child abuse

Now that some schools have restarted in-person classes, after shifting to online learning in March, calls to child and family services are increasing.

Whenever students return from summer break, social workers expect to see increased reports of possible child abuse. And this year some counties are approaching pre-pandemic levels already.

Reports of child abuse in Ohio are down dramatically, but those working in the field say they’re concerned that the real incidents of child abuse are actually on the rise. Advocates are preparing for a surge of new reports that could come from child care providers, camps and eventually schools as those facilities all open up.

photo desks and chairs
/ STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Here are your morning headlines for Tuesday, April 21: 

“Adverse childhood experiences,” or ACEs, are linked to mental and physical health issues later in life. Now, new research from Case Western Reserve University and Virginia Commonwealth University suggests that community violence should also be considered an ACE.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have a list of 10 generally accepted ACEs, which include things like neglect, abuse, and parental addiction.

photo of Ohio AG Dave Yost
ANDY CHOW / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

Ohio is pumping more money into a program that protects children from abuse and exploitation online. While the money will go towards important resources, state leaders said parents still play the most vital role.

Lawmakers added $1 million into Ohio's Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force fund.

The group, which investigates child abuse imagery and online enticement, will use the money to increase personnel, upgrade equipment, and advance training.

Summit County Children Services / Facebook

Summit County Children Services is looking to a levy renewal and increase in November to avoid budget cuts.

The levy calls for a 2.25-mill renewal along with a one mill increase. Children Services has been operating on a deficit for the past few years.

Director of Community Relation’s Ann Ream said there’s been a 36-percent increase in children custody since 2012, the last time the levy was renewed.

photo of Joe Schiavoni
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

  A state lawmaker wants to give judges the ability to put child abusers behind bars for as long as five years. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

If someone attacks a child under the age of 13, the harshest penalty prosecutors can seek is felonious assault. As Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni of the Youngstown area explains, that’s on par with two adults fighting.

“It’s a sad thing to watch and it’s very upsetting and somebody that does knowingly and purposely hurt a child -- they deserve to face a stiff penalty in my opinion.”