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Remote schooling forces child welfare agencies to adapt

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Child welfare monitoring and enforcement have been challenged by the coronavirus pandemic. Teachers, the backbone of the abuse and neglect reporting system, are separated from their students by remote learning. In New Mexico, schools, state agencies, and law enforcement officials say the lack of in-person schooling has required more attention. Reports of “educational neglect” can lead investigators to a household where children are unfed, unkempt, and unschooled. But it can also mean a capable parent has had trouble with Wi-Fi. In Albuquerque, law enforcement officers are applying a light touch to truancy calls that don't result in arrest and regularly connect families to social services.