Big Drop In Child Abuse Reports In LA — And That Has Advocates Worried


Reports of suspected child abuse in L.A. County have plummeted in recent weeks. That may sound like good news during normal times, but in a COVID-19 world, that drop has advocates very concerned.

Since the middle of March, L.A. County has seen a 40-60% decrease in the number of suspected child abuse reports from the public, said Bobby Cagle, director of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).

“I’ve been doing this for in excess of 31 years and this is the first time we have seen a phenomenon like this where reports drop so significantly,” he said.

That has child advocates concerned. People who are mandated to report suspected child abuse, like teachers, can’t flag what they don’t see when kids are out of school, said Wende Julien, CEO of CASA of LA.

“These children are out of sight and that’s really frightening,” she said.

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