How to report abuse

According to Tennessee law, all adults must report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect. This includes doctors, police, teachers, parents, mental health professionals, child care providers, dentists, family members and friends.

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is mandated by law to investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. If you live in Tennessee, immediately report your suspicions by calling the Tennessee Child Abuse Hotline at 1-877-237-0004. Please have as much information as possible as it expedites the process but having all the details is not mandatory. You have the option to be an “anonymous” reporter.  If you are unsure of the information that is helpful when reporting please see the “cheat sheet” below.

Reporter Cheat Sheet

  • Name, age, address of child
  • Name, age, address of the person resonsible for the child (most of this information can be gathered from the child’s school, if applicable)
  • Name, age, address of the person who has allegedly abused the child
  • Document information the child gives you
  • Find out if the child will be going home to the alleged perpetrator
  • Be resaauring, observant and objective
  • Do not silence a verbal, forthcoming child but do not ask for details!!!!!
  • Remember you are a reporter not a responder