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How to Make a Child Abuse or Neglect Report

Published on: 5/21/2015 7:14 PM

To make a report of abuse and/or neglect, or discuss your concerns, call the Child Abuse and Neglect Center:


Child Abuse and Neglect Center Phone Numbers
  • San Jose Area
    (408) 299-2071
  • Gilroy / Morgan Hill Area
    (408) 683-0601
  • Palo Alto Area
    (650) 493-1186


Anyone may report an incident of known or suspected child abuse and/or neglect. (Penal Code § 11166[g]) Santa Clara County Department of Family and Children’s Services (DFCS) welcomes calls from concerned members of the community. If you are unsure about making a report, you are welcome to call the DFCS Child Abuse and Neglect Center and discuss your concerns with our trained staff. If you fall into the classification of a mandated reporter, you are legally required to make a report of suspected child abuse or neglect. (Penal Code § 11165.7)

By law, the identity of anyone making a report must be kept confidential. DFCS may share this only with other, specified investigating agencies.

When you call the DFCS Child Abuse and Neglect Center (CANC), a social worker will listen to your concerns. You will be asked questions such as the names and addresses of the children and individuals involved, what prompted you to call, and what the child’s current status is. Although you are not required to know this information in order to make a report, any details that you can provide about the child and family will be valuable. If a determination is made that an in-person response is required, the information given by the reporting party is used by Emergency Response social workers who investigate and determine the best course of action, often in collaboration with family members.

Because of your call, the child and child’s family may receive services that will address their needs and protect the child’s well-being.