Reporting Child Abuse
For technical reasons the ministry has changed its Helpline for Children telephone number to 310-1234. This is a toll free number. It is a local telephone number anywhere in the province.
Over the next two years people calling the operator and asking for the old Zenith 1234 line will be transferred to the new 310-1234 number.
Call the Helpline when you have a concern about the safety and well-being of a child.
Duty to report abuse or suspected abuse
Anyone who has reason to believe that a child has been or is likely to be abused or neglected has a legal duty under the Child, Family and Community Service Act to report the matter.
How to report
Report to a child protection social worker in either a Ministry of Children and Family Development office, or a First Nations child welfare agency that provides child protection services.
Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., call your local district office (listed in the blue pages of your phone book).
Monday to Friday, 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. and all day Saturday, Sunday and on statutory holidays, call the Helpline for Children. Dial 310-1234 (no area code needed).
After Hours Line
For emergencies outside office hours (8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday).
- Vancouver, North Shore Richmond, call 604 660-4927
- Lower Mainland, Burnaby, Delta, Maple Ridge, Langley, call 604 660-8180
- For the rest of the province, call toll-free 1 800 663-9122
Foster Families' Support Line - After Hours call 1 888 495-4440
4:00 p.m. - 12:45 a.m., Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. - 12:45 a.m. statutory holidays and weekends
If you have a concern relating to a child in your care during regular office hours, please contact the child's social worker or your own support worker.
What to report
You need not have details or proof prior to calling. But you will be asked for as much information about the concern as you can provide. This will include;
- Your name and phone number (although you may call anonymously if you prefer)
- relationship to child
- any immediate concerns about the child's safety;
- the location of the child;
- the child's age;
- information on the situation including all physical and behavioural indicators observed;
- information about the family, parents and alleged offenders;
- the nature of the child's disabilities, if any;
- the name of a key support person;
- other child(ren) who may be affected;
- information about other persons or agencies closely involved with the child and/or family;
- and any other relevant information concerning the child and/or family such as language and culture.
After you report
The child protection social worker will:
- determine if the child needs protection;
- contact the police if a criminal investigation is required;
- coordinate a response with other agencies, if necessary.
If a child is in immediate danger, police should be called to intervene and a child protection social worker should be contacted to determine whether the child is in need of protection.