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Can I make an anonymous report of abuse?

Office:
CB
Categories:
Child Welfare
Topics:
Child Abuse and Neglect

Answer

Many states accept anonymous reports of alleged child abuse and neglect. It is important to note, however, that all states are required to preserve the confidentiality of all child maltreatment reports, except in certain limited circumstances (see Disclosure of Confidential Records). Confidentiality refers to protecting the information from public view, including protecting the identity of the reporter from the person suspected of abuse or neglect.

Reporting suspected child abuse and neglect is everyone's responsibility. If you have any concerns about a child’s welfare, you should contact the appropriate authorities in the state in which the child resides. Each state has trained professionals who can evaluate the situation and determine whether intervention and services are needed. Most states have a toll-free number to call to report suspected abuse. Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children's Bureau, provides a related organization list of state child abuse reporting numbers.

Another resource for information on how and where to file a report of suspected child abuse and 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).

Last Reviewed: May 9, 2019