To make a report of child abuse or neglect in Franklin County, Ohio:
- Call the 24-Hour Child Abuse Hotline at (614) 229-7000
- Visit the offices of Intake, Assessment, and Investigations at:
4071 E. Main Street
Whitehall, OH 43213
Child abuse affects more than three million children annually and causes the deaths of three children every day. Preventing and reporting child abuse is one of the most important things a community can do for its children. Franklin County Children Services receives more than 30,000 reports of child abuse each year and serves more than 30,000 children and their families.
Child maltreatment can include the following:
- Physical abuse may appear as bruises, marks or injuries inflicted by other than accidental means. It may be the result of excessive or out-of-control discipline from a parent or caregiver.
- Sexual abuse may involve any sexual activity between an adult and a child. It can include everything from fondling to rape. The act may also be for the gratification of the perpetrator or a third party, or for exploitation of the child. Over 80% of cases reported involve the parent, a relative, or another known adult as the perpetrator.
- Emotional abuse, although not as visible as other forms of abuse, can still be very damaging. The law defines it as mental injury and does not give any real guidelines. A child who is repeatedly belittled, ignored, or blamed for the family's problems may be emotionally abused.
- Neglect is another form of child maltreatment and occurs when a parent or caregiver fails to act on behalf of a child. A child who does not receive adequate food, shelter, clothing, medical care, supervision, or education may be neglected.
- A dependent child is one who is homeless, destitute, or without adequate parental care and support through no fault of the child's parent or caregiver. The child may lack adequate care because of a mental or physical condition. The child may also be in danger of being abused or neglected because they live in a household in which a sibling or other child who resides there is abused, neglected or dependent.
Child abuse and neglect often occur in families under stress or in the middle of a crisis. Parents and other caregivers are sometimes overwhelmed by pressure and may not be able to cope with personal, financial, or marital problems.
Drug and alcohol use may trigger abusive or neglectful behavior. And there is a growing correlation between domestic violence and child abuse.
Franklin County Children Services is mandated by Ohio to investigate reports of child abuse and neglect. Reports are made to the 24-Hour Child Abuse Hotline: (614) 229-7000.