How to Report Child Abuse
contact us 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at:
If you have an emergency situation after hours, weekends or holidays,
an on-call person can be reached at:
The identity of a person making a referral to Athens County Children Services is protected by law and generally cannot be released outside the agency. There are times when working collaboratively to investigate child abuse and neglect, ACCS records, including the referent's name, may be released to the cooperating law enforcement agency and the Prosecuting Attorney. ACCS records are monitored by the state office of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Suspect Child Abuse or Neglect?
Abuse represents an action against a child. It is an act of commission and is generally of three kinds:
- Physical Abuse: Injury or death inflicted other than by accidental means
- Sexual Abuse: Any act of sexual nature upon or with a child.
- Emotional Abuse: Chronic attitude or acts which interfere with the psychological and social development of a child.
Neglect represents a failure to act on behalf of a child. It is an act of omission. It may be in the form of:
- Physical Neglect: Failure to meet the requirements basic to a child's physical development such as supervision, housing, clothing, nutrition, and support.
- Medical Neglect: Failure to provide a child with needed medical attention by a trained medical professional.
Who do I call if I suspect a child is being abused or neglected?
Anyone who suspects or has reason to believe that a child is being abused or neglected should make a referral to Athens County Children Services. The agency is responsible under the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) Section 2151.42 for protecting our county's abused, neglected and dependent children. We are mandated to receive referrals which allege that a child is being abused or neglected and to conduct an assessment of such a report. Some professionals are mandated by the ORC to report cases of suspected abuse or neglect. These professionals may include attorneys, physicians, dentists, nurses, psychologists, day care center staff, social workers, speech pathologists, school personnel, children services staff, coroners and persons rending spiritual treatment through prayer in accordance with the tenets of well-organized religions acting in an official or professional capacity. Section 2151.42 of the ORC also provides immunity from civil or criminal liability for those who make reports in good faith of suspected abuse or neglect. In addition, the code requires Athens County Children Services to keep confidential the identity of the referral source.
Where do I call?
Athens County Children Services is available and mandated to receive reports of alleged child abuse or neglect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
If you suspect child abuse or neglect, contact us 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 740-592-3061 Monday-Friday.
If you have an emergency situation after hours, weekends or holidays, an on-call person can be reached at 1-866-863-7373.
What information do I need to provide?
As much as possible. It is very helpful if we have the name, age, and address of the alleged child victim, names and address of the parents or caretakers, a description of the alleged abuse or neglect, and name and address of the alleged perpetrator.