If a child has the capacity for speech, the child must be interviewed, preferably in private and, under no circumstances, in the presence of the person or persons alleged to have caused or allowed abuse or neglect.
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Yes, you can report abuse and neglect anonymously. If you choose to share your name, it is confidential and can only be released by court order.
Parents are responsible for their children until they are 18. We will be happy to review counseling resources with you.
Yes. The State mandates any child, 12 months or older is to be interviewed alone, at every contact, but the social worker.
If any person obstructs or interferes with an investigation, the Director may file a petition requesting an order directing the person to cease obstruction or interference. Obstruction or interference includes refusing to allow the social worker to interview the child in private.
Call New Hanover County Department of Social Services during normal business hours at 910-798-3420. After hours, on weekends and holidays call 911.
When children are abused, they have been seriously hurt, either physically or emotionally. This may also include any type of sexual abuse. When children are neglected, they have not received proper care or supervision. This may include children who do not receive necessary medical attention, who are inadequately fed or clothed, or who are inappropriately disciplined. Neglect also includes children who are left alone for long periods of time. We assess each situation on a case by case basis.
Reporting child abuse or neglect is the first step in protecting children from further harm. If you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, you should file a report with your local Department of Social Services. If it is an emergency, contact your local law enforcement agency. Your information can be given anonymously, if desired.
The reporter’s name remains confidential unless the department is court-ordered to release that information.