Pitt County social workers continue working with special precautions

PITT COUNTY, NC (WITN) With many residents choosing to self-isolate, social workers have had to make some adjustments to how they handle their cases.

The Director of Pitt County Social Services and the head of the Center for Family Violence Prevention, say social workers still have to do their job, so they're now wearing protective equipment when they enter homes.

Laura King with the Center for Family Violence Prevention says, "This is hard on every family, but I think families where there has been abuse or it's a difficult situation, it's likely to become more dangerous."

King says the reason is due to abusers' control complex. She says, "This situation is out of everybody's control. And I think that loss of control sort of manifests itself sometimes in anger and frustration, and then it's taken out on the victim."

The good news is, since social services are considered an essential service, social workers are still checking in on homes.

Jan Elliot, Pitt County Social Services Director says, "We are still interviewing folks. We're still going out in homes when we have an adult protective services or a CPS protective services kind of case."

However, to keep social workers safe, Pitt County Social Services Director Jan Elliot is sending them with bags full of protective gear such as masks, gloves, and wipes.

Elliot says, "We have put some protective measures in place for the staff. We are trying to limit exposure by encouraging as much to be done by phone."

Elliot says if anyone is compromised, don't hesitate to report it. "If you see something that you believe is putting a child or a disabled adult at risk then call our numbers and make those reports."

And King says she's sure law enforcement will still accommodate any victim trying to leave their situation, despite the quarantines.

King says, "People can still move around if they're providing essential services. And I think that would also be acceptable if you were moving because you're in danger."

Elliot says supplies like masks are limited, but they're doing the best they can to keep social workers safe.

King says during this coronavirus pandemic, The Center for Family Violence Prevention's retail store has shut down, which was responsible for 12 percent of their services.