Child Protection Services
Child Protective staff work together with families to assess the safety of children, identify needs and develop a case plan. This plan defines the specific needs of the children and family members and outlines the method by which a family's protective service issues will be resolved with the assistance of DCYF.
Services are primarily delivered directly to a child and family in the home and community. The process for resolving abuse and neglect has three primary functions, Intake, Assessment and Family Services.
- Intake - DCYF receives more than 15,000 reports of suspected child abuse and neglect annually as well as reports of Children in Need of Services (CHINS) through the DCYF Intake Unit. A toll-free number: 800-894-5533 (in state only), or 603-271-6562 (out of state) 8:00 AM. to 4:30 PM, Monday thru Friday is staffed by highly trained, experienced workers. Referrals can be made to community agencies and to the local District Office staff for further assessment.
- Assessment - This function is performed by District Office Child Protection staff who comprehensively investigate and assess each report of alleged child abuse and neglect. Approximately 8,000 reports are assessed annually in NH.
- Family Services - Treatment and rehabilitative services are provided to families whose children have been neglected or abused. Child Protection staff interact with families, courts, and providers to ensure that children's safety is maintained and that goals and objectives are met in a timely manner.
If treatment and rehabilitative services are unable to provide a safe environment for the children, temporary out-of-home placement with a relative or in foster care may be utilized to provide children with the safety they require. When children cannot safely return home, other options including Adoption are considered in order to achieve permanency and stability for them.
To further ensure the safety of NH children, a Special Investigations Unit (SIU) investigates all allegations of abuse and neglect in foster homes, institutional settings, and residential, educational, and treatment facilities.
BCP supports a number of initiatives for the prevention of child abuse and neglect. These initiatives provide support for families and strive towards goals of reducing risks to children, improving parenting skills, and strengthening social support networks for families. In addition, certain initiatives seek to bring together national, state and local experts to address issues of child abuse and neglect in efforts to educate the general public and for professional development.
Anyone who suspects that a child is being abused or neglected is required by NH Law to call:
DCYF Central Intake Unit
8:00 AM to 4:30 PM Monday-Friday
800-894-5533 (In-state only)
During non-business hours, the public is asked to call local law enforcement for emergency responses.