1-877-54-ABUSE (1-877-542-2873)

How to Report Abuse and Neglect

Tennessee law requires that all persons must report suspected cases of abuse or neglect. If a child is in immediate danger, call 911. To report abuse and neglect, contact the Tennessee Department of Children's Services at the number listed above. 

when you make a report

The Department of Children's Services will ask you a series of questions when you make a report. It is okay if you do not know all the answers- tell them as much as you know. It is their job to work with local law enforcement to conduct a thorough investigation.

remember these dos and Don'ts if a child tells you they have been abused:


  • Panic or overreact
  • Press the child to talk
  • Promise anything you can't control
  • Confront the offender
  • Blame or minimize the child's feelings
  • Overwhelm the child with questions


  • Remain calm
  • Believe the child
  • Allow the child to talk
  • Show interest and concern
  • Reassure and support the child
  • Take action. It could save a child's life.

TO REPORT ABUSE CALL: 1-877-54-ABUSE (1-877-542-2873)