With schools throughout Oregon being closed since March 16, concerns are growing regarding the reporting of child abuse and neglect. The Oregon Department of Human Services released data indicating that calls to the child abuse hotline have declined approximately 70% since the closure of Oregon schools.
In Baker County, members of the child abuse multidisciplinary team (MDT) continue to meet weekly to discuss allegations of child abuse and neglect. This specialized team consists of representatives from various disciplines, including: Department of Human Services, District Attorney, law enforcement, school personnel, mental health, parole and probation, and medical personnel.
Greg Baxter, the Baker County District Attorney and MDT Chair, hasn’t seen a decrease in the number of child abuse reports being made locally. Reports continue to come in to the hotline and are being staffed by the MDT. Although reports remain steady, Baxter stresses how valuable each community member is in the fight against child abuse. “It’s important to realize that protecting children in Baker County is a responsibility that falls on each of us. We cannot rely solely on mandatory reporters to make that call.” says Greg Baxter.
If you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, call the DHS Hotline at 1-855-503-7233 or make a report with local law enforcement.