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The Idaho Child Abuse Laws 1/27/2014

Idaho is one of many states which has mandatory reporting requirements, Idaho Code § 16-1619, when child abuse, abandonment or neglect is suspected. This law applies to everyone. Anyone who suspects child abuse, neglect, or abandonment should make a child protection report. A report should be made if you see evidence of physical abuse or neglect of a child.

Signs of physical abuse include:

  • marks or injuries to a child when there is no reasonable explanation
  • a pattern of repeated injuries
  • disclosure by the child that he or she was hurt by an adult

Signs of neglect include:

  • living conditions that are health or safety hazardous
  • a child that has nothing to eat or appears hungry and underweight
  • a child that has been left at home alone or abandoned with no home to go to

What happens when I call to make a child abuse report?

When you call to make a child abuse report, you will be asked for any contact information you have for the child. You will also be asked if the child is in immediate danger and a description of any injury to the child. Any information you can provide about the child will be helpful. You will be asked for your contact information. However, you can choose to remain anonymous.

According to Idaho Code § 16-1601, the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has the authority and responsibility to investigate reports of child abuse, abandonment and neglect. For each child / family coming within the service of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare can expect the department to:

  • Preserve the privacy and unity of the family whenever possible
  • Take such actions as may be necessary and feasible to prevent the abuse, neglect or abandonment of children

How can I learn more about the Idaho Child Abuse Laws?

To find out more information about Idaho Child Abuse Laws, go online to the Idaho Attorney General’s web site at or to view the Attorney General’s Question and Answer sheet about child abuse laws click HERE

How can I make a Child Abuse Report?

By phone, you can call the 2-1-1 Idaho CareLine by dialing 2-1-1 or 1-800-926-2588 to get the contact information of your local Child Protection Services office.