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Local child advocacy groups say they aren’t letting the Corona pandemic stop their work

Coronavirus

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Linda Saturno of the Child Advocacy Center says the work they do can’t be put on hold.

“We support those state officials out there, the law enforcement, children’s division in keeping children safe,” said Saturno.

She says this includes 24/7, 365 days a year.

“We had to respond very quickly as everyone has in keeping our business going,” said Saturno.

She says the outbreak has forced them to get creative with how they serve.

“We’ve divided our staff into two shifts,” said Saturno. ” We’ve got half at one time and half at another, so we don’t have any cross-contamination.”

Saturno says referrals have declined now that children have less access to mandated reporters like their teachers.

“If you’re stuck in a home all day long, even trying to make a call for help may be difficult for these women and even for the children to do that,” said Saturno.

Which is one reason she says it’s important to bring awareness to the resources available even under quarantine.

“We’re relying on everybody being creative to try and help as much as we can find these children who might be being abused,” said Saturno.

Laura Farmer of CASA of Southwest Missouri says they’ve switched to online visits with the children they serve.

“Instead of having two long visits with children, having more frequent contact with children we’re serving,” said Farmer.

Farmer says this provides an opportunity for the children to share their stories and things they may be going through.

“Our kids are being disrupted in their routines, they’re not seeing their friends, they’re maybe not seeing their families,” said Farmer.

CASA will hold a virtual informational meeting via Facebook Live April 15th at noon.

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