• Ending Anonymous Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting

    Children who are safe at home should not  be traumatized by unnecessary and disruptive investigations into their family life.  Recent research shows that a staggering 53% of Black children will experience a CPS investigation in their lifetime. Single mothers are also disproportionately affected by hotline calls. Investigations can be initiated by anyone, including anonymous callers who have an agenda to cause harm to another parent.


    Anonymous tips have increasingly become a way that disgruntled relatives, neighbors, or others in the community harass innocent families, while wasting the valuable and limited resources of state and local authorities. Anonymous reporting has very low rates of substantiation—a study found just 1.5% of hotline calls from anonymous sources are deemed substantiated by CPS authorities, and these calls flood child abuse hotlines with unwarranted calls and makes it less likely that agencies will be able to identify children who truly need CPS assistance. 


    Congress should end the use of anonymous reporting, instead ensuring that reports are made confidentially. Ending anonymous reporting will not prevent hotline calls based on a genuine objective concern about the wellbeing of a child that merits investigation. In fact, this measure will help streamline and target investigative resources to children most in need of protection.


    To Learn More:

    Dale Morgan Cecka, Abolish Anonymous Reporting to Child Abuse Hotlines, 64 Cath. U.L. Rev. 51 (2014)