Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect - 6 Things to Know
August 23, 2019
"Aren't we all responsible for the safety of Colorado's children?” a question often posed to the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Awareness Campaign. The answer is, yes.
In 2018, 221,969 calls were made to the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline - 844-CO-4-KIDS. Thanks to concerned Coloradans who made these calls, human and social services agencies assessed the safety of more than 57,042 children. Of those children, 13,289 children experienced abuse or neglect and an additional 12,787 children's families received voluntary services and support to help strengthen their families and prevent child abuse or neglect in the future.
While some people are required by law to report their concerns about child abuse and neglect, each of us can play a role. Barbers, hairstylists, librarians, amusement park staff and public transportation drivers see children and families every day and can help to ensure that children are safe. Even if there is no abuse or neglect, calling 844-CO-4-Kids can help parents get the help they need.
"If you light a lamp for somebody it will also brighten your path"
Here are a few tips to keep in mind if you’re concerned about a child’s safety:
1. Know the signs - The first step in helping to end child abuse and neglect is learning to recognize the signs. The presence of a single sign does not mean that child abuse is occurring in a family, but trust your gut instinct and call if you are concerned or suspect abuse or neglect is occurring.
2. Help, if you can - Maybe your neighbor is a single parent working multiple jobs to make ends meet and simply needs a reliable sitter every now and then to help out at an affordable cost? Or they could simply use assistance with running errands from time to time? There are various ways for neighbors and communities to play a role in strengthening families.
3. Take the free online mandatory reporter training - You don't have to be a mandatory reporter to take the training.
4. Know how to report - If you have concerns about the safety of a child, call 844-CO-4-KIDS. You will be asked to describe your concerns about the child and it will be helpful if you can provide the child's name, age, address, gender, school attended (if possible) and names of a parent or parents.
5. You don't need to be sure in order to make a report - Remember, suspicion of abuse or neglect is all that is necessary to report. You dial the number, let us make the call.
6. Educate yourself about what happens after you call - It is no secret that many may worry about the actions taken after a report has been made. When you call to report a concern or get help for yourself or someone else, your call information is gathered to help a group of professionals assess whether your call should be screened into the child protection system (CPS).
We all play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect.