If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call 1-800-649-5285 to report it — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If a child is in immediate danger, dial 911 or the local police first. Then, call to make a report.
Who Can Make A Report
All Vermonters are encouraged to report their concerns about children’s safety. Some people, called mandated reporters, are legally required by law to report any suspected child abuse and neglect.
How To Make A Report
- Call 1-800-649-5285 — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We accept relay calls.
- Try to gather as much information as possible before you call. This includes the child’s name, date of birth, race and ethnicity, home address, school or child care provider as well as the names of the parents or guardians.
- A social worker will question you and record the information you provide.
What Happens Next
Race and Ethnicity
The DCF Family Services Child Abuse Hotline in Vermont will begin asking reporters to provide race and ethnicity information. You can still make a report if you do not know this information.
Please, also consider providing the following information as part of your report:
- Each family member’s race and ethnicity;
- Family’s primary language and/or need for interpreters;
- Country of origin;
- Any cultural considerations which may be known by reporter;
- Your race and ethnicity.
This information may be utilized in different ways, including:
- To ensure that the right questions are being asked regarding your child abuse or neglect concerns;
- To help inform cultural considerations in our responses and work with the family;
- To address areas where inequities and bias are impacting Vermont families of color.
The Vermont Department for Children and Families (DCF) Family Services Division (FSD) is committed to work in becoming an anti-racist agency and to addressing racial disproportionality in the child welfare system. Creating an anti-racist system requires each one of us have a role in those efforts and everything we do needs to be looked at through a lens that promotes equity.
Here are some suggestions to consider to address implicit race, class, and gender bias when reporting:
- Provide staff training on explicit and implicit race, class, and gender bias;
- People may ask themselves reflective questions every time a report is suggested, such as: “How does my own world view impact my understanding of the family’s reality? “Would this be a concern if the family was white and affluent?” “If the parent was standing before me, would I be quick to think they were neglectful?”;
- If appropriate, consider utilizing a friend or other staff and share generally the concern for abuse or neglect to help identify any issues of hidden bias;
- Review organizational policies to examine bias. Consider where the organizational policies for reporting could disproportionality impact community members of color?