When children aren’t in school, teachers and school staff, the number one group alerting authorities, are not around to report child abuse. So as isolation, loss of jobs and access to digital connectivity churned together, child safety was often sacrificed, too.
Last spring, WOAI TV News San Antonio reported that child deaths across Texas increased from abuse and neglect during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Last year, 251 children died in Texas with 20 of those kids being from the San Antonio area. When you compare that with 2019, there were 235 child deaths state wide and 10 in San Antonio, according to a new report from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.1
We know that education systems, schools, classrooms and nonprofits supporting childhood education had to stop many old practices and invent new ones. These changes were difficult and took place during a time of uncertainty. Many households experiencing poverty found their circumstances challenging.
Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. (FVPS), a United Way Strong Individuals and Families Impact Council partner, requested a funding modification to their education program to accommodate the many children who had to participate in virtual learning.
FVPS created a space for their Adult Education Coordinator to help children with classes and schoolwork while parents were able to focus on recovering from their trauma of escaping domestic violence, as well as work on career/school goals that would ultimately benefit the entire family.
“Were so grateful that we were able to receive support and be flexible during this pandemic and the winter storm freeze,” said Marta Prada Peláez, FVPS president and CEO. “Our partners make all the difference as we collaborate together to meet the ever-changing needs of our children and families.”
Family Violence Prevention Services, Inc. offers residential and non-residential clients shelter, transitional housing, counseling for adults, children, families, and legal services. These services help individuals and families recover from the pain and longer-term effects of domestic violence.
At United Way, we’re grateful to FVPS for jumping into action, identifying needs and helping stabilize already vulnerable children and adults experiencing domestic violence during trying times.