City of Alexandria, VA
Child Protective Services (CPS) is established by the Code of Virginia (63.1-284.6) to receive and respond to concerns of abuse or neglect of children.
Reporting: Any concerned resident who suspects that a child is abused or neglected should call 703.746.5800, or the State Hot Line at 1.800.552.7096.
How to report: You are free to call and discuss concerns anonymously. Please provide as much information as possible about your concerns and the identity of the child.
If a child is in immediate danger, call 911 for police assistance.
Actions taken by CPS are regulated to provide families with respect and fairness. Decisions and service plans are subject to review by supervisors and by the court. Dispositions of investigations may be appealed by the alleged perpetrator of abuse.
The safety and well-being of children is a community responsibility. To learn more about safety and services, CPS offers a Speakers Program through which a CPS worker can meet with community organizations and neighborhood groups.
Identify at Risk Children! One step in helping abused or neglected children is to recognize the warning signs. Report any suspected physical abuse, medical neglect, mental abuse or sexual abuse inflicted upon a child by caretakers.
No one symptom alone proves child abuse, but when they appear often, or in combination with other symptoms, adults need to report them.
It may be physical abuse when you see a child with:
It may be physical abuse when the parent or other caregiver:
It may be physical neglect when a child:
It may be physical neglect when a parent or caregiver:
It may be emotional abuse or neglect when the child:
It may be emotional abuse or neglect when the caregiver:
It may be sexual abuse when the child:
It may be sexual abuse when the parent or caregiver:
What Should I Do When I Suspect Child Abuse or Neglect?
Call 703.746.5800 - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to report your suspicions.
Don't hesitate. When you report what you've seen or heard, you may help a child to stay safe. If you've noticed the warning signs of abuse and neglect, please call. If you don't report your suspicions, the abuse of a child might continue.
You should have a reasonable suspicion of the abuse, but you don't have to "prove" the abuse or be positive that it occurred. If you report in good faith, you are immune from civil or criminal liability.
Do I have to give my name?
No, but eyewitness accounts about the suspected abuse will help the professional staff handle each situation effectively. Usually the name of the person making the report will be known only if court testimony is involved.
After I report my suspicions, then what happens?
Child Protective Services (CPS) investigates the situation to determine the risks to a child. If a case is "founded" (the abuse is verified), then caseworkers will recommend an action plan to protect the child.
Will I be told what happens?
No. To protect everybody involved, confidentiality rules are strictly enforced.
Do you suspect child abuse or neglect?