MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) There are concerns about young Vermonters potentially trapped inside their homes with abusers during the coronavirus crisis.
State officials say the number of child abuse reports are down, and they're worried it could mean they are just not being reported.
Agency of Human Services Secretary Mike Smith says state workers have been doing all they can, but cases of abuse can be harder to spot when kids are out of the watchful eyes of mandatory reporters like school staffers.
Last year between March 15 and April 15, they had 432 of what they call "child maltreatment allegations."
This year during that same time frame, there were 127.
"The message I want to say is if you see child abuse, please call and report any suspected child abuse," Smith said. "You may not have the whole picture, but if you suspect something, please call."
Smith gave the number of a hotline to report child abuse. Call 1-800-649-5285.