The State of NC mandates a dedicated hotline for the critical nature of reporting child abuse and neglect. Over time, the current CARE line has migrated from its original purpose to meeting various other needs in the community. Too many calls not related to child abuse and neglect were overwhelming the system.
On Monday, November 13, Child Protective Services launched its new CPS HELP line (980-31-HELPS). It is hoped that this new line will provide better call flow, increase capacity and ensuring callers are quickly connected with CPS to report allegations of child abuse, neglect or human trafficking.
CPS has put together a few Frequently Asked Questions about the new hotline along with some guidelines on who to call for other kinds of information.
- When should I call the Hotline?
Concerned citizens should call when they suspect a child is being abused, neglected or is a victim of human trafficking. Callers that require an immediate response should call 911.
- If the new CPS Hotline is only for abuse or neglect of children, how do I report concerns for Adults? Adult Protective Services reports should still be made on the CARE Line at 704-336-2273. The CARELine will remain in operation as the reporting line for Adult Protective Services.
- When will the new CPS Hotline start taking calls? The new hotline launched on Monday, November 13, 2017. The CPS Hotline is available 24 Hours a day, 7 days a week, including holidays.
- If I have a general question about CPS, an existing case, my social worker or community resources for children, should I call the CPS Hotline?
No. Reports of abuse, neglect and human trafficking are a priority and must be handled by our CPS Intake agents.
A new Youth & Family Services (YFS) Information Assistance Line (980-314-7700) became available on September 1st. The new YFS Information Assistance Line handles calls that are not actual reports of abuse or neglect of a child. Questions about CPS, who is my social worker or community resources for children are a few examples of the types of calls for our admins on the YFS Information Assistance Line
- What about children in immediate danger or a life-threatening emergency? Callers that require an immediate response should call 911.
- How many calls does YFS normally handle? Last year in FY2017-37,892
- If I am Hospital Personnel and need to make a report, do I still have use of the YFS Intake Backline telephone number? No. All Hospital Personnel must call in on the New CPS Hotline Number, 980-314-3577 (980 31-HELPS) effective November 13, 2017. While Backline may be helpful for Hospitals to report Child Abuse and Neglect, there were concerns as it relates to those reports not following best practices and our standard process controls. Also, this Backline receives a very low volume of calls.
- Is the CARELine going away? No. The CARELine will remain in operation as the reporting line for Adult Protective Services. Adult Protective Services reports should still be made on the CARE Line at 704-336-2273