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Reporting Child Abuse

Most of us are hesitant to take action when we see a parent or caregiver disciplining a child in a manner that makes us particularly uncomfortable. We tell ourselves, "It's none of my business," or "It's not my place."

Sometimes we hesitate to report our concerns because it's not always possible to know if what you're seeing is part of a pattern of abuse or simply a momentary loss of temper in an otherwise caring and positive relationship. Many of us are afraid that if we report abuse and we're wrong, a child will be removed from a caring home. It's important to note that only in the minority of cases are children removed from parental custody, and even that only occurs after a thorough investigation - it doesn't happen after a single phone call.

There may seem to be a lot of gray areas, but one thing is clear: In private or in public, no one has the right to abuse a child. As members of a community, we all have the right and the responsibility to voice our concerns. Not doing so could mean the difference between life and death.

If you suspect that a child you know is in imminent danger, call 911 immediately. If you have read the signs of child abuse and you believe that a child you know is being abused, you should call the appropriate reporting agency in your state. Most states have statewide hotlines, though some have a hotline for each county or region. Consult the list below to find the right number for your area.

Find out what happens when abuse is reported.

A | C | D | F | G | H | I | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W

ALABAMA - (334) 242-9500

ALASKA - (800) 478-4444

ARIZONA - (888) 767-2445

ARKANSAS - (800) 482-5964

CALIFORNIA - Click here for a list of all 58 County Child Welfare Service Agencies

COLORADO - Click here for a list of all Department of Human Services locations

CONNECTICUT - (800) 842-2288

DELAWARE - (800) 292-9582

FLORIDA - (800) 962-2873

GEORGIA - (404) 699-4399

HAWAII - (808) 832-5300

IDAHO - Click here for a list of all Child Protective Services agencies

ILLINOIS - (800) 252-2873

INDIANA - (800) 800-5556

IOWA - (800) 362-2178

KANSAS - If calling within Kansas but outside of Topeka: 800-922-5330; If calling in Topeka or outside of Kansas: (785) 296-0044

KENTUCKY - (800) 752-6200

LOUISIANA - Click here for a list of child protection hotlines by parish

MAINE - (800) 452-1999

MARYLAND - Click here for a list of Child Protective Services offices

MASSACHUSETTS - (800) 792-5200

MICHIGAN - (800) 942-4357

MINNESOTA - Click here for a list of Social Service Agencies by county

MISSISSIPPI - (800) 222-8000

MISSOURI - (800) 392-3738

MONTANA - (800) 332-6100

NEBRASKA - (800) 652-1999

NEVADA - (800) 992-5757

NEW HAMPSHIRE - (800) 894-5533, or 911 after hours/on weekends

NEW JERSEY - (800) 792-8610

NEW MEXICO - (800) 432-2075

NEW YORK - (800) 342-3720

NORTH CAROLINA - Click here for a list of Social Services Departments by county

NORTH DAKOTA - Click here for a list of Social Service Offices by county

OHIO - Click here for a list of Family Service Agencies by county

OKLAHOMA - (800) 522-3511

OREGON - Click here for a list of Child Welfare Offices by county

PENNSYLVANIA - (800) 932-0313

RHODE ISLAND - (800) 742-4453

SOUTH CAROLINA - Click here for a list of Social Services offices

SOUTH DAKOTA - Click here for a list of Child Protective Services offices by county

TENNESSEE - (800) 237-0004

TEXAS - (800) 252-5400

UTAH - (800) 678-9399

VERMONT - Click here for a list of Family Services district offices

VIRGINIA - (800) 552-7096

WASHINGTON - (800) 562-5264

WEST VIRGINIA - (800) 352-6513

WISCONSIN - Click here for a list of Social/Human Services offices by county

WYOMING - Click here for a list of Family Services field offices

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