Sunday, May 20, 2007


Reporting Child Abuse

To report child abuse please call the local Police department or Sheriff's Office with jurisdiction over the area where the abuse has occurred, or call the Division of Child and Family Services hotline, (800) 678-9399.

The Role of the Attorney General

The Utah Attorney General’s Office is committed to keeping Utah a safe place for children, be it from drugs in the streets or violence in our schools or homes. In cases of child abuse or neglect, the office has several roles.

Investigative and Prosecutorial Advisor to County Attorneys

Child abuse cases are typically handled by the county attorney. The Children’s Justice Division of the Attorney General’s Office provides investigative and prosecutorial support to the county attorneys, and in some instances will assume primary responsibility for a case.

Administrator for the Children’s Justice Center Program

The Attorney General’s Office administers the Children’s Justice Center program. There are fourteen centers in the state where victims of child abuse can be interviewed in a safe, child-friendly environment. The centers help coordinate investigation and prosecution of child sex abuse cases, as well as provide referral services to victims’ families. Visits to the Children’s Justice Centers are coordinated through local law enforcement and/or Child Protective Services (the investigative arm of DCFS).

Legal Counsel for the Division of Child and Family Services

To ensure a child’s safety, the Utah Division of Child and Family Services may recommend temporary shelter, protective supervision, foster care, or permanent removal from a home. In all cases and related proceedings, the Attorney General’s Child Protection Division provides legal representation to DCFS, as required under U.C.A. § 62A-4a-113. The Child Protection Division is charged with enforcing all provisions of U.C.A. § 62A, Chapter 4a and U.C.A. § 78, Chapter 3a .

Utah State Statutes Regarding Child Abuse

Conduct constituting abuse of a child U.C.A. § 76-5-109

Commission of domestic violence in the presence of a child U.C.A. § 76-5-109.1

Conduct constituting abuse or neglect of a disabled child U.C.A. § 76-5-110

Conduct constituting endangerment of a child U.C.A. § 76-5-112.5

Reporting requirements for child abuse U.C.A. § 62A-4a-401 to U.C.A. § 62A-4a-413

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What should I do if I suspect a child is being abused?

A: You should immediately contact your local police department or sheriff’s office, or call the Division of Child and Family Services, (800) 678-9399. The Salt Lake DCFS Intake Office number is (801) 538-4377.

Q: I have questions or concerns about a child who was removed from a home. Who should I contact?

A: Contact the Division of Child and Family Services to speak to the case worker handling the case. The Attorney General’s Office is legally restricted to only represent the State of Utah on these matters and cannot give legal advice to individuals. If you need further assistance, you may also contact the Child Protection Ombudsman .

Q: Where can I get more information about child abuse prevention?

Please check out the following Web sites:

Coalition Against Institutionalized Child Abuse (CAICA)

A Call to Staff (letter to staff working with children)

National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information

Utah Division of Child and Family Services

Office of the Utah Attorney General