Child advocacy center preparing for increase in child abuse cases due to COVID-19

Updated: Jul. 13, 2020 at 8:38 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - One group in Northeast Arkansas believes the coronavirus pandemic is causing another major problem at home: child abuse.

The Northeast Arkansas Children’s Advocacy Center serves seven counties and said their number reports lowered since March.

However, that was due to the lack of availability from mandated reporters.

The center usually sees around 3-4 families a day. That’s now dropped to 1-2 families per week.

The center offers free support, mental health services, medical services, and help them handle the trauma they’ve experienced.

The center receives lots of reports from teachers during the school year and summer activities.

However, with the pandemic, school closings, and unexpected event cancellations, that leaves kids at home to sometimes suffer from abuse.

Amanda Frankenberger, the executive director of the center, said they’re now getting ready for August and are prepared for an increase in cases.

“We are making preparations to be prepared for numbers to increase,” Frankenberger said. “Children delay disclosing abuse anyway. We do predict that we will be seeing the effects of COVID-19 for a very long time.”

For one child, the cost of offering services is around $1,200.

This week, the center is doing fundraisers to cover costs, with an online auction beginning Tuesday and donate to their Virtual Day of Giving.

To donate, you can text 870-600-2843.

For additional information, you can visit their Facebook page.

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