Please report child abuse if you suspect it

April 19, 2024
Miren Unsworth, DHW Deputy Director

All children deserve to feel safe in their homes, but all too often that’s not the case.

The Department of Health and Welfare receives nearly 23,000 reports of child abuse, neglect, and abandonment each year in Idaho.

This month, as we recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month, please learn what you can do if you think a child may be in an abusive situation.

To report suspected child abuse, neglect, or abandonment call:

  • Statewide: 855-552-KIDS (5437)
  • Treasure Valley: 208-334-KIDS (5437)
  • 2-1-1 or local law enforcement

Reporting suspicions of child abuse, neglect, or abandonment is not just a moral obligation but a legal requirement for all Idaho residents. This includes a wide spectrum of professionals and community members, ranging from doctors and teachers to daycare providers and relatives.

Uncertainty shouldn’t deter you from making the call. Although it may be daunting, it could save a child’s life. Upon being assigned a report, a family services worker conducts a thorough assessment to determine the validity of the concerns raised and provide services and supports. Each report is meticulously documented and serves as a crucial reference point for future interventions.

Callers have the option to remain anonymous, alleviating concerns about potential repercussions. The Department of Health and Welfare safeguards the identity of those who report, ensuring confidentiality even if the family requests access to their records.

Children do best when they can remain safely with their families, and the department works hard to make that happen if possible. DHW’s Child Welfare staff are dedicated to protecting Idaho children, keeping Idaho families together, and helping families heal.

The work they do is difficult and sometimes unappreciated, but they can’t protect children without the collective support of the community.

Ultimately, Child Abuse Prevention Month serves as a call to action, urging individuals and institutions alike to prioritize the safety, dignity, and rights of every child. It reminds us that protecting children is a responsibility we all share.

Miren Unsworth is a deputy director and interim Family and Community Services division administrator at DHW. She has spent 21 years working in service to children and families, including 18 years of work in public child welfare programs as a case manager, supervisor, policy manager, as well as a deputy administrator and administrator for FACS.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at

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