We are currently living in a very challenging time due to COVID19. Many of our ordinary life activities have come to a halt, but it is likely that child abuse and neglect will continue and even increase. While we celebrate the many homes where children are able to thrive and enjoy their childhood, as individuals, as families and as a community we should be concerned, supportive and vigilant about the ones who may be experiencing difficulties, abuse or neglect.
To the best of your ability, we encourage you to be supportive of families that are struggling. We encourage families to seek help and take time to build on the five protective factors of child wellbeing which are Parental Resilience, the ability of parents to deal effectively with stress, adversity, or trauma; Social Connections, such as relationships with family, friends, neighbors, or other community members; Concrete Support in Times of Need, which gives the family the support and resources they need during times of struggle and stress; Knowledge of Parenting and Child Development, take the time and make effort to reach out and use parenting resources available; and Social and Emotional Competence of Children, also known and social and emotional learning, which helps children properly label and understand different emotions in themselves and others.
If you witness or suspect child abuse and neglect, report it to Child Protective Services (CPS) at 703-324-7400. Fairfax County’s CPS hotline workers support Falls Church residents and can provide families with help, guidance, and referrals to supportive services.
For additional information on Self Care, Talking to Children and Teen, Child Supervision Guidelines and Parental Tips, visit: Has COVID-19 Put Children at Risk in Their Own Homes?