One year into COVID-19: What have we learned about child maltreatment reports and child protective service responses?

Ilan Katz, Sidnei Priolo-Filho, Carmit Katz, Sabine Andresen, Annie Bérubé, Noa Cohen, Christian M. Connell, Delphine Collin-Vézina, Barbara Fallon, Ansie Fouche, Takeo Fujiwara, Sadiyya Haffejee, Jill E. Korbin, Katie Maguire-Jack, Nadia Massarweh, Pablo Munoz, George M. Tarabulsy, Ashwini Tiwari, Elmien Truter, Natalia VarelaChristine Wekerle, Yui Yamaoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Background: A year has passed since COVID-19 began disrupting systems. Although children are not considered a risk population for the virus, there is accumulating knowledge regarding children's escalating risk for maltreatment during the pandemic. Objective: The current study is part of a larger initiative using an international platform to examine child maltreatment (CM) reports and child protective service (CPS) responses in various countries. The first data collection, which included a comparison between eight countries after the pandemic's first wave (March–June 2020), illustrated a worrisome picture regarding children's wellbeing. The current study presents the second wave of data across 12 regions via population data (Australia [New South Wales], Brazil, United States [California, Pennsylvania], Colombia, England, Germany, Israel, Japan, Canada [Ontario, Quebec], South Africa). Method: Regional information was gathered, including demographics, economic situation, and CPS responses to COVID-19. A descriptive analysis was conducted to provide an overview of the phenomenon. Results: Across all of the countries, COVID-19 had a substantial negative impact on the operation of CPSs and the children and families they serve by disrupting in-person services. One year into the COVID-19 pandemic, new reports of CM varied across the regions.1 In some, the impact of COVID-19 on CPS was low to moderate, while in others, more significant changes created multiple challenges for CPS services. Conclusions: COVID-19 created a barrier for CPS to access and protect children. The dramatic variance between the regions demonstrated how social, economic and structural contexts impact both CM reports and CPS responses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number105473
JournalChild Abuse and Neglect
StatePublished - Aug 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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