How do I respond to a child who reports abuse/neglect?
Tell the child that you believe them and that you must contact people who can help. Seeing as the child will need to tell their story in greater detail, don’t press the child for details. Suspecting abuse is enough to report; however, ensure that you gather adequate information to provide to the Hotline (see below). Be careful not to display horror, shock or disapproval to the child.
What information must be reported?
The name, address, age, sex, and race of the child;
- The name and address of the person responsible for the suspected abuse or neglect, if known;
- The nature and extent of the child’s injuries, including any evidence of previous cases of known or suspected abuse or neglect of the child or the child’s siblings;
- The family composition;
- The source of the report and the name, address, and occupation of the person making the report;
- Any action taken by the reporting source;
- Any other information that the person making the report believes may be helpful
Who do I contact if I suspect child abuse?
24 hours a day, 7 days a week, call 303-663-6270 or 1-844-4CO-KIDS (1-844-264-5437) to make a report of suspected abuse/neglect.
What happens after I make a report?
Reports are reviewed by a supervisor to determine immanency. Reports that are not considered immediate in nature are gathered for review the following morning in a process called RED (Review, Evaluate, Direct) team. This process utilizes an accepted framework to evaluate the information in a team setting and determine the next steps. Reports are either accepted for assessment or screened out due to not meeting the criteria.
How to Report?
Reporting person(s) must report orally to the Department of Human Services or a law enforcement agency immediately upon knowledge of suspected child abuse/neglect (C.R.S. 19-3-307).
All calls to the hotline are recorded and documented in the state information database system, TRAILS.
When making a report, please have as much of the following information ready to provide:
- Adult’s name, address, current location, phone, and date of birth or approximate age;
- The circumstances that cause you to suspect that mistreatment or self-neglect are occurring;
- When appropriate, the suspected perpetrator’s name, address, and relationship to the adult; and
- Additional information about the adult, if available, such as his or her doctor, caregiver, attorney, guardian, or other person of significance to the adult.
Will my information and report be confidential?
Any individual that initiates a report of abuse/neglect shall be confidential and shall not be public information. (C.R.S. 19-1-107).
Do I have to notify the parents that I made a report?
Reporting person(s) are under no obligation to notify parents or guardians that a report has been made. However, there are instances where it may be necessary or beneficial to do so. For example, in a healthcare setting in order to assess the cause of a child’s injuries and or in mental health or clergy relationships in an effort to provide support.