State officials hoping for increase in calls to the child abuse hotline as day care centers open up

State officials hoping for increase in calls to the child abuse hotline as day care centers open up

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The state of Ohio is hoping for more calls to its child abuse and neglect hotline beginning at the end of May as kids return to day care.

Officials said they expect to learn which children needed help, but didn’t have anyone to notice during quarantine.

Hamilton County JFS Director Tim McCarthy said agencies across the state are actually hoping for the number of calls to go up compared to recent weeks.

“I never thought those words would come out of my mouth, but we know the abuse is going on and if it gets reported to us we can do something about it,” he said. ““It pains us very very much to know that kids can be in harms way, and we don’t know about it.”

19 News Investigators told you a few weeks ago when we discovered report numbers were way down.

According to updated state data, this April there were 9,211 to the abuse hotline.

That's less than half of the amount of calls that came in last April.

“There were just fewer eyes on kids,” McCarthy said.

Though day cares are ready to get their eyes back on the kids, the state says it will take time to really see the effect the pandemic had on children stuck at home.

“I’m sure there will be studies,” McCarthy said. “We just know that home is not always a safe place for kids.”

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