As in-person classes in El Paso schools resumed after the height of the pandemic, child protection workers say they saw a spike in abuse reports and the need for safe foster homes for children removed from dangerous situations. “One of the number one reporters of abuse and neglect are the teachers,” said Oscar Millán, foster care program director at El Paso Children’s Center. When schools conducted classes online, red flags teachers see with students – like bruising, students staying late or even staying home from school – were harder to observe and evaluate virtually, and abuse reports fell. Now that students have returned to school, things have changed. “When everybody went back to somewhat of the new normal, a lot of the teachers that were seeing the kids, now face to face, they’re seeing what’s going on.