1-800-4-A-CHILD: What to expect when you call

For almost 30 years, Childhelp’s National Child Abuse Hotline has helped connect individuals with the information or people they need as they confront child abuse in their lives, whether they are a child, parent, teacher or a concerned school administrator.

When calling 1-800-4-A-CHILD (422-4453), here’s what you can expect.

A qualified counselor will answer and assist your call for reasons such as if you:

  • Need help and want to talk to a counselor.
  • Are in physical or emotional crisis and need support, encouragement and to get connected to the best possible local resources.
  • Have questions about what the signs of child abuse are.
  • Want to find out where to go to report known or suspected abuse.
  • Want to understand the reporting process and what you might expect through the process.
  • Want more information about Childhelp programs that can help address your family’s needs.
  • Have questions about parental rights and responsibilities including grandparent rights.
  • Are a survivor of abuse and need emotional support.
  • Want a referral to an agency, counselor or other services near where you live.
  • Would like literature about Childhelp’s services mailed to you.
  • Want to make a donation to Childhelp.

While you talk with the counselor, he or she will:

  • Listen to your concerns and needs.
  • Answer your questions.
  • Ask you questions to be sure he or she understands what you are saying.
  • Suggest things you can do to get help in the described circumstances.
  • Help you develop a short term plan of action.
  • Provide referrals utilizing a database of thousands of emergency, social service and support resources located in the United States and Canada.
  • Help you contact someone who is safe and will help you such as Child Protective Services or the local police if you are a child or teen who is in danger. If needed, the Hotline Counselor will stay on the phone as part of a three-way call to ensure your safety.
  • Not tape the telephone conversation or ask for your name (unless you ask to have literature mailed to you).

For more information about 1-800-4-A-CHILD, please visit www.childhelp.org/pages/hotline.