What Would You Do?

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020

You’ve been leading a children’s Bible study via Zoom for months now. One of the children who is on the call periodically is someone you have known for about a year from your in-person work at the church. A parent drops her off but doesn’t stay for services, and you suspect she has a rough time at home. On the Zoom calls, you notice the little girl had a black eye one week, and a broken arm a couple of weeks after that. When you inquire about what happened, she said both times that she is just clumsy and falls a lot. This doesn’t sit right with you. What do you do?

Good for you for sitting up and taking notice, even when you aren’t seeing the child in person! As more children and youth have been home during COVID, calls to abuse prevention hotlines have dropped—and this is not necessarily a good thing. As someone who works with children, you are in a position to potentially help that child if she needs it. If you suspect something, your gut may be right. In your state, as a volunteer you are a mandated reporter, so you should report your concern (and also to your supervisor). Need to know your state’s hotline number? Look it up here. Remember, as a mandated reporter, you aren’t responsible for proving abuse or making a case against someone. You are there to report and support.