Answer: YES

If you suspect or know of a child that is being abused, it is your responsibility to become involved. Tennessee law (TCA 37-1-403 and TCA 37-1-605) requires all persons to make a report when they suspect abuse, neglect or exploitation of children. Often teachers are the first to suspect abuse because they may see changes in physical appearance, behavior and emotional status.

It is important that we become involved as every year there are children who die from abuse. A sad fact is that a large number of these children were known to be abused and no one reported the abuse.

The Department of Children’s Services responds to over 37,000 reports of child abuse and neglect a year. Every day, more than 100 children are reported abused or neglected in Tennessee. The Child Protective Services division strives to protect children whose lives or health are seriously jeopardized because of abusive acts or negligence. This division also supports the preservation of families. You can call the police, the school or child protective services, but please call.

The phone number to report child abuse and neglect is 1-877-237-0004 or on line at

Contact 911 if the situation is a life-threatening emergency.