You play a key role in ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of children and youth under your care and supervision. All individuals working with children in a child care program are mandated to report suspected child abuse or neglect to Child Protective Services. Ensure your program has policies and procedures in place.
How to report child abuse
If you suspect a child has been abused or neglected, whether by a parent or volunteer in your family child care program, follow your program's procedures to report your concern to Child Protective Services. You can also call your state's child abuse reporting hotline or Childhelp, 800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453). You will be asked for identifying information about the child and family and specific information about the nature of your concern. You may have the option to file an anonymous report.
When a report of suspected abuse or neglect is made to Child Protective Services, a caseworker will determine if the child has been abused or neglected; assess the risk of danger to the child; and determine appropriate interventions and supports for the child and family.
After the report
If the case is found to meet the criteria for child abuse or neglect, treatment to promote family functioning and prevent further abuse or neglect may be recommended.
If the case does not meet criteria but the family is under stress, services including parent education or counseling may be offered to support the family and reduce the risk of abuse and neglect.
To protect the privacy of all those involved, an individual making the report will most likely not know the outcome of a referral to Child Protective Services but can have confidence that reporting is the right thing to do when the safety of a child is in question.