Showing Concern for an Abused Child - Report Possible Child Abuse
Reporting suspected or known child abuse is a brave act that may prevent a child from being harmed or even save a child’s life. Any concerned individual who suspects or knows that a child is being threatened, abused or neglected needs to report that information to child protective services or law enforcement (see below).
A report of alleged child maltreatment may be made by anyone. Voluntary reports come from family, friends, neighbors and other caring community members. Mandated reporting is a federal and statutory requirement for specific professionals and service providers, including but not limited to schools, medical staff, law enforcement, and social workers; they are legally bound to make a report. Reporters do not have to prove or personally witness the maltreatment. The law is very clear – reports should also be made when abuse or neglect is suspected or where there is a threat that maltreatment may occur unless action is taken (Wis. Stat. 48.981(3)).
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Child abuse is sometimes visible, such as physical abuse that results in bruising or broken bones. Neglect may be evident when a vulnerable child is left unsupervised or when a parent has mental health or substance abuse issues that render him or her incapable of meeting basic needs. Other types of abuse such as emotional and sexual abuse are not as easily detected. All types of child abuse leave deep, lasting scars. The earlier children receive help, the greater chance they have to heal. A report from a caring and concerned citizen or professional is often the first step in helping to protect a child and assist a family in need.
When reports are made, Wisconsin county and tribal agencies may step in and provide a full spectrum of services. First and foremost, safety is assessed and managed. A team of caring and skilled professionals will work closely with the family to assess their strengths and needs. The family is connected to services and resources, with the team supporting them every step along the way.
If you are concerned about a child’s safety, please contact the local county child protective services or law enforcement agency listed below.
Child Protective Services
Walworth County Health and Human Service :: 262-741-3200
Bloomfield Police Department :: 262-279-3454
City of Burlington Police Department :: 262-342-1100
City of Delavan Police Department :: 262-728-6311
Town of Delavan Police Department :: 262-728-8787
Town of East Troy Police Department :: 262-642-3700
Village of East Troy Police Department :: 262-642-6280
City of Elkhorn Police Department :: 262-723-2210
Village of Fontana Police Department :: 262-275-2275
Town of Geneva Police Department :: 262-248-9926
Village of Genoa City Police Department :: 262-279-6252
City of Lake Geneva Police Department :: 262-248-4455
Town of Linn Police Department :: 262-275-6194
Village of Mukwonago Police Department :: 262-363-6434
Village of Sharon Police Department :: 262-736-4617
Walworth County Sheriff’s Office :: 262-741-4400
Village of Walworth Police Department :: 262-275-6585
Whitewater Police Department :: 262-473-0555
UW Whitewater Campus Police :: 262-472-4660
Village of Williams Bay Police Department :: 262-245-2710