Child Abuse and Neglect
Make it your business to keep kids safe ... see some Resources on Parenting and Child Supervision.
In Fiscal Year 2010, Child Protective Services (CPS) assessed or investigated 2,677 cases of child abuse and/or neglect in Fairfax County. The most common form of reported maltreatment was physical abuse, followed by neglect, which includes the inadequate supervision of children.
Our HOTLINE is a HELP Line ...
We all need help taking care of our children. If you're concerned about a child's well-being ... or want to report or discuss a possible abuse or neglect situation ... or want advice, counseling, resources or help, please call:
Child Protective Services Hotline
Your call is confidential.
In addition to protecting children, CPS social workers provide counseling and referrals to parenting programs, child care and other helpful resources. Local organizations and human service agencies work together to provide prevention-oriented supports to families at risk of abuse and neglect, including services provided at neighborhood-based Family Resource Centers.
For more information …
Child Abuse and
Neglect in Fairfax County, including Child Supervision Guidelines
(for determining when it is safe to leave a child unsupervised)
Child Protective Services statistics and program highlights in the Advisory Social Services Board Annual Report
(see Child Protective Services under Statistics)
CASA - Learn more
about how you can help represent children in court who have been abused
Q: If I think a child is being abused or neglected, what should I do?
If you're concerned about a child's well being — or if you would like advice, counseling, resources or help for yourself or others — call Fairfax County's Child Protective Services at the CPS Hotline: 703-324-7400. You may give your name or remain anonymous, if you wish.
Q: If I give my name, will it be released to anyone?
If you choose to leave your name, it will be kept confidential.>
Q: What happens when I call the Hotline?
You'll be connected to a CPS Hotline social worker who will ask questions to determine if the situation you're reporting requires further attention. If so, a CPS social worker will respond to the situation.
Q: Will the child be removed from the home?
A child is removed from the home ONLY as a last resort. As defined in Virginia law, this would be when there is "imminent threat to the life or health of the child." In such cases, CPS social workers do not act alone. They must have court approval to remove a child from a parent's custody. Usually, approval occurs before the child is removed, however, in extreme emergencies, the court may approve after the removal.
Q: What happens to a child when he or she is removed from the home?
Every attempt is made to place the child with family members or relatives. If that is not possible, the child is placed in a temporary foster home.
Q: Does CPS become involved in child custody or visitation disputes?
Child Protective Services becomes involved ONLY when there is a legitimate complaint that a child is a victim of abuse or neglect by the child's caretaker (parent, guardian, etc.).
Q: At what age can a child be left alone — and for how long?
Children 7 and under should not be left alone for any period of time. Child Protective Services has published Child Supervision Guidelines which provides information on when a child may be left unsupervised.
Q: What types of abuse does CPS investigate?
Child Protective Services investigates suspected incidents of physical abuse and neglect; mental or emotional abuse; medical neglect; and sexual abuse by a child's caretaker (parent, guardian, etc.)
Q: How are you able to work with people who do not speak English?
Many of our social workers are bilingual. We also use interpreters from community organizations specializing in multicultural services. In addition, some of our written materials are printed in other languages.
Administration for Children and Families
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The Annie E. Casey Foundation
American Humane Association
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Child Welfare League of America
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation