Teachers encouraged to look out for students as they return to school

September 2, 2022

In 2021, education professionals made over 30,000 calls to the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect hotline when they were concerned about the safety and/or well-being of a child or family. As mandatory reporters of child abuse and neglect, teachers and other school staff are required by law to report their concerns about possible child abuse and neglect by calling 844-CO-4-Kids. 

"Early care and education providers are often the only adults in a young child's life who can spot potential abuse and neglect. Particularly on the heels of the pandemic, keeping an eye open for signs of abuse is more important now than ever. As the school year comes back in full swing, if you suspect a child in your classroom is being abused or neglected call 844-CO-4-KIDS," said Mary Alice Cohen the Director of the Office of Early Childhood.

Teachers, school staff, and other mandatory reporters of child abuse should take the free online training to learn more about child abuse and neglect. Teachers, education advocates, the Colorado Department of Education, and the Colorado Department of Human Services have developed this toolkit to help teachers and school staff get a better sense of their student's emotional and physical safety.

“We know that parents love their children and want the best for them. You don’t need to be certain that abuse or neglect are occurring to make the call. Calling the hotline is one way community members can share their concerns and help local social service agencies connect parents with the support they need,” said Minna Castillo Cohen, the Director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families. “In the majority of cases, children and teens stay safely at home while their families receive services.”   

Social isolation, financial instability, and uncertainty all increase the risk of child abuse and neglect. In nearly 70% of child welfare cases, counties can provide services and kids can remain safely at home with their parents. Some of these services may include assistance applying for benefits or classes to help parents manage stress.

Through the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline System, all hotline calls are immediately routed to the county where a child resides and the Colorado Department of Human Services is able to capture information critical to ensuring each call across the state is handled quickly and appropriately. This phone number for reporting suspected child abuse and neglect is staffed 24/7, 365 days a year. This video explains what happens after a call to the hotline is made. 

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Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline
Available 24 hours a day, every day. Don't hesitate to call and get help. 
Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately.