuse Prevention month, but this year with the added stress of the state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems even more important. Families are forced to stay home, daycares and schools are closed, and parents are losing their jobs and those working might be seeing smaller paychecks. Experts are warning that all this added stress could lead to an increase in family violence and child neglect.

According to data compiled by the Department of Health and Human Services, in normal times children with disabilities (including developmental disabilities) are at least three times more likely to be victims of maltreatment.  Also, children younger than 3 are at highest risk for maltreatment. So, we know that children in early intervention programs are already in the highest risk group; during this crazy, stress-inducing moment in history, that risk is even greater.