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- Preventing Child Abuse During COVID-19 – BCAC Executive Director Adam Rosenberg speaks with WBFF FOX45
March 19, 2020 – A Letter from Executive Director Adam Rosenberg
Dear BCAC Community,
Over the last week the BCAC team has been hard at work preparing for and now responding to how we will continue to provide operations and services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Child maltreatment does not stop during a pandemic. Unfortunately when everyone gets sent home, that risk increases dramatically. At BCAC we are taking steps to protect our community and our staff, while continuing to support families and children in Baltimore. This week, we’ve already aided more than 13 families and heard from a distraught mother who wanted answers for her daughter and didn’t care about quarantines – she just wants her child to be safe.
Because many of you have asked, this is what I can report as of March 19th.
(This is, of course, subject to change.)
BCAC is open and continuing to see clients in crisis:
• We’re continuing to work with our partners in Baltimore Police and Baltimore City Department of Social Services, as always.
• We’re screening all children, caregivers, and staff – all with symptoms are being appropriately diverted for other medical attention.
• We have a dedicated and rotating team of minimal staff onsite each day.
• Most of our staff are working from home, no visitors are allowed in the building, and all meetings will be remote to reduce the number of people onsite.
• We’re working with community partners to divert healthy children to BCAC for child abuse exams rather than at hospital emergency departments.
• We’ve made crisis mental health available for our current clients.
• We’re exploring tele-health options for mental health and trauma assessment.
• All volunteers are asked to stay home, and collection of donations is suspended.
BCAC’s Training Institute is live and online:
• Recognizing we’re all likely to be home for the next few weeks, our Community Outreach & Education team will be hosting some of our trainings as webinars rather than in-person. This schedule will firm up in the coming days.
• Our team will be offering guidance, activities, tips, and education to families on topics of reducing stress and trauma, raising resilient kids, and preventing abuse. These will be available on our social feeds, by email, and ultimately our website.
• We’ll be going live on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube to connect with the community and make sure that none of us remain in isolation. We’ll share and present worthwhile information for you to use while your home – whether you’re a youth serving professional, a parent or caregiver, or a concerned citizen. Stay tuned for when to tune in!
What you can do, right now:
• Wash your hands for 20 seconds and practice social distancing.
• Take a free training from BCAC at www.ReportAbuseMD.com.
• Reach out by phone, video chat, or text to family, the elderly, and especially to families we know who will be additionally stressed during this time.
• Let’s check on our children to offer reassurance, connection, and nurturing.
With the support of our parent at LifeBridge Health, BCAC can continue to fulfill our mandate and mission to provide a 24-hour response for children in Baltimore who have been impacted by child maltreatment. I am continually impressed by how this team of heroes continues to provide solutions and demonstrate the Grit, Heart, Relationships and Excellence we’ve become known to have.
While this is a challenging time for our community, this is not the time to back away from children impacted by trauma and violence. When my wife and I look at our 16-year-old daughters, I’m dumbstruck by their resilience but also at a loss as to how their generation can continue to bear the burden of one global stressor after another. Now is the time to lean in and talk with our children and give honest answers to their fears and still help them find hope.
My team is honored to be able to do this work. We’re nervous and already tired from the stress, but thanks to you … we’re ready.
Wash those hands, and stay healthy,