Step by step how to report child abuse to the authorities in the US


According to a report by Statista —the world’s leading platform for data, statistics, forecasts and studies— Reported child abuse cases in the United States for the year 2020 totaled 618,399. Of this large number —which does not represent the real figure because many people do not file a complaint— more than 150,000 were victims whose age was between 2 and 5 years of age. This shows that from an early age to adolescence, children who are 5 years old or younger represent the most vulnerable group, becoming a target for this type of crime that implies, in itself, a whole range of atrocities: from acts of abuse and neglect to sexual abuse.

Screenshot of the Statista website showing the numbers related to child abuse in the United States for 2020.

With the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic and the confinement that this entailed, Both in the United States and in the rest of the world, cases of domestic violence increased, including child abuse due to a discouraging scenario: considering the tendency that they are almost always close adults who may even be members of their immediate family group, the victim spent much more time close to their abuser, in danger or suffering at their hands.

For that reason, considering the fear of the victims or possible witnesses, the only figures in the equation that can issue a complaintthe United States government provided a series of tools that remain to be able to report cases of child abuse before it is too late.

How to recognize child abuse?

According to USA.gov, There are several symptoms that can reveal a situation of child abuse and that can be present even if the events are not happening in real time:

1. Changes in school performance or problems with behavior in this setting.
2. Lack of attention.
3. Trouble concentrating or learning.
4. Sudden worry or fear that something bad is going to happen.
5. Docile, passive or extremely withdrawn attitude.
6. Wishes not to come home, to school or to any other place where activities are carried out.

How to report cases of child abuse in the United States?

In cases of child abuse, although it is possible, it is very unlikely that the victim will file a complaint with the authorities. In fact, the chances become almost nil the smaller the affected. In that sense, the following resources are much more aimed at adults who come to have suspicions or are witnesses to these types of acts:

1. Child abuse: When we witness any type of child abuse or suspect that a child is being abused, we can file a report with the appropriate local police department or State Child Protective Services Agency.

2. Child exploitation: calling toll free at 1-800-843-5678 at any time of the day, in case of suspicion of any type of exploitation, sexual or not. This number is also used to report a kidnapping or disappearance.

Next, there are also the state agencies through which reports of child abuse can be processed:

Alabama

Alabama Department of Human Resources
https://dhr.alabama.gov/county-office-contact/

Alaska

Alaska Department of Health and Human Services
https://dhss.alaska.gov/ocs/Pages/Offices/default.aspx

Arizona

Arizona Department of Child Safety
https://dcs.az.gov/resource/complaint-or-disagreementhttps://dcs.az.gov/about/offices

Arkansas

Arkansas Department of Human Services
https://humanservices.arkansas.gov/

California

California Department of Social Services
https://www.cdss.ca.gov/county-offices

Colorado

Colorado Department of Human Services
https://cdhs.colorado.gov/our-partners/counties/contact-your-county-human-services-department

Connecticut

Connecticut Department of Children and Families
https://portal.ct.gov/DCF/1-DCF/Contact-Us

Delaware

Delaware Department of Children, Youth and Family Services
https://kids.delaware.gov/locations/

D.C.

District of Columbia Agency for Children and Family Services
https://cfsa.dc.gov/

Florida

Florida Department of Children and Families
https://www.myflfamilies.com/contact-us/(opens in a new window)

Georgia

Georgia Division of Children and Family Services
https://dfcs.georgia.gov/locations

Hawaii

Hawaii Department of Human Services
http://humanservices.hawaii.gov/important-phone-numbers/

Idaho

Idaho Department of Health and Welfare
https://healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/contact-us

Illinois

Illinois Department of Children and Family Services
https://www2.illinois.gov/dcfs/aboutus/Pages/phoneDirectory.aspx

Indiana

Indiana Department of Children’s Services
https://www.in.gov/dcs/contact-us/local-dcs-offices/

Iowa

Iowa Department of Human Services
https://dhs.iowa.gov/dhs_office_locator

Kansas

Kansas Department for Children and Families
http://www.dcf.ks.gov/services/Pages/DCFOfficeLocatorMap.aspx

Kentucky

Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
https://prd.webapps.chfs.ky.gov/Office_Phone/

Louisiana

Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services
http://www.dss.state.la.us/page/199(opens in a new window)

Maine

Maine Department of Health and Human Services
http://gateway.maine.gov/dhhs-apps/office_finder/index.asp

Maryland

Maryland Department of Human Services
https://dhs.maryland.gov/local-offices/

Massachusetts

Massachusetts Department of Children and Families
https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-department-of-children-families/locations?_page=1

Michigan

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services
https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-73970_5461—,00.html

Minnesota

Minnesota Department of Human Services
https://mn.gov/dhs/general-public/about-dhs/contact-us/counties-and-regional-offices/

Mississippi

Mississippi Department of Child Protective Services
https://www.mdcps.ms.gov/contact/

Missouri

Missouri Department of Social Services
https://dss.mo.gov/offices.htm

Mountain

Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services
https://dphhs.mt.gov/contact/

Nebraska

Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
https://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Public-Assistance-Offices.aspx

Nevada

Nevada Department of Health and Human Services
https://dcfs.nv.gov/Programs/CWS/Contact_CWS/

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services
https://www.dhhs.nh.gov/contactus/districtoffices.htm

New Jersey

New Jersey Department of Children and Families
https://www.nj.gov/dcf/contact/dcpplocal/#1

New Mexico

New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families
https://cyfd.org/contact us(opens in a new window)

New York

New York State Office of Children and Family Services
https://ocfs.ny.gov/programs/adoption/agencies/public.php

North Carolina

North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services
https://www.ncdhhs.gov/divisions/social-services/local-dss-directory

North Dakota

North Dakota Department of Human Services
https://www.nd.gov/dhs/locations/countysocialserv/

Ohio

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
https://jfs.ohio.gov/County/County_Directory.pdf

Oklahoma

Oklahoma Department of Human Services
https://oklahoma.gov/okdhs.html

Oregon

Oregon Department of Human Services
https://www.oregon.gov/DHS/Offices/Pages/Child-Welfare.aspx

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Department of Human Services
https://www.humanservices.state.pa.us/HUMAN_SERVICE_PROVIDER_DIRECTORY/(opens in a new window)

Puerto Rico

Department of the Family of Puerto Rico
https://agencias.pr.gov/agencias/secretariado/Pages/default.aspx

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families
https://dcyf.ri.gov/contact

South Carolina

South Carolina Department of Social Services
https://dss.sc.gov/contact/

South Dakota

South Dakota Department of Social Services
https://dss.sd.gov/findyourlocaloffice/

Tennessee

Tennessee Department of Children’s Services
https://www.tn.gov/dcs/contact-us/regional-offices.html

Texas

Texas Department of Family and Protective Services
http://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Contact_Us/map.asp(opens in a new window)

Utah

Utah Department of Children and Family Services
https://dcfs.utah.gov/interactive-location-map/

Vermont

Vermont Department for Children and Families
https://dcf.vermont.gov/contact

Virginia

Virginia Department of Social Services
https://www.dss.virginia.gov/localagency/index.cgi

Washington

Washington State Department of Health and Social Services
https://fortress.wa.gov/dshs/ca/CAOfficesPub/offices/general/officepick.asp

West Virginia

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services
https://dhhr.wv.gov/bcf/Pages/default.aspx

Wisconsin

Wisconsin Department of Children and Families
https://dcf.wisconsin.gov/about-us/contact-us

Wyoming

Wyoming Department of Family Services
https://dfs.wyo.gov/about/contact-us/

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Source-eldiariony.com