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Report Abuse: 419-774-4100

Child safety is Richland County Children Services' primary focus. Our staff of experienced screeners receive calls about possible abuse or neglect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Potential Abuse & Neglect Signs

Child abuse and neglect can happen to anyone, and it is important for you to know how to recognize it and what to do. There are four types of child abuse and each type has behavioral and physical indicators.

  • Neglect: failure to act on behalf of child either physically, emotionally, or educationally.
  • Emotional Abuse: continual attitude or acts, which interfere with a child's psychological or social development.
  • Physical Abuse: act that results in non-accidental injury or threat of harm to a child.
  • Sexual Abuse: any sexually natured act upon or with a child.

Click to learn the physical and behavioral signs of emotional abuse, physical abuse, and sexual abuse.

There are also two types of non-child abuse which include:

  • Dependency: through no fault of the parent, the child lacks parental care.
  • Family In Need of Services (FINS): request has been made for Children Services to provide assistance to the family.

Types of cases include:

  • Emancipated Youth
  • Permanent Surrender
  • Deserted Child (Safe Haven)
  • Stranger Danger
  • Post-finalization Adoption Services
  • Courtesy Interview / Supervision
  • Preventive Services
  • Unruly / Delinquent
  • Child Fatality (Non-Abuse/Neglect)
  • Home Evaluations / Visitation Assessments
  • Post Natal Placement Service to Infants of Incarcerated Mothers

Why Should You Report?

First and foremost, to protect the child. The intent of the law is not to hurt or to punish; it is to get help to children and families in need. We all have a stake in the protection of Ohio's children. The emotional damage which may result from child abuse or neglect often is vented through self-destructive expressions, such as substance abuse, running away, prostitution, or suicide; and anti-social expressions such as rape, murder, and continuation of child abuse and neglect.

Confidentiality

Child abuse and neglect cases are considered confidential by law. The law also does not allow Children Services to give you the name of the person who made the report of child abuse or neglect.

According to OAC 5101:2-33, each report and assessment/investigation of alleged child abuse or neglect is confidential and may be shared only when dissemination is authorized by this rule. The identities of the referent/reporter and any person providing information during the course of a child abuse or neglect assessment/investigation shall remain confidential. The identities of these individuals shall not be released or affirmed by the PCSA to any party except for those listed below, without the written consent of the individuals involved. The PCSA shall inform the referent/reporter and any person providing information that a subpoena for judicial testimony may be issued if court intervention is deemed necessary. The PCSA shall release the identity of the referent/reporter and/or persons providing information only to the following persons or entities:

  • Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) staff with supervisory responsibility for child protective services
  • Law enforcement officials who are investigating a report of child abuse or neglect
  • County prosecutor who is investigating a report of child abuse or neglect
  • Any PCSA or Children Services Agency (CSA) assessing a child abuse or neglect report

Mandated Reporters

A mandated reporter is a person who is required by law to report suspicions or knowledge of child abuse and neglect. According to ORC 2151-421, a person who is acting in an official or professional capacity as mentioned below, has reasonable cause to suspect that a child under 18 or a physically impaired child under 21 has suffered or faces a threat of suffering abuse or neglect shall immediately report the knowledge or reasonable cause to the Public Children Services Agency (PCSA).