What should I do if I suspect child abuse and/or neglect?


All states have a system to receive and respond to reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. If you suspect a child is being harmed, or has been harmed, you should report your concerns to the appropriate authorities, such as child protective services, in the state where child maltreatment is occurring. Each state has trained professionals who can evaluate the situation and determine whether help and services are needed. Most states have a toll-free number to call to report suspected child abuse and neglect. Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, provides a list of Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Numbers and information on how to make a report in each state.

Another resource for information about how and where to file a report of suspected child abuse or neglect is the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline. Childhelp can be reached 7 days a week, 24-hours a day, at its toll-free number: 1.800.4-A-CHILD (1.800.422.4453).

FAQ Program Areas: