DENVER (Dec. 22, 2015) – The Colorado Department of Human Services on Jan. 1 marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of 1-844-CO-4-KIDS, a statewide hotline to report suspected child abuse and neglect.
While there has been an uptick of calls around the state, surpassing 200,000 since early December, CDHS continues to encourage Coloradans to use this one, easy-to-remember phone number.
“There is a growing understanding in our community that we all play a role in keeping our kids safe,” CDHS Executive Director Reggie Bicha said.
“An ongoing public-awareness campaign was established so that individuals can better learn to spot the signs of child abuse and neglect. The 1-844-CO-4-KIDS hotline is integral to that campaign, so that community members know what to do when they spot those signs. One call can save a child.”
The hotline directly links callers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to the appropriate call taker among the state’s 64 counties and two tribal nations. Counties have historically received and handled reports of child abuse and neglect. That has not changed. Counties remain on the front lines when it comes to this critical role. The hotline was built to streamline the process.
"With this statewide number, the community has easy access to report concerns about a child's safety and well-being," said Robert Werthwein, CDHS’ Director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families.
"Many of us want to do the right thing, but some are unsure about proper steps. This hotline can, and in many instances, should be step one.”
Callers who are unsure of the county in which the child is located, speak a language other than English or Spanish, or are deaf or hard of hearing are directed to a certified call-taker at the Hotline County Connection Center for assistance.
All reports of suspected child abuse and neglect remain confidential.
The 1-844-CO-4-KIDS hotline has allowed CDHS to capture critical information that it had not previously been able to track on a statewide basis. That data includes numbers of calls received, call volume, call duration, speed of answer, wait time, call transfers and call abandonment rate, which is critical to ensuring that calls across the state are handled quickly and appropriately.