Reporting Child Abuse

If you suspect a child in Vermont is being abused or neglected, call 1-800-649-5285 to report it —24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Our 24-hour Child Protection Line makes it easy for you to share your concerns about a child with a trained social worker.

If the child is in immediate danger, dial 911 or your local police first. Then, call us to make a report.

What happens when I call?

Before you call, try to have as much information on hand as possible (e.g., the child’s name, date of birth, home address, school or child care provider, and parents’ names).

A social worker will:

  • Question you about the situation;
  • Record the information you provide;
  • Ask you to fill out a written report; and
  • In some cases, ask you to gather more information.

You can fax your written report to (802) 241-3301.

What if I’m not sure it’s abuse?

Please call us for advice, if you are not sure a report is warranted. You should also call if you are considering telling the parents about your report. In some cases, this could endanger the child and hinder any intervention.

Can I be sued?

Vermont law provides you with immunity from civil or criminal liability as long as your report was made in good faith.

Is my report confidential?

We will not divulge your identity unless:

  • You give us your permission to do so;
  • Your report leads to a court or human services board proceeding;
  • A court finds probable cause to believe your report was not made in good faith and orders DCF to divulge your identity; or
  • The person substantiated for abuse requests a review of the decision, and we determine that identifying information about you can be provided without compromising your safety.

Who must make a report?

While all Vermonters are encouraged to report their concerns about children’s safety,  certain people — called mandated reporters — are legally required to report suspected child abuse and neglect to FSD within 24 hours.