AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - According to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Service, there were 2,951 confirmed victims of child abuse or neglect in 2017.
With the help of local community partners, Amarillo College continues to work to educate residents of preventative child abuse measures.
"It's really important to understand the mindset, the neurological development and how kids are impacted when they've been abused," said Director of Behavioral Health for Family Support Services Amy Hord.
Children who are abused may show physical signs or sudden changes in their behavior or school performance.
These signs don't prove that children are being abused, but they could be a signal that child or their family needs help.
"The kids who don't speak are often the ones that feel they don't have family support or someone in their lives they can talk to about what is happening to them," said Developmental Psychologist Katharine Leslie.
Abused children might seem:
- Nervous around adults or afraid of certain adults.
- Reluctant to go home (coming to school early or staying late, for example).
- Very passive and withdrawn or aggressive and disruptive.
- Tired a lot, or they might complain of nightmares or not sleeping well.
- Fearful and anxious.
Signs of neglect include
- Missing school a lot.
- Begging for food, stealing food, or stealing money for food.
- Lacking needed medical or dental care.
- Being frequently dirty.
- Using alcohol or other drugs.
- Saying there is no one at home to take care of them.
If you suspect child abuse or neglect, contact the Texas Abuse Hotline at 800-252-5400 or report online at TxAbuseHotline.org.
Tips will always remain confidential and anonymous.