04 Apr Recognition and Reporting
By Kayce Dallas, Kentucky Youth Advocates Intern
According to our partners at Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky, every 18 minutes a child is found to be a victim of child abuse or neglect. That adds up to be about 80 children a day who are abused or neglected. Eighty children whose lives are changed forever.
The impact of child maltreatment can be profound. Research shows that child maltreatment is associated with adverse health and mental health outcomes in children and families, and those negative effects can last a lifetime. Because of this, reporting child abuse and neglect is important.
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Kosair Charities Face It Movement is dedicated to raising awareness of this important issue. Kentucky’s mandated reporting law requires that any adult that suspects abuse must report it. That’s why we are sharing important information to help us understand that we all have a role to play in preventing child abuse and neglect in our communities.
In order to report child abuse and/or neglect, you need to recognize the signs. Some possible signs include sudden changes in behavior or school performance, withdrawal, unexplained bruises or injuries, and sudden change in appetite.
How to Report Child Abuse/Neglect:
- To report child abuse and neglect, call toll-free any of the numbers listed below:
- (877) 597-2331/(877) KYSAFE1
- (800) 752-6200
- Report Online – non-emergency only
- Monitored from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday. Reports will not be reviewed during evenings, weekends or state holidays.
- Call 911 in case of an emergency
- Also, check out our Report It page to see more information from other states–
The following basic information is requested when a report is made
- The child’s name, sex and approximate age
- The name of the person believed to have been responsible for the abuse or neglect
- A description of the injury, neglect or threatened harm to the child
- The current location of the child; day care or school; home address
- Any immediate risk to the child OR a worker going out to ensure the child’s safety (i.e., guns)
- The reporter’s name and identifying information IF the caller wishes to give that information; anonymous reports are accepted and investigated.
How to Support/Help an abused or neglected child:
- Avoid denial. Remain calm. If a child trusts you enough to tell you what happened to them, remaining calm and collected is important. If you have an adverse reaction, they may get uncomfortable and stop sharing.
- Don’t interrogate. Let the child tell you what happened in their own words. Leave it up to the investigators to get more answers.
- Reassure the child they did nothing wrong. Let them know that you take them seriously and will do everything in your power to keep them safe.
Preventing child abuse is an adult responsibility. While it can be difficult to monitor the kids in our lives amid the current circumstances, it is as important as ever to ensure we are preventing child maltreatment by supporting parents and caregivers and reporting any suspicions of abuse or neglect.