Many of the measures required to halt the spread of COVID-19 have led children to become isolated from teachers, counselors and others who are mandated to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect.
In addition, social distancing has limited contact with peers and other trusted confidants. This isolation, combined with increased stresses in the home, make clear the need to provide a resource for those who feel unsafe or who are concerned about the safety of a friend.
According to Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele, "Initially, March saw a decrease of 38.8% in ChildLine referrals in Montgomery County; distressingly, the numbers have plummeted in April, with an overall decrease of 61.5% in ChildLine referrals. These numbers clearly show that youth throughout Montgomery County are at risk now that mandated reporters are not seeing these children outside of the home."
To this end, the Pa. Attorney General's office has repurposed and promoted the Safe2Say app and helpline as a tool available to students to report concerns regarding child abuse. Many schools, students and families are already very familiar with this program, which was created in response to school violence.
Here are the ways you can anonymously report suspected cases of abuse or neglect:
Safe2SaySomething Hotline: 1-844-SAF2SAY
Additionally, anyone with a concern about the health or safety of any Lower Merion School District student can share their concerns with a school counselor.