Newsroom > DHHS News Release

November 17, 2011

Jeanne Atkinson, Communications and Legislative Services, (402) 471-8287

Nebraska Child Abuse Reporting Requirements are Broad

Lincoln – Recent news events have pointed out that there can be a lack of understanding on when and how people report child abuse and neglect.

In Nebraska, we all have a responsibility to report any suspected child abuse or neglect, according to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

State law requires any citizen to report suspected child abuse and neglect to law enforcement such as the police, sheriff’s office or State patrol, to a Health and Human Services office, or to the Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-652-1999. All reports made to authorities are confidential.

Law enforcement and DHHS coordinate their response to reports of child abuse and neglect.
  • Law enforcement has the responsibility to investigate to determine if a crime has been committed. Only law enforcement or the courts can remove a child from his or her home.
  • DHHS is responsible for the statewide reporting hotline and subsequent investigations to assess whether the child is safe.
In calendar year 2010 in Nebraska, 3,396 cases of child abuse or neglect were substantiated, involving 5,169 children.

“Child abuse is a community problem, and all of us have the ability to address it,” said Scot Adams, interim director for the Division of Children and Family Services in DHHS. “Everyone has a responsibility to pay attention to the children around us and to report child abuse or neglect.”