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Wednesday, May 5, 2021
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Starting in March 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has been making an
impact on our lives. Since its arrival in Delaware, we have each learned
a lot about prevention, made personal sacrifices, and adopted new
behaviors in order to limit exposure and reduce community spread. Many
of our societal structures are operating in a modified way: virtual and
hybrid schooling, telemedicine, limited number of patrons in businesses,
and non-essential personnel working from home are some of the changes
to which we are now accustomed.
The pandemic has illuminated flaws
in the patchwork of infrastructure supports for Delaware’s kids and
their families. COVID-19 did not create these systemic issues. But the
pandemic has further stressed our child-serving system and highlighted
the disparate outcomes dependent on social determinants of
health.COVID-19 has also caused us to collectively grapple with many
hard questions: How is this history making pandemic affecting our
children’s well-being? What will the lasting impacts be – physical,
mental, social, and economic – of this virus?
Melissa T. Merrick, PhD, is President and CEO of Prevent Child Abuse
America (PCA America), the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit
organization dedicated to the primary prevention of child abuse and
neglect. She has more than 20 years of clinical, research, and
leadership experience related to the etiology, course, and prevention of
child abuse and neglect.
Previously, Dr. Merrick was a senior epidemiologist at the National
Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), in Atlanta. She is recognized as one of
the country’s foremost experts on adverse childhood experiences (ACEs):
in partnership with the US Department of Health and Human Services’
Office of Child Abuse and Neglect, she served for 8 years as the lead
scientist for the ACEs study at CDC and is the lead author of CDC’s Vital Signs: ACEs, the most nationally representative report on the topic.
Join KIDS COUNT in Delaware on 5/5/21 as we review the newest data and explore questions of child and family well-being in the state.