By Britt Moreno

(CBS4) – The pandemic has interrupted the traditional way adults look out for kids. The Colorado Department of Human Services reports that typically doctors, teachers and educators report child neglect or abuse. However, because of COVID-19, most kids have been learning at home and therefore away from doctors’ and teachers’ watchful eyes.

This time last year, before we entered the global pandemic, Colorado teachers and staff called in nearly 40% of child abuse and neglect calls to the child abuse hotline.

READ MORE: Colorado Teachers: 'Keep An Eye On The Kids'

As more kids have been learning from home, calls into the hotline are down 13%. Still, the nature of the calls seems to be changing in a good way.

CBS4’s Britt Moreno interviews Yolanda Arredondo. (credit: CBS)

Yolanda Arredondo is the deputy director over the State’s Child Welfare Department, and she tells CBS4’s Britt Moreno there is a 5% increase in calls into the hotline from family, friends and neighbors.

“We did target our outreach to neighborhoods and said ‘If not you, then who?'” she said.

Arredondo tells Moreno calls into the state’s welfare department could go up once schools are back to full in-class learning, but she says determining the pandemic’s affect on child abuse or neglect is tough to predict.

“We all know the pandemic has caused stress and uncertainty amongst families, but it’s too early to tell if it’s correlated to abuse or neglect. 80 percent of calls are related to neglect and that’s because families often lack resources.”

For more information on child abuse and neglect check out co4kids.org or call 1-844-co4-kids

Britt Moreno