During the COVID-19 pandemic, calls to the LA County Child Protection Hotline have dropped by as much as 50 percent. This is very concerning. An astonishingly massive decrease in calls by half, virtually overnight, due to a commensurate drop in abuse defies credulity.
It’s far more likely that calls aren’t coming in because – due to stay-at-home orders and the like – outside parties like teachers, neighbors and extended relatives aren’t coming into contact with abused or neglected children before the COVID-19 crisis hit. But the LA County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) cannot investigate suspected child abuse without a call to our Child Protection Hotline at (800) 540-4000.
So our union is joining with DCFS Director Bobby Cagle to encourage everyone to raise awareness about this issue with our own network of family, friends and co-workers. Remind everyone you know about the hotline – and remind them that hotline representatives are available to speak in numerous languages besides English including Spanish, Korean, Tagalog, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese and many more.
It’s everyone’s duty to help keep kids safe. Make sure your own social network knows about the Child Protection Hotline at (800) 540-4000. And if you suspect abuse or neglect – be a hero to a child and call the hotline.