April 14, 2020
Child Protection Center Continues to Serve During COVID-19- Programs Have Adapted to Continue Vital Services As Need Rises
The Child Protection Center is adopting creative solutions to continue to serve children and families in our community. The danger of children being placed in risky situations increases every day the health crisis persists. Families are facing mounting stress, financial uncertainty, unemployment, and health concerns, while children spend their entire days in the home and without access to their schools or other safe places. It is vital that we continue to serve these children who so desperately need us.
“As always, our prime concern is for the health and safety of the children and families in our community,” said Doug Staley, Executive Director of CPC. “Our mission is the prevention, intervention, and treatment of child abuse, and the coronavirus has placed the most vulnerable children of our community at greater risk than ever. It’s clear that the need for our services is growing, and we are doing everything in our capabilities to answer that call.”
The Child Protection Center has implemented new policies during the pandemic:
- -The Therapy and Supervised Visitation Programs have moved to virtual outlets, using several strategies to maintain confidentiality and safety during virtual visits for SVP.
- -The Child Protection Team remains available 24/7, as mandated by law, to provide child abuse assessment and intervention services. Numerous safety precautions have been adapted in accordance to guidelines from the Florida Health Department and CDC.
- -The Personal Safety and Community Awareness Program has launched a series of videos and resources for children and families to access online, covering topics such as internet safety.
The Child Protection Center is also holding a campaign on social media to spread awareness of child abuse and promote prevention. CPC is encouraging supporters to wear blue for April, Child Abuse Prevention Month, and share photos with the hashtag #BlueForKids.
Teachers are the largest category of reporters in child abuse. “As classes move online and teachers utilize Zoom or other video conferencing platforms, we urge you to be thoroughly observant. If things don’t seem right, if you have concerns, you’re still obligated to make those reports to the hotline,” Staley said. The Florida hotline is 1-800-96-ABUSE.