(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – Tuscarawas County Jobs & Family Services has released an update regarding the increase in abuse and neglect referrals the agency has received.
The heightened interest came after a concerning decrease in reports amid COVID-19 closures preventing children from being seen by school personnel, coaches, baby sitters, etc. JFS officials indicated the recent increase concerns children who are out of their homes unsupervised or are home alone unsupervised.
The agency explained the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a disruption in normal routines and it is possible families have faced challenges and are struggling to adjust. And as such, the agency has seen an uptick in calls. Officials stated when the agency receives calls like this an investigation may occur in order for representatives to determine if the situation involves any kind of neglect.
Additionally, younger children, they explained, are at greater risk when they are left unsupervised because they do not understand the dangers of traffic, abduction, heat strokes, dehydration, or being lost if they wander too far away. Older children, however, often want to be left home alone, official add. But, it is always the adult’s decision to determine whether or not the child is of an appropriate age, mental awareness, and is able to be trusted while unsupervised.
TCJFS recommends installing alarms or sensors on doors and windows so adults can be alerted if there is a breach.
For information: 330-308-7732.