Newsroom > DHHS News Release

May 26, 2011

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

Don’t Hesitate - Report Child Abuse or Neglect

Note: Sound bites on this topic are available at:

Lincoln - Recently questions have been asked about when to call the Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline at 1-800-652-1999.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), state law* says that anyone who has reasonable cause to believe a child has been subjected to child abuse or neglect, or observes conditions that reasonably would result in child abuse or neglect, is obligated to report the information to law enforcement or the DHHS hotline.

“When in doubt, always call the child abuse hotline at 1-800-652-1999,” said Kerry Winterer, CEO of DHHS.

Based on the findings, trained law enforcement officers and DHHS staff can then do their investigations and see if the child is experiencing abuse or neglect.

When someone calls the hotline, a specially trained worker goes through an extensive list of questions, gathering all of the information needed to determine if an investigation should occur.

There is not a risk to the caller because names of callers are kept confidential.

Because investigations are also confidential, the caller may not know if action is taken or an investigation is conducted.

“Please keep reporting it if you think a child is in danger,” Winterer said. “DHHS keeps all reports, so even if one situation doesn’t meet the definition of abuse or neglect, you can help establish a pattern over time that may in itself trigger an investigation.”


* The statute regarding abuse and neglect of children can be found at