BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Since the start of the pandemic, reporting of child abuse has gone down drastically.
Rebecca Stevens is the director of the Child Advocacy Center, she says Child Protective Service reports went down 50 percent since the start of the pandemic.
Also, she says the center went from handling 94 child abuse reports in March 2019 to just 18 in 2020.
Now, those numbers are on the incline.
“We’ve increased, as children have gone back to school, and have had more face to face contact with people that generally make those child abuse reports such as teachers, and primary care providers,” said Stevens.
The center and the BestHealth will soon be calling 899 Main Street home, once they add a new floor and make some changes to the interior.
“We really needed a better location and to finally consolidate our two locations into one location,” said Elizabeth Woike-Ganga president chief executive director BestSelf Behavioral Health
The facility will serve as a hub to fight crimes against children. Officials say, there will be space for a DA representative, CPS, a health clinic and local police.
“This innovative clinic will incorporate a special area where our Buffalo Police officers and other law enforcement officers can meet with these fragile youngsters and family members to obtain the sensitive information they need to apprehend and convict child abusers,” said Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.
BestSelf says once the construction is finished, they hope to move in sometime in 2023.
Angelica Morrison is an award-winning reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2019. See more of her work here.