Report Child Abuse or Neglect

File a report online now
Call the 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline at 216-696-KIDS (5437)
In-person referrals can be made at the Jane Edna Hunter Building, 3955 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44115

Child abuse or neglect affects more than three million children annually and causes the deaths of about four children every day. Preventing and reporting child abuse is one of the most important things a community can do for its children. Cuyahoga County receives almost 40,000 reports of alleged child abuse or neglect each year.

Child abuse can include the following:

Physical abuse is an act inflicted against a child.

Possible indicators of physical abuse:
  • Physical indicators:
    • Linear bruises
    • Welts
    • Burns (cigarette, stocking/glove burns)
    • Bruises with specific shapes
    • Spiral fractures
    • Bald patches of hair
    • Human bite marks
    • Bruises to face or neck
  • Behavioral indicators:
    • Clothing that is inappropriate for weather
    • Fear of specific individuals
    • Behavioral extremes (withdrawn, regression, aggression)
    • Unbelievable explanation of injury
    • Reluctance to return home

Sexual abuse is any sexual activity involving children who are not of the age or developmental capacity to consent to such activity. This includes verbal sexual harassment, fondling of sexual organs, penile or digital penetration, pornography, and exposing a child to sexualized objects and/or materials.

Possible indicators of sexual abuse:
  • Physical indicators:
    • Sexually transmitted diseases
    • Bruises or bleeding from external genitalia or genital area
    • Genital discharge
    • Bloody underwear
  • Behavioral Indicators:
    • Fire setting
    • Bed wetting
    • Fecal smearing
    • Cruelty to animals or other children
    • Excessive masturbation
    • Layering clothing
    • Unusual sexual knowledge
    • Seductive behaviors

Emotional abuse is chronic acts that interfere with the psychological development of a child.

Possible indicators of emotional abuse:
  • Physical indicators:
    • Sudden weight gain
    • Sudden weight loss
    • Frequent vomiting
    • Nervous disorders (hives, rash, facial tics)
  • Behavioral indicators:
    • Poor peer relations
    • Fire setting
    • Withdrawn
    • Age-inappropriate behavior
    • Habit disorders (biting, rocking, head banging)

Neglect is another form of child maltreatment and occurs when a parent or caregiver fails to act on behalf of a child. A child who does not receive adequate food, shelter, clothing, medical care, safety, or education may be neglected.

Possible indicators of neglect:
  • Withdrawn
  • Hostility
  • Depression
  • Craving attention, even from strangers
  • Drop in grades
  • Untreated chronic lice, scabies, or other infections
  • Hoarding food
  • Wearing the same clothes for several days in a row
  • Unclean
  • Untreated medical conditions or parental refusal to take the child to a doctor
  • Insect bites (fleas, bedbugs)

The Process for Applying


Mandated Reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect

What the law requires of people in Cuyahoga County who are required by law to report child abuse.

Program Location

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