The consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic have created conditions that allow for child abuse to go undetected. Educators are the primary source of reports (20 percent) to child protective services nationwide. However, teachers, guidance counselors, and day care providers who usually serve as lifelines for vulnerable children are no longer in a daily position to witness and report suspected abuse. There are ways everyone can do their part to protect children:
People who are concerned about a particular family can help by doing small things to ease the stress that comes with this time. Whether in the form of food, toilet paper, coloring books or just an empathetic ear, these acts of support while keeping social distancing can make a difference and ease parents’ stress.
Make use of technology for virtual check-ins. Look for signs of distress and be a supportive presence.
Form parent groups to conduct remote learning for children under 5, because those younger children are at highest risk for abuse.
How to report child abuse in LA County: The LA County Office of Child Protection is a policy-making body and does not handle any direct cases. All inquiries or reporting of specific cases should be made to the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). To report child abuse in LA County, CA, please contact the Child Protection Hotline at (800) 540-4000 or visit the DCFS website.
If you have an immediate emergency, call 911 or your local police department; otherwise, call DFCS Child Protective Services to report child abuse and/or neglect.
L.A. County’s Domestic Violence Services remain available. Shelters are open and accepting people. If you are a victim of domestic violence and need help, resources include:
Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 978-3600
You can also dial 2-1-1 any time to get connected with services and support in your area or visit 211la.org/domestic-violence.
Call or text 9-1-1. The Culver City Police Department is still responding to domestic violence calls, and Emergency Protective Orders are still being issued.
L.A. County Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 540-4000
L.A. County Elder Abuse Hotline at (877) 477-3646
National Domestic Violence Hotline at (800) 799-7233 or text “LOVEIS” to 22522
National Sexual Assault Hotline at (800) 656-4673
Visit the Los Angeles County Domestic Violence Council website for additional domestic violence resources.
City of Culver City