Montana concerned with decline in child abuse hotline calls
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana's health department is concerned that the decline in the number of calls to the child abuse hotline since schools closed due to the coronavirus might be masking the danger that children are in. During the week before schools closed, 765 calls were made to the hotline. Since March 15, the number averaged 425 a week, a 45% decrease. Health department director Sheila Hogan says the decrease is a concern because teachers and school staff are mandatory reporters and they are one of the main sources of calls to the hotline. The agency is asking residents to watch out for kids and offer to help families who may be struggling due to stress caused by social isolation or financial uncertainty.