TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — Experts predict as many as 210,000 more children will live in households that fall below the poverty line in the wake of COVID-19.
Many of them may become victims of abuse and neglect.
That's why the Children's Home Society of Florida is urging people to stay vigilant, especially with the state's poorest zip code, 32304, is right here in Leon County.
"In the total county, about 19 percent of children are living in poverty. And then you couple that with the effects of the pandemic, and job loss, and stress levels going up, and remote learning, it really is the perfect storm for the possibility of child abuse and neglect," said Cecka Rose Green, Big Bend Region Executive Director, Children's Home Society of Florida.
CHS offers a variety of services from mental health counseling to early childhood programs.
If you are or think you know someone who may be experiencing child abuse, you can report it by calling 1-800-962-2873. CHS also offers a hotline every day from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m to help families find the support they need before crises strikes.