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What to Expect When Contacting the Child Protection Hotline

You will be asked certain questions regarding the child(ren) you are reporting, such as:

  • Family's address and telephone number
  • Name of child(ren) you are reporting
  • Current location of the child(ren)
  • Name of mother and father and their whereabouts
  • Describe the abuse or neglect in detail
  • Tell what happened and when it happened
  • Give the frequency of the abuse or neglect
  • If abuse, tell if an object was used and describe the object
  • Tell if child(ren) have physical injuries and if so, describe any visible marks, bruises or lacerations, etc.
  • Describe the size, shape and color of injury
  • Tell if the child(ren) receive any medical treatment. If so, at what hospital or clinic?
  • Does the perpetrator have access to the child?
Upon completion of your verbal report, you should know the disposition of your call. The disposition will include one of the following response times:
Immediate Response (a face-to-face investigation will be conducted within twenty-four hours)
Five Days (a face-to-face investigation will be conducted within five days)
Evaluated Out (no face-to-face investigation will be conducted, however, your report may be cross-reported to law enforcement)
Information to Children's Social Worker (information given by you will be forwarded to the assigned Children's Social Worker. There will be no in-person response)

You will be given a referral number (19 digits), if the disposition of the report is an Immediate Response, Five-Day or an Evaluated-Out referral.

If the referral is given Immediate or Five Day response time, a Children's Social Services Worker (CSW) will be assigned to investigate the allegations. You will also be given the name of the Department of Children and Family Services' regional office the referral is assigned. Allegations of physical and sexual abuse, severe neglect, and children felt to be at substantial risk will be cross-reported to the appropriate law enforcement agency for investigation as well.

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