Once again, Colorado’s child abuse and neglect hotline received a record number of calls, reaching more than 221,000 last year.

That’s about 10,000 more calls than the prior year, according to data released Thursday by the Colorado Department of Human Services. The calls from teachers, doctors, neighbors and others resulted in safety assessments of more than 57,000 children across the state.

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Of those, 13,289 were found to have experienced abuse or neglect. Also, about 12,700 families received voluntary help to “prevent child abuse or neglect in the future.”

The state has seen an uptick in calls each year after a public awareness campaign to promote the hotline.  “It means that more and more people understand that all Coloradans play a role in preventing abuse and neglect,” Minna Castillo-Cohen, director of the state Office of Children, Youth and Families, said in a press release.

Most children involved in child welfare are not removed from their homes, according to the latest data. Of the 20,814 children with an open child welfare case in 2018, 68 percent remained at home while 32 percent were placed with relatives, or in foster care, a group home or a residential treatment center.

The hotline is open 24 hours per day. Calls are routed by a call center in Lamar to the county where the abuse or neglect allegedly occurred. More than half of Colorado counties use the Hotline County Connection Center to screen abuse, neglect and sex trafficking calls.

The number is 1-844-CO-4-KIDS (1-844-264-5437).


    Jennifer Brown

    Jen is a co-founder and reporter at The Sun, where she writes about mental health, child welfare and social justice issues. Her first journalism job was at The Hungry Horse News in her home state of...