As reports of child abuse see a substantial decrease as people stay home, a child advocacy centre in Manitoba states it’s important to be aware of the risk of abuse or neglect for a number of children and youth across the province.
The Snowflake Place’s Executive Director Christy Dzikowics says the vast majority of child abuse reports come from other adults in a child’s life, like a teacher or coach.
However, Dzikowics adds that teachers have been staying connected with their students during the school closures.
She explains that it’s okay to reach out to the appropriate agencies if you are worried about the wellbeing of a child during this time. She thinks we’re all a little afraid of passing judgement and that’s not what this is about as we’re in extraordinary times and if you’re worried about a child it’s not your responsibility to know for sure that a child is at risk or that it needs a certain threshold. She advises reach out to professionals, child and family services, police in extreme circumstances where you are worried about the imminent safety of a child and they’ll check in and that’s okay. She says they’ll make sure that families have what they need and kids are safe and she thinks we need to give everybody a little bit of permission as it’s not the time to mind your own business if you’re worried about a child.
Dzikowics adds that this is especially important for younger children who may not be aware of the resources that are available to them, such as Kids Help Phone.
For more information, you can visit Snowflake Place DOT CA