Use the following contact information to report or learn more about various forms of abuse and neglect.
Note: If child sexual abuse has occurred within the past three to five days, report this immediately to determine if the child needs to be taken to a Sexual Assault Forensic Evaluation (SAFE) Center for an acute medical exam and possible forensic-DNA evidence collection.
|Call 911 to file a report.|
|Adult Protective Services|
|Department of Social Services|
After Hours: 410-583-9398
Reporting Hotline: 410-887-8463
|Family Violence Unit|
|Sexual Assault/Domestic Violence|
24-Hour Hotline: 410-828-6390
Adult Protective Services is a program that serves persons age 18 or over who lack the physical or mental capacity to provide for their daily needs. The purpose of the program is to prevent or remedy abuse, exploitation, neglect and self-neglect of adults who are unable to protect their own interests and are at risk of immediate harm to themselves or others. Persons who report the need for Adult Protective Services are protected under the law and may choose to remain anonymous.
Child Protective Services provides assistance to families to:
- Ensure the safety and well-being of children and protect them from further abuse and neglect
- Support families in accessing resources to keep children safe
- Keep children with their families, if safe and appropriate
Child Advocacy Center
The Baltimore County Child Advocacy Center (CAC) is a multidisciplinary team that consists of the following professionals:
- Child Protective Services social workers
- Crimes Against Children police detectives
- Forensic interviewers
- Mental health treatment providers for victims of sexual abuse
- Physicians and nurses
- Prosecutors from the State’s Attorney Office
- Victim advocates
The CAC is accredited by the National Children’s Alliance and aims to:
- Protect children who are victims of child abuse through interagency collaboration in all phases of investigation, prosecution and treatment planning.
- Provide victims of child abuse with comprehensive and coordinated forensic interviews, medical evaluation and treatment, psychological and social assessments and follow-up care
- Educate the public on the recognition and reporting of child maltreatment
About the Intake Process
Do not bring your child to the CAC when the allegation of abuse is first reported, as Police and Child Protective Services must first be involved. In order to ensure that we collect the most accurate information/evidence for an investigation, we cannot interview children without the coordinated approach of the multidisciplinary team.
We will discuss these issues after your child’s appointment and give you referral information as needed. Treatment for victims and offenders are held in different locations. Our agency offers:
A referral is made to the CAC by law enforcement or CPS.
You will be contacted by the social worker assigned to your case to schedule an interview appointment. Bring any information that may be helpful to the investigation.
Pre-Interview Tips for Parents
Do not question your child about the abuse as this can contaminate the investigation. If your child continues to talk about the abuse, you can help them by simply listening.
Victims sometimes blame themselves for the abuse and experience feelings of guilt for telling. Victims can also regret reporting because of the unexpected consequences from disclosing the abuse.
- Reassure your child that they are not responsible for the abuse and you are not angry at them for reporting the abuse.
- Let the victim know that they will be able to recover from the experience, both physically and emotionally.
- Tell your child that they did the right thing by speaking up and that you will support them through the investigation and in court.
Interviews generally last at least 30 to 60 minutes, although some may take longer depending on the needs of the child.
Your child will be interviewed by either a social worker or a detective trained in the accredited Child First-RTEC interview protocol. This protocol helps your child to disclose information in a safe non-leading series of questions.
Only the child and interviewers are allowed in the interview room to ensures that it will be objective and nonthreatening. The interview will be discussed with you at its completion.
If your child is receiving a medical exam by the doctor, you do not need to bring their insurance card; you will not be charged for this service.
You and your child will be seen by a pediatrician trained in child abuse, and the nurses who will be assisting the pediatrician. You may be present for this exam if your child requests your presence. The entire history review and physical exam take about one hour. No forensic or DNA evidence is collected during the medical exam.
- The doctor will ask you and your child for some medical history and for details of what abuse may have occurred in order to help guide the exam of your child; this is a short interview and does not duplicate or replace the full forensic interview.
- Your child will have a head-to-toe checkup, including a video-recorded exam of the genital area. This exam is not painful, is not a Pap smear, and in most cases, nothing is inserted into your child’s private area.
- The doctor will discuss any findings from the exam with you at the conclusion of your appointment.
Your assigned social worker and the CAC staff can help you coordinate your child’s follow-up therapeutic care. We will discuss these issues after your child’s appointment and give you referral information as needed. Treatment for victims and offenders are held in different locations. Our agency offers the following services:
- Court preparation
- Group therapy for victims and offenders
- Individual therapy
- Parent groups
- Play and art therapy for child victims
- Trauma-focused therapy
- Victim advocacy-continuing services for families experiencing sexual abuse, which includes clinical case management services to monitor safety for children and provides support to families
Treatment for victims and offenders are held in different locations.
Child abuse and neglect are legal terms and are defined by the Maryland Family Law Article 5-701.
- Adult Abuse—The sustaining of any physical injury by a vulnerable adult as a result of a cruel or inhumane treatment or as a result of a malicious act by any person.
- Child Abuse—The physical or mental injury of a child by any parent or other person who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of a child, or by any household member, under circumstances that indicate that the child's health or welfare is harmed or at substantial risk of being harmed
- Child Sexual Abuse—Sexual abuse means any act that involves sexual molestation or exploitation of a child by a parent or other person who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of a child, or by any household or family member. Sexual abuse includes whether physical injuries are sustained or not.
