How to make an anonymous report to child protective services

All children deserve to grow up in nurturing and safe homes. Child abuse (whether it be physical, sexual or emotional) will negatively impact the victim for a lifetime. If you have a reasonable suspicion that a child is being maltreated, it is imperative that you report your concerns to the appropriate Child Protective Services (CPS) agency. Learn how to document and report child abuse concerns in a few short steps.

Call 911. If the child is in immediate danger, or if a situation is severe call emergency authorities, first. The operator will be able to assess the situation and contact the appropriate social services, or law enforcement agency for you.

Take notes. If you have ongoing concerns that a child is being abused or neglected always document basic information about the child (name, address, age) and the nature of the abuse and neglect. Also include the names of suspected perpetrators and their relationship to the child (parent, teacher, etc.) and any other relevant information.

Make the call. If you do not know the number of your local Child Protective Services agency call the National Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 4-A-CHILD, to be connected to the agency nearest you.

Continue to report and document. If your concerns about the child remain and the abuse appears to be ongoing, keep taking notes and calling local authorities. Often it takes a series of reports before the judicial system will allow a CPS agency to investigate and intervene in a family situation.

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