Reporting child abuse or neglect

If you’re worried that a child in your life is being abused or neglected at home, report it to the proper authorities who can help. 

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Understanding the Basics

See what you need to know to take action.

If you suspect that a child may be experiencing abuse or neglect take action. 

If the child is in immediate danger, call 911.

If there is an emergency that must be stopped right away to protect the child, call 911. Emergency services will take care of the issue and contact the Public Children Services Agency (PCSA) if needed.

If you suspect abuse or neglect, report it to PCSA.

Your local PCSA will review child’s situation. PSCA can take different steps depending on what they find. They can develop a plan with the family and connect the parents with services to help avoid abuse in the future. If they find that the child cannot be safe in their home, they will work with the court to find a safe home for the child, preferably with relatives. 

Grandparents and other relatives

After the PCSA removes a child from an unsafe home, a judge will decide who should care for the child. In Ohio, PCSA and the courts often prefer to place children with relatives--however, their goal is always to protect the child. Grandparents and other relatives do not automatically or always become responsible for the child. The court will make the decision based on what is best for the child. 

If you want to get legal custody of a grandchild or other minor relative, a lawyer can help you understand the legal options and risks for your family.  

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