FAIRFAX COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — Fairfax County is asking community members to be on the lookout for possible signs of abuse and neglect, now that kids are out of class.
According to data from the Fairfax County Department of Family Services, the number of calls to the Child Protective Services hotline in FY 2019-2021 dipped to 700 calls in August, compared to roughly 1,000 calls in January.
Twana Johnson, assistant program manager, child abuse & neglect prevention services at the Department of Family Services, says as child supervision declines during summer months, so do calls to the hotline.
“In summertime, children are unsupervised, so that’s one thing for people to be aware of,” said Johnson.
Students also lose access to resources that they normally would receive in school.
“We noticed that families who need a little additional support really benefit from our food resources, so free lunch, and additional resources to food,” said Johnson.
Fairfax County Public Schools will assist students during the summer months. FCPS students will be eligible for free meals to be picked up at various school locations.
The county released signs to watch out for this summer that may indicate if a child is abused or neglected.
- Malnourishment, lack of personal hygiene.
- Unexplained bruises, welts or other marks.
- Significant changes in behavior, such as becoming withdrawn or fearful.
- Children who appear too young to be left alone.
- Home safety hazards or unsanitary conditions.
The Department of Family Services asks anyone who sees signs of neglect or abuse to call its parent support line or child protective services, which can be found on the county’s website.