Child Abuse and Maltreatment

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, report it:

  • Call 1-800-649-5285 — 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • If a child is in immediate danger - Dial 911

What is Child Abuse?

Mother sitting on stairs holding a childAccording to Vermont law: An “abused or neglected child” is a child whose physical health, psychological growth, and development or welfare is harmed or is at substantial risk of harm by the acts or omissions of his or her parent or other person responsible for the child's welfare.

An “abused or neglected child” can also mean a child who is sexually abused or at substantial risk of sexual abuse by any person.

Reporting child abuse can help prevent further harm.

Harm to a child can occur by:

What is “Risk of Harm”

"Risk of harm" means a significant danger that a child will suffer serious harm other than by accidental means, which harm would be likely to cause physical injury, neglect, emotional maltreatment or sexual abuse.

Who is Responsible for a Child's Welfare?

A person responsible for a child's welfare” includes the child's parent; guardian; foster parent; any other adult residing in the child's home who serves in a parental role; an employee of a public or private residential home, institution or agency; or other person responsible for the child's welfare while in a residential, educational, or child care setting, including any staff person.

Help is available. If you have concerns for a child, or are worried about your own actions or feelings, please explore this website or contact the Vermont Department of Children and Families.

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