by Sawyer D’Argonne
(Originally published January 14, 2020, by Summit Daily)
The Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year after launching in January 2015 for individuals to report concerns about possible child abuse.
Almost 1.07 million calls have been made through the hotline since its launch, and local county human services groups have assessed the safety and well-being of almost 275,000 children around the state.
The hotline — 1-844-CO-4-Kids — serves as a direct route to report concerns about a child or teen’s safety and well-being across the state. Over the past five years, child welfare agencies were able to intervene in 63,989 cases of abuse or neglect, and an additional 60,190 families received voluntary support from their county human services departments.
Of the 19,598 Colorado kids and families involved in an open child welfare case in 2019, 69% of children and teens stayed safely at home while their family received services, and 31% were placed in out-of-home care with family, a foster family or in a congregate care facility.
“Calling the hotline is one way community members can share their concerns and help local social service agencies connect parents with the support they need,” said Minna Castillo Cohen, director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families at the Colorado Department of Human Services. “In the majority of cases, children and teens stay safely at home while their families receive services.”
Anyone concerned that a child or teen is being abused or facing neglect should call the hotline. Calls are routed to the appropriate county, and callers are able to speak with a call-taker 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.
Visit co4kids.org to learn more about the signs of child abuse and neglect as well as other ways you can help children, teens and families in your community.