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Not necessarily. Children Services cannot interview children without the consent of their parents unless:
- There is credible information indicating the child is in immediate danger of serious harm
- The child will be in immediate danger of serious harm upon returning home from school
- There is credible information indicating the child may be intimidated by discussing the allegations at home
- The child requests to be interviewed at school due to one of the circumstances listed above
A person who knowingly makes a false report to Children Services could be charged with a misdemeanor of the first degree.
If a person makes a report in good faith, that person is immune from civil or criminal liability.
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.
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
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.