Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect
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How to Report Child Abuse and/or Neglect
If you have an immediate emergency, call 911 or your local police department. Otherwise, call the Division of Family and Children's Services – Child Protective Services at 1.855.GACHILD (1.855.422.4453).
Child abuse/neglect reports are taken 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
Questions to Expect When Making a Child Abuse/Neglect Referral
What are your specific concerns about the child(ren)?
- Has something happened to the child? If so, what happened?
- When and where did it occur and who was involved?
- Was an object used and if so, what type of object?
- How serious is the harm to the child?
- Provide a detailed description of your specific concern.
Circumstances Surrounding Your Concern
What was going on with the family before, during and after the specific circumstance/event/alleged child maltreatment you are concerned about?
- Where were the children at the time and where are they now?
- What did the child say happened?
- What is the caregiver’s explanation?
- How do you know about this circumstance/event/alleged maltreatment?
- Is your concern an ongoing concern with the children?
- Has this specific concern, or any other concerns about this child, come to your attention previously? If so, please provide an explanation of prior concerns you have.
- Who else knows about this?
- Were the police called? If so, what is the officer’s name?
Describe each child’s day-to-day functioning in relation to other children their age.
- What is the child’s overall appearance, health, and wellbeing?
- Does the child(ren) have any behavioral, mental, emotional, intellectual, or physical disabilities? If so, what, and how does it affect their functioning?
- Is the child(ren) receiving services from any agency? If so, who and what for?
- Are they on any medications?
- Do they get medicine regularly?
- If school age, what grade level? Describe attendance/discipline issues/general performance.
- How does the child(ren) interact with their peers?
- Has the child(ren) expressed concerns about going home? If so, what concerns and why?
How do the parents manage the child(ren)’s behavior?
- What do the parents do when the child(ren) gets in trouble?
- How do they view the purpose of discipline?
- Do they have house rules for the child(ren) and if so, what are they?
- What kind of things does the child(ren) get in trouble for?
- Is the caregiver ever out of control when disciplining the child(ren)? If so, explain when and the circumstances.
What is the overall parenting style of the parents—structured, strict, laid-back?
- How do the parents/child(ren) interact?
- Do parents seem to understand the child(ren)’s needs?
- Are they able to meet these needs? Why or why not?
- Does the caregiver have realistic expectations of child(ren) given the their age/functioning? Explain.
- Describe how caregiver accesses and uses available resources to provide basic needs for the child(ren).
- Who usually cares for the child(ren)?
- Are the parents living in the same home? If not, is the non-residential parent involved with the child(ren)?
- Describe how caretakers react to bad behavior.
- Describe how they show love and nurturing.
What is the overall functioning of each parent on a personal level-- rather than as a parent?
- How does the caretaker care for themselves?
- Are they employed? If so, what shift?
- Stable employment?
- Who cares for child(ren) when they are at work?
- Do caregivers have a steady source of income? Stable housing?
- Are there any concerns relating to mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence? If yes, what frequency?
- How do the parents respond when you approach them with concerns?
Additional CommentsAnything else you feel we need to know about this family?