Prevent Child Abuse Hendricks County

Promoting a Positive and Supportive Community for Families

How to Report Abuse or Neglect

Reports of suspected child abuse and neglect can be made at any time of the day or night through the Indiana Department of Child Services Hotline or local law enforcement.

DCS Child Abuse Reporting Hotline:  1-800-800-5556

Emergency Needing Immediate Response:  Call 911

When should a report be made?

Having suspicions or knowledge that child abuse or neglect is occurring can be a very overwhelming feeling and you may have difficulty in knowing how to act. In Indiana, however, laws are in place that make the decision easy and automatic.

The Indiana Mandatory Reporting Law clearly states that:

Any individual who has reason to believe that a child is a victim of child abuse or neglect must make a report to the Department of Child Services or the local Law Enforcement Agency.

Failure to report a suspicion of child abuse or neglect in Indiana is in fact a crime under our Failure to Report Law.  There are no exceptions regardless of the details you have or if you are a concerned citizen, family member, medical professional, school personnel, mental health professional, from a faith-based setting or for any other reason.  Informing a supervisor or agency administration is not sufficient, you must make certain that an official report to the proper authorities has been made.

You do not need to have absolute proof either, an investigation after your report determines what has happened and what should be done to ensure that the child is safe.  You will not be held liable if your report does not lead to a finding of child abuse or neglect.  Any report made in good faith is covered by the Indiana Immunity from Liability Law.  Reports that are made can be completely anonymous and will be held as confidential in accordance to the Indiana Confidentiality Law.