If You See A Child Being Mistreated in a Public Place


To report suspected child abuse or neglect, call the Child Protective Services Hotline at

703-324-7400 • TTY 703-222-9452

Here are some things you can do:

Try to engage in a conversation with the adult to redirect their attention away from the child.

If you know the parent, offer to watch the child for a few minutes while the parent takes a break. A few moments away from crowds and distractions can make a big difference.

Talk to the child to divert their attention away from the situation.

Praise the child and/or parent at the first opportunity.

Alert a person in a position of authority if you are concerned about the physical safety of the child. This can be a store manager or a security guard.

If you feel the child is in immediate danger, call the police.




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Fairfax County Department of Family Services
[ 12011 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA 22035 ]
[ 703-324-7500 ]

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