How to Make an Anonymous Report to Child Protective Services

By Judy Kilpatrick
child maltreatment, smiles, a child's face
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When you report suspected child abuse or neglect, you can request and expect anonymity. Unless you are a mandated reporter working in certain fields -- child care, medical, mental health, law enforcement, school, clergy and social services -- you may select to remain anonymous. Even for mandated reporters, it is often possible to remain anonymous to the child's parents. State laws protect reporters, except in the case of deliberate false reports, to encourage protection of children when abuse or neglect is suspected.

How to Report

State laws govern child protective services agencies; however, most states allow reports made orally by phone or in person. Some states require written reports, either as the initial report, or following the oral report. To make a report, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommends calling your local child protective services office, which can be located through an Internet search on your state and county or by calling the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD. All calls to the Childhelp hotline remain anonymous.

About the Author

For Judy Kilpatrick, gardening is the best mental health therapy of all. Combining her interests in both of these fields, Kilpatrick is a professional flower grower and a practicing, licensed mental health therapist. A graduate of East Carolina University, Kilpatrick writes for national and regional publications.