Child Protective Services: How to Report Child Abuse or Neglect

​What is Child Maltreatment?

Child maltreatment means abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, sexual exploitation or abandonment by the caretaker of the child (a parent, guardian, custodian, or foster parent). The caretaker may be anyone who is age 10 or older and entrusted with the child's care. Child maltreatment occurs when the caretaker harms the child or lets harm come to the child, or fails to meet the child’s basic needs.
 
Sexual abuse and exploitation are child maltreatment under Arkansas law whether by a caretaker or by someone else.
 

Who Reports Child Maltreatment?

Anyone who suspects child maltreatment may report. Some people (for example, doctors, teachers and school counselors) must, by law, report suspected child maltreatment.  If you need to report child maltreatment, please call the Crimes Against Children Hotline at 1-800-482-5964 or visit the following website from the Administrative Office of the Courts:
 
 

What Happens When There is a Report of Child Maltreatment?

When the Division of Children and Family Services (DCFS) gets a report of suspected child maltreatment, Arkansas law says that DCFS or the Arkansas State Police Family Protection Unit will assess the report.

 

What Happens if the Report is True?

DCFS will work with you to make sure that children in your care are protected, and their basic needs met. If you do not protect the children in your care, court action may be taken.
 

What if the Report is Unsubstantiated (not True)?

If you are the subject of the report, you can request a copy of the report. See "Obtaining a Copy of the Report" below. If requested, DCFS can tell the court and the prosecuting attorney about the report.

 

How Can I Find out What DCFS Learned?

DCFS will tell you in writing. You will not be told who made the report. If you have been named as an offender in a true report, and you do not agree with the finding, you have 30 days from the date you are handed the written notice, or the date it was mailed, to ask for a hearing to appeal the finding.
 

Obtaining a Copy of the Report

Send a written, notarized request, along with a check or money order in the amount of $10.00, to get a copy of your report.  The written request must give your name and address and the names of the children involved.  You should send the written request to:

Arkansas Department of Human Services
Division of Children and Family Services
Central Registry Unit
P.O. Box 1437, (Slot S566)
Little Rock, Arkansas 72203-1437
Contact Person:  Dennis Robins at 501-682-0405
 

Programs and Services

  • Service:Assessment Services/Drug Screening
    About:Assessment to determine usage of illegal drugs or alcohol that would impact the safety and well being of children. The assessments must be performed under controlled circumstances and within specific timeframes.
  • Service:Child Respite Care Services
    About:Provided to client families in order to prevent a disruption in a biological family, foster family or adoptive family. Additional family benefits included the following: providing the family with an opportunity for rest and relaxation; improving the familys ability to cope with daily responsibilities; maintaining the familys stability during crisis situations; helping preserve the family unit by decreasing the pressures that might lead to divorce, institutionalization, abuse or neglect; and making it possible for people to establish an individual identity and enrich their lives.
  • Service:Counseling Services
    About:Services based on a family-centered approach and intended to strengthen family functioning. Counseling Services encourage families and individuals to build upon their existing strengths, to develop capacities to meet their needs, and to acquire new skills. Services may include problem identification, and resolution; identification of feasible goals; emotional support and guidance; provision of basic skills for functioning in the community; exploration of possible alternative behavior patterns; and development and strengthening the capacity for personal and social functioning. Services may be in-home or office based. Counseling Services are intended for families whose children are at risk of an out-of home placement or have experienced an out-of home placement and reunification is planned.
  • Service:DCFS School Liason
    About:The Division contracts with an individual to work within the county offices in Miller and Columbia Counties for up to 3 days a week to improve DCFS/school relationships by responding timely to school referrals, diverting families from involvement with DCFS and the court system, and increasing awareness by families and school personnel of alternative resources.
  • Service:Intensive Family Services (IFS)
    About:A mixture of in-home Counseling and support services intended for families with multiple and severe problems whose children are in imminent risk of an out of home placement or have already experienced an out-of-home placement and reunification is planned. The service is aimed at ensuring the safety of family members while helping the family learn how to stay together successfully. Services are family-centered, behaviorally oriented, immediate, intensive and short-term.
  • Service:Language Interpretation
    About:To provide Spanish and other language interpretation including phone interpreting and translation and transcription of written material from Spanish to English. Services are provided in all 75 counties in Arkansas 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Service:Psychological Evaluations
    About:Evaluations will provide information as to the competency and mental ability of the client to care for themselves and the children at issue as well as the ability of the client to provide an adequate environment for themselves and children on a consistent uninterrupted basis. For children, the evaluation will provide information as to intellectual, verbal, and performance abilities, and an assessment of the childs emotional or behavioral condition. Activities include the administration and interpretation of appropriate psychological tests. Services are used to prevent out-of-home placement and promote reunification of families.
  • Service:Sign Language Interpreter Services
    About:To provide Interpretive Services for DCFS clients that are hearing impaired. DCFS clients will receive communication support through the use of manual, oral, graphic/visual modes of communication to facilitate understanding between hearing and hearing-impaired persons. Services are provided in all 75 counties in Arkansas 24 hours a day, seven days a week.