Signs educators can look for in child abuse even while teaching virtually

How to detect child abuse in home learning

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Teachers are required by law to report signs of child abuse, but virtual learning can make it hard to see those signs.

Despite an increase in virtual learning, a spokesperson with Cramer Children’s Center says they still have plenty of cases to investigate.

“When quarantine was over and we could take non-emergency cases we were filling in so much space with non-emergency cases that we really haven’t seen an increase in numbers since school started,” said Amanda Chadwell.

While the signs of child abuse may look different virtually, she says they are still there.

“What do you see in the background of the kids. Do you see bugs? Do you see a lot of mess? Do you see their parents acting some kind of way? Is the TV on? Is the TV off? Just being aware of their surroundings and paying attention to those because those are going to be your biggest indicators,” said Chadwell.

Another indicator may be a child’s mood.

“Kids will have bad days just like adults, but if they are constantly having a bad day then that’s something they need to look into. They may need to call their parent or that may not meet criteria for a report but we have to address it, but because you’re not in the classroom anymore, you’re going to have to address it in a certain kind of way,” said Chadwell.

Chadwell also told WAFF that teachers should encourage their students to check-in and send private messages if there is a problem at home that they need help with.

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