Child Abuse and Neglect - When to Seek Help
Call911or other emergency services immediately if you witness child abuse, believe a
child is in immediate danger, or see that a child:
Call law enforcement or child protective services immediately
- Suspect an injury was caused by
- Suspect that abuse or
neglect is placing a child's health at risk.
- Suspect that a child
has seen or heard
domestic violence within the family.
concerns that you or your spouse or significant other may lose control and
hurt your child.
If the child is not in immediate danger, call your local
child protective services or police if:
After you have called law enforcement or child protective
services, you can call your child's doctor about treatment for physical and
Childhelp, a nonprofit agency, provides
telephone numbers and information about how to report suspected or observed
child abuse or neglect. The national Child Abuse hotline number is
1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453). The U.S. Administration of Children and
Families, under the Department of Health and Human Services, has established a
Children's Bureau that supports the states in the delivery of child welfare
services designed to protect children and strengthen families. For more
information, see the Other Places to Get Help section of this topic.
In most states, child protection
services are required by law to investigate potential child abuse or neglect
within 24 hours.