Child abuse reports increase with return of in-person school, Fairfax County says

Reports of child abuse and neglect in Fairfax County have fluctuated wildly during the COVID-19 pandemic — based primarily on whether students are attending school in person or remotely.

Prior to the pandemic, Fairfax County Child Protective Services conducted 2,216 family assessments and investigations in fiscal year 2019, which ran from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019, according to the county’s Department of Family Services.

Those are the procedures used to respond to reports of child abuse and neglect, including physical abuse and neglect, mental or emotional abuse, medical neglect, and sexual abuse by a caretaker. Reports are screened by CPS’ hotline staff before a specialist is assigned.

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