Reporting Abuse

What to do if you suspect child abuse…

If you suspect a child is being abused call your local Police Department and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services hotline at 1-800-25-ABUSE.  (1-800-252-2873).

What happens when the Abuse Hotline is called?

If you suspect child abuse or neglect, calls must be made to the statewide DCFS Hotline.

  • The toll free number is 1-800-252-2873 (1-800-25-ABUSE).  The TTY number for the hearing impaired is 1-800-358-5117.  At the Hotline, specially trained intake workers answer the phones and handle calls from anyone who wishes to report an incident of suspected child abuse or neglect.  The Hotline is available 24 hours per day, seven days per week, 365 days a year.
  • When too many calls come in to the Hotline, a recording will engage your call and a system implemented to screen and re-call reporters who are waiting.  A “call–back” will be made as soon as an intake worker becomes available.  However, if your call is an emergency or a child is in immediate danger, you should tell the message taker, and your call will be taken.  The Hotline system tries to assure that all call backs are made as soon as possible.
  • Not all reports are taken by the Hotline.  If your call is not accepted as a report, you will be informed of that fact and given a reason.
  • On reports taken by the Hotline, an investigation of the report will commence within 24 hours.
* The above information is taken from the Manual for Mandated Reporters, September 2004 Revised Edition, Illinois Department of Children & Family Services, Children’s Justice Task Force.