Keeping families at home during the COVID-19 pandemic has helped to protect children from infection. For some children, however, this has come at the cost of increased suffering from maltreatment – at the very time that children have been isolated from the teachers, coaches, friends or other trusted adults who might otherwise detect compromise to their safety and well-being. In fact, calls to report suspected child abuse and neglect have decreased in Illinois by 57% compared to the same time last year – mirroring data from across the country.
It is important for every person to:
• Take child abuse and neglect seriously;
• Be able to recognize it; and
• Know what to do next.
To ensure that everyone knows how to contact the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline to report suspected child abuse or neglect, the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has created a new Protecting Children is a Responsibility we all Share poster, which can be found at link below. We ask that you please print and display it in a high-traffic area seen by visitors and employees. If you would like additional posters to display in your front window so they can be seen by passers-by; or to distribute to businesses in your community, please email Linda Davis at Linda.D.Davis@illinois.gov or call 312-814-6847. Posters are free and are available in English, Spanish, Polish and Arabic.