CAI’s Amy Harfeld, National Policy Advocate Quoted in Dos Mundos Re How the Pandemic Hides Child Abuse Cases


SAN DIEGO (April 12, 2021) – University of San Diego (USD) School of Law Children’s Advocacy Institute’s (CAI) Amy Harfeld, National Policy Advocate and Senior Staff Attorney’s was quoted in Dos Mundos highlighting how the pandemic hides child abuse problems as the cases drop.

The coronavirus pandemic is hiding child abuse cases. A recent analysis by Associated Press found that reports of child abuse have plummeted during the pandemic, as children are out of the public eye and away from the usual reporters of welfare problems.

According to the article, this loss in reports can translate into harmful situations for children, as CAI’s Amy Harfeld, an expert in child abuse deaths, told ABC News.

“There has not all of the sudden been a cure for child abuse and neglect,” Harfeld said. “Children who are experiencing abuse or neglect at home are only coming to the attention of CPS (child protective services) much further down the road than they normally would. When families aren’t getting what they need, there are consequences for everyone.”

Read the full article reported in Dos Mundos here.

About the Children’s Advocacy Institute

The Children's Advocacy Institute (CAI), founded at the nonprofit University of San Diego School of Law in 1989, is one of the nation's premiere academic, research, and advocacy organizations working to improve the lives of children and youth, with special emphasis on improving the child protection and foster care systems and enhancing resources that are available to youth aging out of foster care.

In its academic component, CAI trains law students and attorneys to be effective child advocates throughout their legal careers. Its Child Advocacy Clinic gives USD Law students three distinct clinical opportunities to advocate on behalf of children and youth, and its Dependency Counsel Training Program provides comprehensive training to licensed attorneys engaged in or contemplating Dependency Court practice.

CAI's research and advocacy component, conducted through its offices in San Diego, Sacramento, and Washington, D.C., seeks to leverage change for children and youth through impact litigation, regulatory and legislative advocacy, and public education. Active primarily at the federal and state levels, CAI's efforts are multi-faceted—comprehensively and successfully embracing all tools of public interest advocacy to improve the lives of children and youth. To support CAI’s work, please visit

About the University of San Diego School of Law

Each year, USD educates approximately 800 Juris Doctor and graduate law students from throughout the United States and around the world.  The law school is best known for its offerings in the areas of business and corporate law, constitutional law, intellectual property, international and comparative law, public interest law and taxation.

USD School of Law is one of the 84 law schools elected to the Order of the Coif, a national honor society for law school graduates.  The law school’s faculty is a strong group of outstanding scholars and teachers with national and international reputations and currently ranks 36th nationally among U.S. law faculties in scholarly impact and 22nd nationally in past-year faculty downloads on the Social Sciences Research Network (SSRN). The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools. Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.

Price Professor of Public Interest Law; Executive Director, Center For Public Interest Law, And Children's Advocacy Institute



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