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What do I do if I suspect that a child is being abused?

What can you do to help?

Abusive families need help. You could even save a life. Children die every day from abuse and neglect. Often someone is aware of the maltreatment and did not report it. When you report abuse, families are connected with counseling, resources and services. This may reduce stress and save a life.

Who do I call to make a report?

In case of an emergency, call 911. In non-emergency situations, call your local public children services agency to make a report about the abuse. If you do not know that number, please click here to see a list of Ohio’s public children services agencies (listed by the county).

A copy of the list may also be found at the Public Children Services Association of Ohio’s website.

Guidelines for making a report

Report your suspicions to the public children service agency or law enforcement agency in the county in which the child lives or was abused.

What information do I need to make a report?

  • The name and address of the child you suspect is being abused or neglected
  • The age of the child
  • The name and address of the parents or caretakers
  • The name of the person you suspect is abusing or neglecting the child and the address if available
  • The reason you suspect the child is being abused and neglected
  • Any other information which may be helpful to the investigation

You have the option of giving your name or reporting anonymously. Giving your name can help the investigator clarify information. The agency will not give your name to the person suspected of abusing the child.

Please Note:  All of the above information is not needed to make a report.  If you are not sure you have enough information to report, always err on the safety of the child.  Children services screens all reports to determine if there is enough information to investigate.