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Child Abuse and Neglect

We all play a role in keeping children safe. To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437). This hotline is available 24/7.  If you see a child in a life-threatening situation, call 911 immediately.


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What You Need To Know

When you call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline (1-844-CO-4-KIDS or 1-844-264-5437), you’ll be immediately connected to the county where the child you’re worried about lives. You’ll speak with a certified call taker, who will ask you for the child’s name and location, what you’ve observed, who you think may be hurting the child and more. Remember, call -- even if you don’t have all the details. Based on the information you provide and what other callers may have shared about the same family, a group of professionals will review, evaluate, and determine what should be done to help the family.

Yes, but leaving your name and contact information will allow us to follow up to gather any additional information we may need. Also, if you’re required by law to report concerns (“mandatory reporters”), you may not be able to prove you did so, unless you leave your name and phone number. 

Yes, all calls are kept confidential, and your personal information will not be disclosed to the family mentioned in your report without your consent or a court order.

Abused children or teens may:

  • Have unexplained burns, bites, bruises, broken bones, or black eyes, or faded bruises or marks after an absence from school
  • Seem frightened of their parents and protest or cry when it’s time to go home
  • Report injuries from their parents or adult caregivers
  • Abuse animals or pets
  • Offer explanations of injuries that don’t make sense

Neglected children or teens may:

  • Wear soiled clothing or clothing that is far too small or large and in need of repair
  • Be dressed inadequately for the weather
  • Be constantly hungry; hoard, steal, or beg for food or come to school with little food
  • Appear frequently tired with little energy
  • Report caring for younger siblings on a regular basis
  • Have poor hygiene, smell of urine or feces, or have dirty or decaying teeth
  • Be far too thin or have a bloated stomach (may indicate malnutrition)
  • Have untreated medical or dental problems, such as infected sores
  • Say no one at home offers care

Abuse or neglect comes in many forms – it’s not just physical. Other types of abuse include emotional, sexual, institutional (occurring in day care or over-24-hour care settings), and child sex trafficking, while neglect can include medical, educational, and emotional neglect. Each has its own set of warning signs. Visit to learn more.

Children or youth involved in sex trafficking may:

  • Have money, cell phones, or other items that can’t be explained or accounted for
  • Say they’ve participated in a sexual act in exchange for shelter, transportation, drugs, alcohol, money, or other items of value
  • Use the internet to post sexually explicit material (e.g., pictures, chats, advertisements, etc.)
  • Be accompanied by an overly controlling “friend,” “partner,” or “boss”

Physical or emotional indicators can include:

  • Injuries; signs of physical or sexual abuse
  • Signs of drug and/or alcohol dependency
  • Difficulty sitting or standing; “stomach aches”
  • Sexually transmitted infections, especially in youth younger than 14
  • Tattoos or scars they’re hesitant to explain
  • Increased anxiety or fearfulness
  • Increased submissive behavior
  • Suicidal thoughts or actions

Call the Colorado Crisis Services hotline at 844-493-8255. You can talk with a trained crisis counselor about anything, including these topics as well as relationship problems, bullying, substance abuse, stress, anxiety, and disabilities


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Report suspected child abuse or neglect by calling 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437).



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Main Office, Richard T. Castro Human Services Center
1200 Federal Blvd.
Denver, CO 80204


Customer Service

720-944-4DHS (4347)

If you need Colorado Relay/TTY services in Denver, please call 711. If you need Spanish-language relay services, please call 800-337-3242.


City Assistance

Call 3-1-1

Outside Denver: 720-913-1311
Emergencies: 911
TTY Service: 720-913-8479





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