Hotline

Hotline decisions are the point of entry for involvement in the child welfare system and therefore impact the safety, permanency, and well-being of vulnerable children and their families. The decision on whether to move a case forward for investigation, assessment, or service referral is one of the most important functions of any child protection agency.

If a report is incorrectly screened in, the child and family are subjected to needless intrusions, including investigative interviews, potential court and law enforcement involvement, and even unnecessary child and family separation. Incorrect screen-in decisions also burden the workload of every unit in the system and divert resources away from families that truly need them. And when referrals are incorrectly screened out, opportunities to help children and families are lost, potentially resulting in ongoing harm to children.

By establishing effective hotline policies and protocols, child protection agencies are better able to ensure that the right families receive the right interventions at the right time.

FEATURED RESOURCES

iStock-506040308

What are the elements of an effective hotline system?

LEARN MORE

iStock-544326306

Do reporting professionals overexpose marginalized families to more surveillance due to the dual nature of child welfare services?

LEARN MORE

Afro-Woman-Portrait-963040946_7952x5304

How do some states hire, train, and retain their hotline intake screeners?

LEARN MORE

Please explore the related resources below and at Questions from the field to learn more about hotlines.