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Calls to report abuse have gone down 40% since March, but that doesn't mean it’s not happening.

Teachers are the number one reporters of abuse or neglect, according to Charlotte's nonprofit organization Congregations For Kids.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The already complicated foster care system in Mecklenburg County is facing new challenges thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic

The Charlotte nonprofit organization Congregations for Kids is working to raise $30,000 in the 30 days of July to help children who have been negatively impacted by the virus. 

As the state and country came to a screeching halt, the children in the system have been negatively impacted. They are struggling with housing issues, food insecurity and anxiety and depression and the need for resources is overwhelming. There are more than 600 kids in the foster care system in Mecklenburg County. Unfortunately, that number is expected to go up if and when kids are back in the classroom.

“We have to keep them at the forefront. We have to think about these kids that don't have loving and safe homes and how can we care for them,” said Nicole Taylor, the executive director of Congregations for Kids.

Children in the system hadn’t been able to see their birth parents face to face for months and court hearings that led to a permanent living situation were delayed. But it's teens who have aged out and who don't have a support system hurting the most because of coronavirus.

“They've experienced job loss, they've experienced food insecurity, housing issues, a halt in their educational progress,” said Taylor.

RELATED: Kids who aged out of foster care struggling in weakened economy

Teachers are the number one reporters of abuse or neglect. Calls to report abuse have gone down 40% since March, but that doesn't mean it’s not happening. Taylor says organizations that work with the Department of Social Services are bracing for the storm.

“We expect more kids to come into care unfortunately. So, if someone has ever thought of being a foster parent, now is the time,” she said.

RELATED: Abused teen thought she’d never be adopted until a mother traveled across the globe just before the pandemic

Congregations For Kids has helped hundreds of foster families and children throughout the pandemic and now the organization is pushing a 30 in 30 campaign. The money raised would go right back into current programming and a new online portal that can help foster families and children get tangible items they need exponentially faster than if they go through DSS. The care now portal will also allow community members to donate whatever items are urgently needed.

To donate visit: https://cfknc.kindful.com/?campaign=1075418

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