Child Abuse Reporting
How do I report child abuse?
The Tennessee Child Abuse Hotline is a call center accepting all reports of suspected child abuse and neglect for the state of Tennessee. Tennessee Child Abuse Hotline is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week
How do I contact the Tennessee Child Abuse Hotline?
Phone: 1-877-237-0004 Web: https://reportabuse.state.tn.us/
Non-emergent situations only, please fax: 615-361-7041
Who is a “Mandated” reporter of child abuse and neglect?
Tennessee Code Annotated 37-1-403(i) (1) requires all persons to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. “Any person who has knowledge of or is called upon to render aid to any child who is suffering from or has sustained any wound, injury, disability, or physical or mental condition, shall report such harm immediately if the harm is of such a nature as to reasonably indicated that it has been caused by brutality abuse, or neglect or that, on basis of available information, reasonably appears to have been caused by brutality, abuse, or neglect.”
Failure to report
Tennessee Code Annotated 37-1-412 (a) states any person who knowingly fails to make a report of suspected child abuse commits a class A misdemeanor. A fine not to exceed $2,500 can be put in place.
Is my information confidential? Do I have to give my name?
Tennessee laws protect persons who report abuse or neglect. Tennessee Code Annotated 37-1-410 provides immunity from civil and criminal liability. Reporters do have the right to remain anonymous.
What information is important when I make a report? What questions will I be asked?
- Child(ren) names, ages, address, phone numbers, race, and school/daycare information
- Parent(s), Legal Guardian(s), or caretakers information
- Other household members information
- Nature of the harm or specific incident(s) that precipitated the report
- Specific allegation(s), date(s) and descriptions(s) of the injuries or dangers
- Identities of alleged perpetrator(s) and their relationships to the victim
- Witnesses to the incident(s) and how to reach those witnesses
- Details of any physical evidence available
- Perpetrator's current access to the child
- Present condition of the child (alone, in need of medical attention, etc.)
- The location of the child and directions to that location
- Any statements from the child
- Parent's or perpetrator's explanation of the alleged child victim's condition or the incident
- Parent's current emotional, physical or mental state, especially feelings about the child and reactions to the report
- How the reporter came to know the information and the reporter's thoughts about the likelihood of further harm to the child
What if I don't know the answer to all of the questions I'm being asked?
Don't be concerned if you don't know the answer to every question that the intake case manager is asking of you. Provide all of the information that you have at the time of the report.