Signs of an Abusive Relationship
You may be in an abusive relationship if the person you love does the following:
- Keeps track of all your time
- Accuses you of being unfaithful frequently
- Discourages your relationships with family and friends
- Criticizes you for little things
- Angers easily
- Controls all finances and forces you to account for what you spend
- Humiliates you in front of others
- Makes comments about your body, clothing or hairstyle
- Destroys personal property or sentimental items
- Threatens to hurt you or your children
According to fire code law, a child under the age of eight must be in the care of a person who is at least 13 years old. Generally, it is left up to the parent's judgment to decide whether a child who is eight or older is mature enough to be home alone. Anytime you leave your child alone, be sure the child knows what to do in the event of an emergency.
Baltimore County Department of Social Services' Child Protective Services (CPS) may become involved if a child of any age is left alone and is placed at risk of harm because they are unable to manage on their own. CPS may also become involved if your child's babysitter or caretaker is unable to properly care for your child.
Helping children learn right from wrong and how to succeed in life. Parents have the right to discipline their children. Parents do not have the right to abuse or neglect their children.
Exploitation is any action that involves the misuse of a vulnerable adult's funds, property or person.
The observable, identifiable and substantial impairment of a child's mental or psychological ability to function.
Of an Adult
The willful deprivation of adequate food, clothing, medical treatment or rehabilitative therapy, shelter or supervision from a vulnerable adult.
Of a Child
Leaving of a child unattended or other failure to provide proper care and attention to a child by a parent or other person who has permanent or temporary care or custody or responsibility for supervision of a child under circumstances that indicate:
- The child's health or welfare is harmed or placed at substantial risk of harm
- Mental injury to the child or a substantial risk of mental injury
Of the Self
The inability of a vulnerable adult to provide for their physical or mental health and well-being.
Find local organizations and resources for victims of abuse.
For emergency Police assistance, dial 911.
- Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault—Phone: 410-828-6390 or 410-377-8111
- Family Crisis Center—Phone: 410-285-7496
- Family Tree Family Stress Line—Phone: 1-800-243-7337
- Family Violence Hotline—Phone: 410-828-6390
- House of Ruth—Phone: 410-889-7884, for Spanish: 410-889-7884
- Maryland Crisis Hotline—Phone: 1-800-422-0009
- TurnAround—Phone: 443-279-0379
If you know a child who is being hurt physically or sexually, call the hotlines below.
- Call 911 to report an emergency involving child safety or an abandoned child.
- Alice C. Tyler Village of Childhelp—A private, nonprofit, psychiatric residential treatment facility located in northern Virginia that specializes in the treatment of children and adolescents with mild to severe trauma, psychiatric disorders and neurodevelopmental disorders.
- Care Clinic at University of Maryland—Call 410-706-1703.
- Child Abuse and Neglect
- Childhelp National Child Abuse—Call or text 1-800-422-4453 to speak with a crisis counselor.
- Department of Social Services—Report suspected child abuse or neglect. Protective services for children provides assistance to families to ensure the safety and well-being of children.
- Family Tree—Provides free and confidential advice, community resources, and support for parents and caregivers.
- Maryland Children's Alliance
- Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
- Victim Information Notification Everyday (VINE)—Notifies victims when offenders are released from incarceration which provides them with a sense of security.
- Multi-Ethnic Domestic Violence Project (MEDOVI)—Provides immigration legal services to foreign-born Maryland residents who have experienced domestic violence, sexual assault/human sex trafficking. Language services are provided free.
- Protection Order Advocacy and Representation Project (POARP)—Provides a free attorney to represent you in protection order hearings if you have been abused by an intimate partner and your case is in Baltimore City, Baltimore County or Carroll County.
Any concerned person who has reason to believe that an alleged vulnerable adult has been subjected to abuse, neglect, self-neglect or exploitation may contact Adult Protective Services at 410-887-8463. Concerned citizens may also contact the Police Department to initiate an investigation of the suspected abuse, neglect or exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
If you are a victim of abuse, help and resources are available through the following programs.
- Adelante Familia—A bilingual program at the House of Ruth Maryland that serves Spanish-speaking immigrants who are victims or at risk of being victims of intimate partner violence.
- CHANA—Offers a kosher safe house and has experience working within the Jewish arbitration process, in addition to the civil court system.
- Department of Social Services
Phone (for court advocate): 410-853-3030
Phone (for domestic violence referral/abuser intervention program): 410-853-3080
- DOVE Program—Offers free and confidential services including crisis response, crisis intervention, case management, counseling, support and even essential needs and court accompaniment during legal proceedings.
- Family and Children's Services of Central Maryland
- Family Crisis Center of Baltimore County—Provides safe shelter, transitional housing, victims advocacy and support groups, court accompaniment, lawyer representation, individual and family psychotherapy, trauma group therapy and intervention programs.
Safe Shelter Phone: 410-285-7496
Main Phone: 410-285-4357
- Family Law Resources
- House of Ruth Maryland—One of the nation’s leading intimate partner violence centers, helping battered women and their children find safety and security.
Legal Hotline: 888-880-7884
- State's Attorney's Office Family Violence Unit—Handles the initial case preparation of all domestic and family violence cases and the trial for most circuit court cases.
- TurnAround—Offers individual and group counseling for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and abuse. Domestic violence services also include emergency and transitional housing for victims with their children and pets, legal services and referral, and abuser intervention programs.