Pender Co. sees increase in child abuse, neglect reports


PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Pender County is seeing an increase in reports of child abuse and neglect.

Health and Human Services Director Carolyn Moser said the reports have been on the rise for the last six to eight weeks.

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“Staff are stressed,” Moser said.

Moser is talking about the staff at the department of social services.

“They want to make sure our children are safe and when you have to take on an extra case load, then that just adds to their stress afraid that maybe they might miss something, that you know they could have addressed sooner,” Moser said.

Right now, Moser said that case load is growing.

“I don’t think we can really pinpoint any single factor that could cause this increase especially in reports of child abuse and neglect,” Moser said.

She said it could be, because kids are out for the summer or tempers could flare, because of the extreme heat we’re facing.

“Also, as we all know, there is an influx of heroin,” Moser said. “We’re seeing high rates of substance use.”

Because of the influx in child abuse and neglect reports, Moser went to the commissioners for help.

“Commissioners approved us to contract with a professional staffing agency that employs professional social workers with a background in child protective services,” Moser said.

Moser said not everyone can do this job.

“You really need to know how to work with children and families,” Moser said.

Because she said it is their job to make sure the children in Pender County are safe.

Moser also said they are not the only county dealing with an increase.

She said it is a statewide issue.