Supporting Families During the COVID-19 pandemic

April 18, 2020

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The District Attorney’s Multidisciplinary Child Abuse Team recently produced several short videos that community members can view and share.

You may view, download and share all of the individual videos on our YouTube page.

You can also click here to download a child abuse prevention pinwheel that you can print out and display in a window.

Our entire package of videos can be viewed below.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Keeping families strong and thriving is a guiding principle of the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Multidisciplinary Child Abuse Team (MDT Child Abuse Team).

This year’s National Child Abuse Prevention Month comes when families across the world are being significantly impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The MDT Child Abuse Team includes representatives from CARES Northwest, local law enforcement, public schools, hospitals, health departments, local mental health service providers, the Oregon Department of Human Services, and Multnomah County’s Department of Community Justice.

Even during this global pandemic, the MDT Child Abuse Team remains fully committed to helping and serving families and responding to and investigating cases of child abuse and neglect.

Focusing on child safety and well-being is now more important than ever. In order to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, schools in Oregon are closed and strict physical distancing guidelines are in place. While we recognize and support these efforts to protect community health, it is concerning for the MDT Child Abuse Team because we know that schools are a sanctuary for children; they are places were children are safe and protected – where mandatory reporters such as teachers, nurses and counselors see children every day and can report any suspected child abuse and neglect.

Online learning – now called distance learning – brings inevitable challenges to teachers when it comes to identifying suspected child abuse or neglect.

The MDT Child Abuse Team continues to encourage everyone in our community to check in with families and to continue to engage with Oregon’s Department of Human Services (DHS) when appropriate.

The Oregon DHS Child Abuse Hotline is an essential statewide service and remains open 24/7. Oregon DHS, in partnership with the MDT Child Abuse Team, remains committed to responding to reports of abuse or neglect to investigate and support child victims and their families. We are thankful that Oregon DHS child protection workers continue to meet with families in order to make and keep children safe.

As a team, we support Oregon DHS’ recommendations that community members check in with at-risk families — including young children, children and adults with developmental delays or other medical vulnerabilities, isolated children and families, and youth and families with severe emotional or mental health needs – through phone, email, video conferencing or in-person but only through a safe distance.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Multidisciplinary Child Abuse Team works with community partners to protect children who have been abused and neglected while ensuring that all practices are trauma-informed and mitigate the lifelong consequences of child abuse. The team also handles all child homicides, felony child physical abuse cases, felony child abandonment cases, custodial interference cases, and felony sex crimes where the victim is currently under the age of 18 and where the suspect is determined not to be a stranger to the child.

CARES Northwest, Multnomah County’s child abuse assessment center, is a community-based medical program for the assessment, treatment and prevention of child abuse. The organization is one of the largest child abuse assessment centers in the nation and serves more than 5,000 children annually.

Working together to reduce the frequency of child abuse and neglect, we must do all we can to prevent abuse, report abuse and intervene when abuse occurs to protect children and strengthen families.

As a community, we can increase awareness about child abuse and contribute to promote the social and emotional well-being of children and families in a safe, stable and nurturing environment.

Reporting Suspected Child Abuse

  • If you suspect a child is being abused, make a report to a DHS Child Welfare screener by contacting 1-855-503-SAFE (7233).

Local Resources:

  • 211:
    • Whether you’re looking for basic family resources, housing options, energy assistance or child development, behavior, nutrition and health services, the nonprofit 211info can be accessed for free either by phone, text, email or online.
  • Oregon Department of Human Services:
    • Oregon’s principal agency for helping Oregonians achieve wellbeing and independence through opportunities that protect, empower, respect choice and preserve dignity, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.
    • ReachOut Oregon is a statewide telephone and chat service providing support for parents and caregivers. Individuals can call or chat online about their children who experience emotional, behavioral, or physical health, intellectual or developmental disabilities, or educational issues. The parent “warmline” is available to provide support by phone, or via the ReachOut Oregon website for chat, email and Facebook messaging.
  • CARES Northwest:
    • Child Abuse Response and Evaluation Services (CARES) Northwest is a collaborative, community-based medical program. CARES Northwest’s mission is to stop child abuse and neglect through multidisciplinary prevention, medical evaluation, and ongoing treatment in partnership with our community.
  • NAMI Multnomah Resources:
    • NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) is here to help. For more information about resources, or to learn which resources might best fit your needs, please call the NAMI Multnomah Helpline at 503-228-5692 or check out their resource section for local resources in Multnomah County.

Crisis Lines

  • Multnomah County Crisis Line:
    • 503-988-4888
    • 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
    • If you or somebody you know is having trouble functioning, we are here to listen. Seek help by calling the Mental Health Call Center at 503-988-4888. Our team of mental health professionals is prepared to help anyone experiencing mental health issues at any time, in any language.
  • National Parent Helpline:
    • 1-855- 4A PARENT (1-855-427-2736)
    • Being a parent is a critically important job, 24 hours a day. It’s not always easy. Call the National Parent Helpline to get emotional support from a trained Advocate and become empowered and a stronger parent.

Contact Info:
Contact: Brent Weisberg, Communications Director
Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office
Phone: 503.988.6567 | Email: | Twitter: @BrentWeisberg