DENVER, Colo. (KRDO) -- According to the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS), calls to the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline remained stable from 2021 to 2022. This comes after the state reported a significant drop in calls in 2020.
Data from the CDHS found calls to the hotline, 844-CO-4-Kids (844-264-5437), increased by 0.3% to 209,513 in 2022 compared to 208,949 in 2021.
According to the CDHS, the slight growth in calls comes after a sustained public awareness campaign encouraging Coloradans to share concerns about the safety and well-being of children and teens when needed.
The Hotline serves as a direct, immediate, and efficient route to Colorado's 64 counties and two tribal nations, which are responsible for accepting and responding to concerns about a child or teen's safety and well-being.
"A call to the Hotline could help a family connect with services that create a healthy environment in which children can thrive," said Minna Castillo Cohen, director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families (OCYF) in a news release. "I urge everyone to help a family when you can and know that it's okay to call the Hotline if you're concerned about the well-being of a child or youth."
In 2022, the CDHS said calls from mandatory reporters decreased by 2%, but still made up 55% of total calls. For non-mandatory reporters, which include the general public, family, and friends, increased by 2%, 45% of total calls, compared to 2021.
According to the CDHS, local county departments of human/social services assessed the safety and well-being of 50,699 children and youth in Colorado in 2022.
Additionally, in 2022, 14,737 Colorado families were involved in an open child welfare case. Of those cases, 70% of children and teens stayed at home while their families received services. The CDHE said 30% were placed in an out-of-home placement, including with a kinship or foster family or in a congregate care facility.
To learn more ways to help strengthen families to prevent child abuse and neglect, visit CO4Kids.org.
The Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline is 844-CO-4-Kids (844-264-5437). The hotline is available 24 hours a day, every day. Anyone witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation should call 911 immediately.