Special Feature: Child Abuse - Response

How to Report Child Abuse Cases

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Child Welfare Information Gateway website contains a listing of toll-free numbers for specific agencies designated to receive and investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect in each state. To identify the appropriate agency to contact in a specific state, see the State Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting Numbers page.

Portable Guides to Investigating Child Abuse

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s Portable Guides to Investigating Child Abuse series provides practical information on the investigation of child abuse and neglect. The Guides include the following (those that are available for viewing online are linked):

Publications and Online Materials

Federal Prosecution of Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children Cases, 2004-2013
Bureau of Justice Statistics, October 2017

Child Welfare Outcomes 2010–2014: Report to Congress
Administration for Children and Families, July 2017

Healing, Justice, and Trust: A National Report on Outcomes for Children's Advocacy Centers
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention-Sponsored, April 2017

The Vicarious Trauma Toolkit
Office for Victims of Crime, April 2017

Enhanced Resource Guidelines: Improving Court Practice in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention-Sponsored, May 2016

Child Forensic Interviewing: Best Practices
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, September 2015

Penalties for Failure to Report and False Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect
Child Welfare Information Gateway, August 2015

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for the Health Care Sector
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention-Sponsored, 2014

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for Providers of Victim and Support Services
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention-Sponsored, 2014

Reasonable Efforts in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases that Involve Domestic Violence
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention-Sponsored, 2014

Representation of Children in Child Abuse and Neglect Proceedings
Child Welfare Information Gateway, December 2014

Differential Response to Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect
Child Welfare Information Gateway, November 2014

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States: A Guide for the Legal Sector
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention-Sponsored, October 2014

Through Our Eyes: Children, Violence, and Trauma
Office for Victims of Crime, April 2014

Protective Factors Approaches in Child Welfare
Child Welfare Information Gateway, February 2014

Confronting Commercial Sexual Exploitation and Sex Trafficking of Minors in the United States
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention-Sponsored, 2013

Development of a Surrogate Bruising Detection System to Describe Bruising Patterns Associated with Common Childhood Falls, Final Report
National Institute of Justice-Sponsored, November 2012

National Victim Assistance Academy Resource Paper: Child Abuse and Neglect
Office for Victims of Crime-Sponsored, September 2012

OVC Help Series for Crime Victims: Child Abuse (For Youth Ages 12 and Older)
Office for Victims of Crime, June 2012

OVC Help Series for Crime Victims: What Adults Need to Know About Child Abuse
Office for Victims of Crime, June 2012

Toward a Better Way to Interview Child Victims of Sexual Abuse
National Institute of Justice, March 2011

Greenbook Initiative Final Evaluation Report
National Institute of Justice-Sponsored, January 2011

Child Abuse and Neglect in the Home
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, March 2010

The Role of First Responders in Child Maltreatment Cases: Disaster and Nondisaster Situations
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Children's Bureau, 2010

Toolkit for Court Performance Measures in Child Abuse and Neglect Cases
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, April 2009

Enhancing the Legal Profession's Response to Victims of Child Abuse
Office for Victims of Crime-Sponsored, 2009

Healing the Invisible Wounds: Children's Exposure to Violence-A Guide for Families
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention-Sponsored, 2009

Evaluating Children's Advocacy Centers' Response to Child Sexual Abuse
Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, August 2008

Children's Justice Act Partnerships for Indian Communities
Office for Victims of Crime, June 2008

First Response to Victims of Crime
Office for Victims of Crime, April 2008

Do Best Practice Interviews with Child Abuse Victims Influence Case Processing?
National Institute of Justice-Sponsored, 2008

For additional and historical items from the NCJRS federal sponsors, see the Juvenile Justice > Child Abuse/Exploitation topic page.

Related Resources

Administration for Children and Families - Children's Bureau
As the oldest federal agency for children, the Children's Bureau within the Administration for Children and Families has primary responsibility for administering federal child welfare programs. The Children's Bureau seeks to provide for the safety, permanency, and well-being of children through leadership, support for necessary services, and productive partnerships.

Changing Minds
Launched as part of the Department of Justice's Defending Childhood Initiative, the Changing Minds national campaign seeks to raise awareness, teach skills, and inspire public action to address children's exposure to violence and trauma.

Child Welfare Information Gateway
Formerly the National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information and the National Adoption Information Clearinghouse, Child Welfare Information Gateway provides access to information and resources to help protect children and strengthen families.

CrimeSolutions.gov
The National Institute of Justice's CrimeSolutions.gov website is meant to help practitioners and policymakers understand what works in justice-related programs and practices. Included on CrimeSolutions.gov is program and topical information related to child protection/health.

Federal Bureau of Investigation: Violent Crimes Against Children (VCAC)/Online Predators
The mission of the VCAC program is to provide a rapid, proactive, and comprehensive capacity to counter threats of child abuse and exploitation when those crimes fall under FBI jurisdiction and authority; to identify and rescue child victims; to reduce the vulnerability of children to sexual exploitation and abuse; to reduce the negative impact of domestic and international parental rights disputes; and to strengthen the capabilities of the FBI and federal, state, local, tribal, and international partners through training, intelligence sharing, technical support, and investigative assistance.

Federal Interagency Work Group on Child Abuse and Neglect
The Federal Interagency Work Group on Child Abuse and Neglect provides a forum for collaboration among federal agencies with an interest in preventing child maltreatment.

Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force Program
Supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the ICAC program helps state and local law enforcement agencies develop an effective response to cyber enticement and child pornography cases. This help encompasses forensic and investigative components, training and technical assistance, victim services, and community education.

MedlinePlus: Child Abuse
MedlinePlus brings together authoritative information from the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, and other government agencies and health-related organizations.

National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association
Supported by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, National CASA Association is a network of nearly 1,000 programs that recruit, train and support volunteers to represent the best interests of abused and neglected children in the courtroom and other settings.

NCJRS: Children Exposed to Violence Special Feature
NCJRS's Children Exposed to Violence Special Feature contains publications and related resources which focus on children's exposure to violence and the impact such exposure may have on the children.

Office for Victims of Crime (OVC)
OVC is committed to enhancing the Nation's capacity to assist crime victims and to providing leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime. Visit OVC's Child Abuse and Sexual Abuse page for access to OVC, OVC-sponsored, and other materials that focus on child victims of abuse.

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)
OJJDP provides national leadership, coordination, and resources to prevent and respond to juvenile delinquency and victimization.

United States Department of Justice Criminal Division: Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS)
CEOS works to protect the welfare of America's children and communities by enforcing federal criminal statutes relating to the exploitation of children and obscenity.

For additional resources on this topic, see the Juvenile Victims and Child Abuse/Exploitation sections of our site, and conduct a search of the NCJRS Abstracts Database.

Links from the NCJRS website to non-federal sites do not constitute an endorsement by NCJRS or its sponsors. NCJRS is not responsible for the content or privacy policy of any off-site pages that are referenced, nor does NCJRS guarantee the accuracy, completeness, timeliness, or correct sequencing of information. NCJRS is also not responsible for the use of, or results obtained from the use of, the information. It is the responsibility of the user to evaluate the content and usefulness of information obtained from non-federal sites.