• To report abuse or neglect, call the Child-at-Risk Hotline anytime of the day or night at 800-792-5200.

  • Child Abuse and Neglect Overview

    DCF is committed to protecting children and strengthening families. When children are abused or neglected by the people responsible for caring for them, DCF will intervene to ensure the safety of the children.
  • Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect

    Definitions of various types of child abuse and neglect are listed here per the Department of Children and Families regulations 110 CMR, section 2.00.
  • Warning Signs for Child Abuse or Neglect

    While each case of child abuse or neglect is individual and specific to the situation at hand, there are often certain recognizable physical and behavioral indicators of child abuse or neglect. The following signs, by themselves, may not be conclusive evidence of a problem, but they serve as indicators of the possibility that a problem exists.
  • Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect

    DCF relies on reports from professionals and other concerned individuals to learn about children who may need protection. DCF receives reports on more than 100,000 children each year. Certain professionals are mandated to report child abuse and neglect. However, anyone can report child abuse and neglect...
  • Screening, Investigation and Initial Assessment

    When DCF receives a report of abuse and/or neglect, called a "51A report," from either a mandated reporter or another concerned citizen DCF is required to evaluate the allegations and determine the safety of the children.
  • A Family's Guide to Protective Services for Children

    This Guide explains the role of the DCF social worker and other staff who team together to serve you and your family, why an investigation may be taking place, a family's options and rights during the investigation, the potential outcomes of an investigation, as well as other related procedures and rights involving the Family Assessment, fair hearings, and the grievance process.
  • Child Abuse and Neglect Publications

    These publications provide information to assist individuals in recognizing, reporting, and preventing child abuse and neglect.
  • All Babies Cry

  • Department of Children and Families Family Support Initiatives

    Our two main goals are to build a capacity of high risk communities to support families and prevent child abuse and neglect, and to integrate a strengths-based approach into the Department's practice.
  • Mandated Reporter eLearning Registration Form