Child Protective Services
If you suspect child abuse or neglect is occurring please call our 24/7 hotline at 1-855-323-3237 or contact your local law enforcement agency.
Utah law requires any person who has reason to believe that a child has been subjected to abuse, neglect, or dependency to immediately notify the nearest office of Child and Family Services, a peace officer, or a law enforcement agency. Abuse, neglect, or dependency of a child can be physical, emotional, or sexual.
DCFS Protective Role Regarding Child Abuse & Neglect with Families
At Child and Family Services (DCFS) our focus is child safety, and working to strengthen parents and caregivers who are otherwise unable to meet their own child’s needs. Our work is focused on effective interventions regarding safety issues related to child abuse and neglect.
After a report of child abuse or neglect is accepted for DCFS assessment, an assigned caseworker will first determine whether a community referral could address concerns in the home, or if ongoing in-home services are needed to support the family and allow the child to remain safely in the home. If it is recommended that a child be brought temporarily into state care due to safety concerns in the home, DCFS will work with the parents toward reunification when appropriate, and connect them to services to assist them in building their capacity to safely care for their child.
DCFS Protective Role Regarding Child Abuse & Neglect Outside the Home
Sometimes threats of abuse/neglect come from outside the home. When parents are both willing and able to protect and advocate for their own children, they do not need a child welfare intervention. As a result, DCFS will not open a case and instead will refer to law enforcement if all of the following apply:
- The child/youth appears to currently be safe, and
- Has parents/caregivers who are willing and able to keep them safe, and
- The alleged perpetrator does not have unsafe access to the child/youth.
We recognize the importance of both supporting parents and caregivers whose child has experienced trauma from child abuse, and broader community safety regarding those who may pose a threat to other children. As a result, when law enforcement opens an investigation, the following may occur:
- The law enforcement agency will provide their final report to DCFS for review to determine if a perpetrator is responsible for abuse/neglect and will be added to our child abuse and neglect registry.
- If a perpetrator is found to be responsible for abuse/neglect and entered in the registry, the parent or guardian will receive a notification letter from DCFS, including contact information for a caseworker if they have questions or need assistance finding support or resources.