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.
The name, address, age, sex, and race of the child;
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.
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:
Any individual that initiates a report of abuse/neglect shall be confidential and shall not be public information. (C.R.S. 19-1-107).
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.