Child Abuse Reporting
How to Report Child Abuse/Neglect
Child Protective Intake (24 hours a day/7 days a week)
711 (Maine Relay)
If you suspect that a child under age 18 is being abused or neglected by a parent or caregiver, call us to file a report!
Are you concerned that a parent/caregiver is:
- Chronically calling a child names
- Threatening to harm a child
- Physically harming a child (excludes spanking in a reasonable manner)
- Sexually abusing a child
- Exposing a child to substance abuse
- Exposing a child to domestic violence
- Failing to provide a child with adequate food, shelter or clothing
- Exposing a child to unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
If so, this may constitute child abuse or neglect. Please call and report your concerns and help keep children safe!
Q: Who should you call?
A: Call Child Protective Intake at 800-452-1999.
Q: When should you call?
A: Call anytime. Intake caseworkers are available 24 hours a day 7 days a week including holidays.
Q: What information should be reported?
A: Intake will ask for:
- Your name and contact information (you may ask to be confidential or anonymous, please ask a caseworker to describe the difference between these two options).
- The name of the family you are calling about (parents’ names and children’s names and ages)
- A physical address (street name and house number, and telephone number for the family as well as directions to the home if you know how to get there.
- Work/school information for the adults/children in the family.
- A description of the problem that you are concerned about.
- Your knowledge of other risk factors such as domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health issues, etc.
- Any relatives or resources you are aware of (aunts, uncles, grandparents, family friends, etc.)
Q: What happens once a report is made?
A: Every report is documented, however not every report is assigned to a caseworker for investigation. Some reports are not assigned, but are kept on file. Some reports are assigned to Alternative Response Programs for supportive services and some reports are assigned to a DHHS caseworker for investigation. Each report is written up by an Intake Caseworker and forwarded to an Intake Supervisor for review. Contact with the family should occur within 3 days of the report if the report is assigned for intervention.
Whenever there are questions that the Intake Caseworker cannot answer, you may ask to speak with an Intake Supervisor.
Q: How do I know what action DHHS has taken?
A: At the time of the report, an Intake Caseworker can give you a general idea as to what will likely happen to the report (whether intervention will be recommended or not). Due to laws regarding confidentiality, the outcome of the report cannot be routinely shared with the reporter.
Q: Can I call and find out if DHHS investigated a family?
A: No, due to laws regarding confidentiality, DHHS can not give out information regarding our involvement (past or present) with families.
Q: What if I made a report and the situation hasn’t improved?
A: Sometimes families fall into old patterns after DHHS has completed an investigation and DHHS is not aware of this. If you made a report and still have concerns, call DHHS and report the concerns. DHHS is always willing to listen to, evaluate and document your concerns.
Maine law states that certain people must report to the Department if they know or have reasonable cause to suspect that a child has been or is likely to be abused or neglected.
Visit our Mandated Reporter site for additional information on available training, reporting forms, and more.