No matter what your role is in a child's life - parent, family member, coach, teacher, babysitter - you can make a positive difference in their life. It is important to recognize the signs of child abuse. Signs are not always obvious and can be vague.
Behavioral signs: Fear, anxiety, decreased school performance, depression, social withdrawal, poor concentration.
Physical signs: Poor hygiene, dressed inappropriately for the weather, bruising, fractures, dislocations, poor weight gain, lacerations.
If you are concerned about child abuse, pick the time and place that you talk to the child carefully. Pick a location that the child will be comfortable in. Avoid talking to the child in front of someone who may be causing the harm. Listen to the child and allow the child to talk freely. Avoid judgment and blame when the child discloses anything. Be patient with the child while having a conversation. Reassure the child and let them know that they are not in trouble and that you are only asking questions because you are concerned about them.
Anyone can report suspected child abuse. If you suspect that a child has been or is being abused, you should report it via telephone to the appropriate authorities. Contact your local county CPS office to report child abuse. A trained CPS Intake worker will obtain information regarding the child and information regarding the suspected abuse and perpetrator. If the child is in imminent danger, contact local law enforcement and report the abuse immediately.
Contact the CPS agency where the suspected abuse took place. Below are local CPS agencies and their 24-hour hotline phone numbers.
Placer County Children's System of Care 916-872-6549 or toll free at 866-293-1940.
Sacramento County CPS (916) 875-5437 (875-KIDS).
Yuba County CAPS (530) 749-6288.
El Dorado County CPS 24-hour hotline (844) 756-3699.
Yolo County Child Welfare Reporting Abuse Hotline 530-669-2345.