Reporting Abuse

If you suspect a child under the age of 18 is being abused or neglected, or is at risk for abuse or neglect, you should make a report to your local Child Protective Services (CPS) office or call the state-wide CPS Hotline at 1-866-363-4276.  

Please take a moment before calling to put together as much of the following information as possible: 

  1. Name, age and address of the child.
  2. Name, address, and other identifying information about the parent or other caregiver.
  3. The type of abuse you witnessed including information on the extent of the abuse.
  4. Information about any previous incidents or concerns.
  5. Any other information that might be helpful.

You do not need to know all of this information to make a report, but the more specific you can be, the easier it will be for CPS to determine if an investigation is needed. Even if CPS does not investigate, the information will be kept on file and may aid in future investigations. Even if you are not a mandated reporter under state law, you have an obligation to protect children in your community. You cannot be held liable for making a report in good faith. You do not have to know for sure that a child is being abused or neglected to make a report. A trained investigator will make that determination.

If this is an emergency please call 911

Call the  24hour CPS Hotline: 1-866-363-4276 

Concerns about reporting suspected abuse:  Any person who in good faith makes a report or gives testimony in regard to possible child abuse or neglect is immune from civil or criminal liability. Any administrator of a hospital or similar institution or licensed physician taking a child into custody, such as in the instance when a hospital hold is warranted, is also immune from liability (RCW 26.44.060).

Immunity from civil or criminal liability—Confidential communications not violated—Actions against state not affected—False report, penalty

The law seeks to prevent malicious reporting which can occur as a result of family or neighborhood disputes. 
(4) A person who, intentionally and in bad faith, knowingly makes a false report of alleged abuse or neglect shall be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable in accordance with RCW 9A.20.021.
(5) A person who, in good faith and without gross negligence, cooperates in an investigation arising as a result of a report made pursuant to this chapter, shall not be subject to civil liability arising out of his or her cooperation.

In Washington State:
The Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF - Formally DSHS) Website has helpful information on reporting abuse. Please visit DCYF at

Not in Washington state: 
The Child Welfare Information Gateway: lists ALL States toll-free numbers and websites for specific agencies designated to receive and investigate reports of suspected child abuse and neglect. Click the green link below their Logo to be directed to that site:

Children's Advocacy Centers of Washington is an accredited member of the NCA