According to Alabama law, child abuse is defined as “harm or threatened harm to a child’s health or welfare which can occur through non-accidental physical or mental injury; sexual abuse or attempted sexual abuse; sexual exploitation or attempted sexual exploitation.”
If you suspect child abuse, what do you do? Learn the proper steps to take with Free Will Baptist Children’s Home.
Make the Call
The appropriate way to report suspected child abuse in Alabama is by calling your County Department of Human Resources or your local law enforcement agency. Do not send them information via email.
One important thing to be aware of is that you don’t have to be certain that the child is being abused in order to report it. There’s really no way you could be sure unless the abuser admitted to you what they had done, so all you need is a reasonable suspicion that a child is being treated improperly.
Report Right Away
Some people are legally required to report suspected child abuse (doctors, surgeons, medical examiners, coroners, dentists, osteopaths, optometrists, chiropractors, podiatrists, nurses, school teachers and officials, law enforcement officials, pharmacists, social workers, daycare workers or employees, and mental health professionals).
If you are one of these people, then you must report your suspicion of child abuse immediately. You must also follow up with a written report provided by DHR.
Even if you are not one of these people, don’t wait to call! The child’s well being may depend on your being proactive. Go ahead and report what you have seen, and let DHR and law enforcement handle the process.
Know a Child Who Needs a Safe Place?
If you are legally responsible for a child in crisis and you would like to refer that child to us, please let us know by calling (205) 924-9751. Our mission is to offer a haven of hope and healing to children who are struggling with life’s challenges or who have found themselves in a turbulent domestic situation. Contact us to ask questions or simply to get more information about our home!