CPS child abuse reports drop while those watching can’t see the victims

Updated: Sep. 1, 2020 at 6:48 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Child welfare agencies are seeing a drop in the reports of child abuse, sexual assault and neglect which is not necessarily good news.

Those who maybe the first to notice the signs weren’t seeing potential victims who are confined to their homes.

Reports may be down, but investigators say cases are rising.

Most often cases of child abuse and neglect are noticed by the people who see them almost daily, teachers.

“Our response begins with a reporter could be a teacher or a neighbor or medical professional,” said MS Child Protection Services Interim Commissioner Taylor Cheeseman.

According to the agency head, since April there has been a 30 percent decrease in reports of child abuse, largely due to victims not being in the classroom.

“Obviously teachers during the school year spend more time with children than just about anybody else,” said Cheeseman. “So they are frequent reporters and obviously the lack of in person learning has an affect on their ability to report”.

Yazoo County authorities are investigating more cases of child abuse.

Meanwhile Hinds County law enforcement says there have been no reported rise in child abuse cases.

“With school starting back up over the last few weeks obviously more teachers are in a position to identify signs of abuse and make reports than would have been the case two months ago in the middle of summer,” Cheeseman added.

CPS investigates about 30,000 cases each year. 7,500 of those are found valid.

Just under 4,000 children are in the foster care system. Approximately 2,000 families are being served in home to prevent enter into the foster care system.

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