With the pandemic keeping children out of school and far less visible, the Department of Children and Families (DCF) is receiving half the calls as it did this time last year.

In an interview last week, Ken Mysogland, DCF’s bureau chief of external affairs, said that calls to the agency in April were down 47% from the same month last year, and overall new reports of child abuse and neglect were down 55%.

While DCF is conducting regular virtual visits and still performing face-to-face visits for cases that cannot be resolved remotely, the agency is encouraging “the community” to check in and support families and friends during this period of isolation.

DCF is also preparing for a potential “surge” of cases after the state’s stay-at-home order is lifted. The department has been communicating with child welfare agencies in states that experienced the effects of COVID-19 slightly earlier than Connecticut to determine how to handle a sudden increase of new reports.

FULL INTERVIEW

Resources:

• “When it Builds Up, Talk it Out” or call 1-833-258-5011

• DCF COVID-19 resource page

Adam Chiara

Adam Chiara is an associate professor of communication at the University of Hartford and a multimedia storyteller.