RICHMOND, VA. (NCC News) — The coronavirus has jobs adjusting to the new normal with social workers and teachers included. With schools being closed, that’s one resource that is now cut off from looking after a child’s well being.
Briana Baugham, a fifth-grade teacher in Richmond, Virginia says if she see’s it, she reports it.
“Teachers are mandated reporters they are required by law if they suspect anything, they have to report it. It can be anything as far as see the child with bruises or anything like that. Anything that looks like abnormal behavior,” Baugham said.
Baugham said students lost their sense of routine and that that’s why it’s still a very crucial time for social worker to be there for the students throughout the pandemic.
“For a lot of students school is a safety net it creates normalcy in their life, so I definitely think social workers are very important during this time,” Baugham said.
Jessica Hill, a social worker in Richmond, VA, said their work is more important now than ever.
Hill said while most of the world is finding it hard to adapt to all the changes, that is exactly what she and other first responders were trained to do. Hill said this is the time to look closely for clues of child abuse because life for some is changing overnight.
“A lot of people were not financially ready, they were not mentally ready to take on the job of being a parent, a teacher, a tutor, you know things parents usually send their kids to school to get away from or to simply not spend that time with them,” Hill said.
Hill said COVID-19 is making children sit down for a minute and absorb all that is going on.
“It’s causing children to acknowledge their emotions, it’s causing them to really feel what they’re really going through instead of being too busy to think about it, ” said Hill.
Hill also gave her three top tips to help children stay as positive and motivated as possible.
“Acknowledge where you are, journal as much as you can, and give daily affirmations to yourself.” said Hill.