Advocates change how they help at-risk kids during pandemic

The Post and Courier

June 7, 2020

Home is not always the safest place for children.

Advocates worry that elevated family stress, increased financial burdens and extended school closures mean that many children across South Carolina remain at a high risk for abuse and neglect during the pandemic.

The full extent of how this will impact the children is still unknown, said Carole Swiecicki, executive director of Dee Norton Child Advocacy Center in Charleston. Still, research of other large-scale community level disruptions, such as natural disasters, has shown a spike in child abuse in the aftermath of those events, she said.

That’s because during that time children are likely isolated from school, routines have been disrupted and their parents often have higher levels of stress.

Not only that, she said, but if parents are forced to return to work while schools remain closed, they might be more likely to turn to alternative child care providers that aren’t vetted by the state’s social services agency.

Full article here.