CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — State departments and local organizations are beginning to get a picture of how much the pandemic affected child abuse. During that time, reports were down and that became a big concern, but now they’re starting to see a shift.

The Department of Human Services says there was a 22% decrease in child abuse reports from 2019 to 2020.

“That’s because kids weren’t being seen in schools, at doctor’s offices, they weren’t being seen even by extended family,” said Sean McCormack, Cumberland County District Attorney.

Officials say reports are going back up to pre-pandemic levels.

‘It’s very good that we’re seeing the reports coming back in, that means children have other eyes on them,” said Nikki McElwee, an administrator with Cumberland County Children & Youth Services.

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McElwee says you don’t have to be a mandated reporter to know the warning signs of abuse.

“You always want to keep an eye out for children who are not being social, they’re staying closed off if you see a child next door but then you go weeks and never see that child,” said McElwee.

If you suspect a child is in danger, contact the Childline hotline 24/7 at 1-800-932-0313.