What to do if you suspect a child has been maltreated which includes abuse or neglect:
Contact your local county Child Protective Services or law enforcement immediately- do not question the child or attempt to evaluate any abuse/neglect before contacting local authorities as this can disrupt and/or taint any investigation which may occur.
Wake County Human Services Child Protection Abuse/Neglect Report Hotline: (919) 212-7990
Following a report, local CPS determines whether to accept it for investigation. If an investigation is warranted, CPS has 72 hours after the report to make contact with the victim. After opening a case for investigation it will be determined by the investigator and their supervisor whether or not a Child Medical Evaluation for abuse is necessary which typically lasts 1-2 days and consists of a medical examination by a physician in addition to interviews with the child, caretakers and anyone else with information. A written report of the findings and recommendations is issued following a CMEP.
In some cases a Child and Family Evaluation (CFE) is requested from CPS. A CFE typically takes a minimum of 15 hours to complete and may take several weeks to months. This consists of interviews with the child, caretakers, alleged perpetrator (if available) and anyone who may have knowledge of the child-including daycare providers, teachers, therapists,doctors, extended family, babysitters, family friends, etc. Following a CFE a written report will be issued stating findings and recommendations.
If a child has experienced trauma including abuse or neglect and is in need of treatment, be sure to find a reputable, licensed therapist who has experience with traumatized children and feels comfortable working with your particular area of trauma. It is sometimes necessary to interview several therapists before finding an appropriate match. If you need referrals for local area services or other therapists in the area who specialize in childhood trauma I would be happy to provide this for you.
Prevent Child Abuse, NC – Provides prevention, awareness, and education
Safe Child – Provides prevention, and classes for parents and caregivers
Wake County Human Services
NC Child Medical Evaluation Program – Helpful information regarding child abuse and research
UNC Department of Psychiatry Childhood Trauma and Maltreatment Program