To report suspected child abuse and/or neglect call Intake 1-800-452-1999, if you are deaf or hard of hearing call 711 (Maine Relay).
The Office of Child and Family Services line is staffed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including on holidays.
Below is a list of behaviors by parents and/or caregivers that should be reported to Intake, keep in mind this is not an exhaustive list, we encourage anyone with concerns to make a report:
- Physically harming a child (beyond spanking in a reasonable manner)
- Sexually abusing a child
- Exposing a child to substance use, domestic violence, or other unsafe conditions
- Failing to provide adequate food, shelter, clothing, or medical care
- Exposing a child to unsafe or unsanitary living conditions
- Threatening to harm a child
- Chronically calling a child names or putting them down
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Reporting
Q: Who should I call?
A: Call Child Protective Intake at 1-800-452-1999 or for deaf or hard of hearing individuals 711 (Maine Relay).
Q: When should I 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 information including your name and contact information (you may ask to be confidential or anonymous, please ask the Intake caseworker the difference between these two options). Intake will also ask you for information regarding the family you are calling about including parent or guardian names, the names and ages of all children involved, the family’s address and contact information, directions to the family’s home if you have them, etc. You will also be asked to provide a description of the problem you are concerned about, your knowledge of any risk factors (such as, domestic violence, substance use, mental health issues, medical conditions, etc.), and any information about relatives of the family that you may be aware of. Keep in mind that Intake caseworkers are trained to gather the information needed to make a report, they will ask you questions to walk you through the reporting process. If you don’t have information they have requested but can get it you may ask to call back later and provide additional information.
If you have questions during the call that the Intake caseworker cannot answer you can request to speak with an Intake supervisor.
Q: What happens once a report is made?
A: Every report is documented and evaluated by an Intake caseworker under the supervision of an Intake supervisor. Intake uses a standardized tool to screen all reports in accordance with state statute and OCFS’ policies. Not every report is assigned to a caseworker for investigation. Some are kept on file and others are assigned to an Alternative Response Program (ARP) for supportive services. If a report is deemed appropriate for investigation and assigned to a caseworker contact with the family should occur within three days of the report.
Q: How do I know what action DHHS has taken in response to my report?
A: At the time of the report the Intake caseworker may be able to give you a general idea about what is likely to occur based on the allegations in the report. Due to laws regarding confidentiality the outcome of a report cannot generally be shared with the referent.
Q: Can I call and find out if DHHS investigated a family?
A: No, due to laws regarding confidentiality OCFS cannot give information regarding our involvement with families.
Q: What if I made a report and the situation has not improved?
A: Sometimes families fall into old patterns, even if OCFS has completed an investigation. If you made a report and still have concerns, call Intake to report the concerns. OCFS is always willing to listen, document, and evaluate your concerns.
Q: Can I make a report of child abuse and/or neglect online?
A: Mandated reporters (medical professional, hospital staff, school personnel, and law enforcement personnel) can report non-emergency information related to child abuse and/or neglect online using Katahdin. All others should call the Child Welfare Intake hotline at 1-800-452-1999.