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COVID-19 child well-being task force in place for school year

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Posted at 10:23 AM, Jul 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-24 11:23:51-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new child well-being report aims to help us better understand how to address issues children are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Tennessee Department of Education released the "Initial COVID-19 Impact Report," which provides data on the impact extended school closure has had on the well-being of students and the current effect COVID-19 has had on children and families.

Data in the report includes children’s physical, mental and emotional health when schools closed in the spring and the effects that still last now.

The goal of the Task Force is to ensure that the needs of Tennessee children are met during and after extended periods away from school, and to empower local communities to meaningfully engage in ways that support child well-being.

In Tennessee -- during peak stay-at-home orders -- reports of suspected child abuse dropped by 27%, in large part due to mandatory reporters, such as teachers and pediatricians, being disconnected from children and families.

Family stress due to circumstances, like unemployment, can also contribute to increased rates of domestic violence, substance abuse and child abuse.

The task force will meet monthly through December to help districts support families, and students well-being during the pandemic.