Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline Reports Expand across State

DENVER–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) on Jan. 1 marked the
one-year anniversary of the launch of 1-844-CO-4-KIDS, a statewide
hotline to report suspected child abuse and neglect.

While there has been an uptick of calls around the state, surpassing
200,000 since early December, CDHS continues to encourage Coloradans to
use this one, easy-to-remember phone number.

“There is a growing understanding in our community that we all play a
role in keeping our kids safe,” CDHS Executive Director Reggie Bicha
said.

“An ongoing public-awareness campaign was established so that
individuals can better learn to spot the signs of child abuse and
neglect. The 1-844-CO-4-KIDS hotline is integral to that campaign, so
that community members know what to do when they spot those signs. One
call can save a child.”

The hotline directly links callers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to
the appropriate call-taker among the state’s 64 counties and two tribal
nations. Counties have historically received and handled reports of
child abuse and neglect. That has not changed. Counties remain on the
front lines when it comes to this critical role. The hotline was built
to streamline the process.

“With this statewide number, the community has easier access to report
concerns about a child’s safety and well-being,” said Robert Werthwein,
CDHS’ Director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families. “Many of
us want to do the right thing, but some are unsure about proper steps.
This hotline can, and in many instances, should be step one.”

Callers who are unsure of the county in which the child is located,
speak a language other than English or Spanish, or are deaf or hard of
hearing are directed to a certified call-taker at the Hotline County
Connection Center for assistance.

All reports of suspected child abuse and neglect remain confidential.

The 1-844-CO-4-KIDS hotline has allowed CDHS to capture critical
information that it had not previously been able to track on a statewide
basis. That data includes numbers of calls received, call volume, call
duration, speed of answer, wait time, call transfers and call
abandonment rate, which is critical to ensuring that calls across the
state are handled quickly and appropriately.

Contacts

Colorado Department of Human Services
Lee Rasizer, Manager of Media
and Public Relations
(303) 866-3411