Photo: Eddie Gaspar

MOSES LAKE - Last week, iFIBER ONE News reported on the testimony provided by New Hope’s Suzi Fode on the incredible spike in domestic child abuse cases coming through her Moses Lake office.

New Hope/Kids hope is a Moses Lake-based organization that services all of Grant County when it comes to offering services to victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, victims of crime, child abuse, etc. Law enforcement and/or Child Protective Services refers children to New Hope offices in Grant County for forensic interviews involving kids immersed in problematic situations at home.

Fode says the 2021 caseload is about to surpass the number of clients that were tallied for the entirety of 2020. Fode says caseloads for child abuse and neglect have surged 45% and child sexual abuse cases coming into to Kids Hope have jumped by 49%. Fode says the most prominent form of abuse amongst children at home is ‘sexual’. Other abusive scenarios seen amongst kids include crime violence, shootings, assaults, etc.

Coinciding with those statistics are the number of child placements done by Child Protective Services (CPS)/Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS). Child placements occur when CPS determines that a child must be removed from a toxic and dangerous environment at home, and places them into foster care, the care of a guardian who doesn’t live at the home, or a family member who volunteers to take the child in.

The documented child placements provided DSHS occurred within seven days of an intake for an investigation.

So far in 2021, 37 children whose cases handled by the Moses Lake DSHS office were removed from their homes and placed in the care of someone else. For the entirety of 2020, 36 kids experienced CPS placement and only 28 juveniles endured the same in 2019.

Child placements can be temporary with the possibility of being reunited with parents and/or guardians soon, or can be more permanent with the possibility of children being with their parents or guardians again in the distant future.