Stay-at-home orders and social distancing meant families were navigating challenges in close quarters while experiencing economic instability, decreased social support, stress and ongoing uncertainty. The COVID-19 pandemic created an environment ripe for maltreatment. At the same time, widespread closures limited children’s exposure to teachers and other adults who often initiate maltreatment investigations by reporting their suspicions.
Stacy Metcalf, MA, and Dr. Corey Rood, a child abuse pediatrician, will discuss research comparing monthly county-level referral data and medical evaluation data from Child Maltreatment Evaluation Clinics (CMECs) in multiple California counties between 2019 and 2020 to determine if COVID-19 affected child maltreatment identification, incidence and severity. Maltreatment, especially that which is severe, appears to be increasing, but reporting is decreasing. These findings highlight the value of combining data sources to understand the complex ways that the COVID-19 pandemic affected children and families and the speakers will suggest strategies for changes to social service delivery models during the pandemic and beyond.
Stacy Metcalf, MA, is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Psychological Science at UCI, under the mentorship of Jodi A. Quas. Broadly, Stacy’s research concerns the experiences and consequences of adversity exposure (e.g., maltreatment) on child and adolescent development. Specifically, her work focuses on two related topics: how maltreatment affects socioemotional functioning and how contextual factors (e.g., policy changes, societal events) impact youths’ experiences and trajectories. She recently received the Alison Clarke-Stewart Award for her work studying the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the identification, incidence and characteristics of child maltreatment. In addition to her research, Stacy has pursued teaching and mentoring opportunities, including specialized training through the Division of Teaching Excellence and Innovation, teaching in the School of Social Ecology and participating as a departmental mentor.
Corey J. Rood, MD, is the Medical Director of Child Abuse Pediatrics with the Department of Pediatrics at UCI, the CAST medical clinic and the Child Abuse & Prevention Team at Miller Children’s and Women’s Hospital in Long Beach. He is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics with the UCI School of Medicine. As a Child Abuse Pediatrician, his work focuses on the diagnosis, care and management of potentially abused and neglected children. Dr. Rood’s clinical and research interests and expertise include commercially sexually exploited children (CSEC) including human trafficking, both international and domestic. Dr. Rood’s research endeavors include recent studies on sexting and online sexual solicitation exposure amongst adolescents with suspected sexual abuse and human trafficking screening of adolescent patients.
This event is approved for 1.0 hour of Minimum Continuing Legal Education Credit by the State Bar of California. UCI School of Law is a State Bar-approved MCLE provider.
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About the UCI Initiative to End Family Violence
The Initiative to End Family Violence unites faculty from 21 departments at UCI with community partners in research, education and clinical interventions in abuse across the lifespan. We envision a world in which all people are safe.
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