The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) reports that calls to the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline, 844-CO-4-Kids (844-264-5437), remained stable from 2021 to 2022 after a significant drop in 2020. Calls to the hotline increased 0.3% to 209,513 in 2022 compared to 208,949 in 2021.
This slight growth in calls to the Hotline comes on the heels of a sustained public awareness campaign to encourage Coloradans to share concerns about the safety and well-being of children and teens. CDHS continues to work to ensure Colorado communities are increasingly aware that we all play a role in preventing child abuse and neglect. The Hotline serves as a direct, immediate and efficient route to Colorado’s 64 counties and two tribal nations, which are responsible for accepting and responding to concerns about a child or teen’s safety and well-being. The Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) encourages all Coloradans to call the Hotline if they have child maltreatment concerns.
“A call to the Hotline could help a family connect with services that create a healthy environment in which children can thrive,” said Minna Castillo Cohen, director of OCYF. “I urge everyone to help a family when you can and know that it’s okay to call the Hotline if you’re concerned about the well-being of a child or youth.”
Calls from mandatory reporters decreased by 2% (comprising 55% of total calls) in 2022, while calls from non-mandatory reporters, which include the general public and family and friends, increased by 2% (45% of total calls) compared to the previous year.
In 2022, local county departments of human/social services assessed the safety and well-being of 50,699 children and youth in Colorado. In most situations, counties are able to successfully work with families to connect them with resources and avoid out-of-home care. In fact, in 97% of child welfare assessments of abuse and neglect, children and youth are able to remain at home while their families receive services.
In 2022, 14,737 Colorado families were involved in an open child welfare case. Of those cases, 70% of children and teens stayed safely at home while their family received services and 30% were placed in an out-of-home placement, including with a kinship or foster family or in a congregate care facility.
Support for families takes many forms. To learn about more ways to help strengthen families in an effort to prevent child abuse and neglect, visit CO4Kids.org.