Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline marks five-year anniversary

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DENVER (Jan. 14, 2020) — In January 2015, the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline ― 1-844-CO-4-KIDS ― was launched to provide one easy-to-remember phone number for individuals to use statewide to report their concerns about possible child abuse and neglect. In that time, 1,068,107 calls have been made to the state’s hotline system, and local county human/social services have assessed the safety and well-being of 274,193 children and teens in Colorado. The hotline serves as a direct, immediate and efficient route to Colorado’s 64 counties and two tribal nations, which are responsible for accepting and responding to concerns about a child or teen’s safety and well-being.  

“More than 1 million calls means that more and more people in Colorado recognize their role in strengthening families,” said Minna Castillo Cohen, director of the Office of Children, Youth and Families at the Colorado Department of Human Services. “Even if no child abuse or neglect has occurred, counties and tribal nations are often able to provide additional services that can help the family. That's why it's important to call.”  

A consistent increase in calls to the hotline shows that more people understand that all Coloradans play a role in strengthening families. In the five years since the hotline launched, child welfare agencies were able to ensure the safety and well-being of 63,986 children and teens who experienced abuse or neglect. Additionally, 60,190 families received voluntary support from their county human/social services.

When parents have what they need to be strong in the face of stress, a network of friends and family, and the ability to meet their own basic needs, they are better able to ensure the safety and well-being of their children.

“We know that parents love their children and want the best for them. Calling the hotline is one way community members can share their concerns and help local social service agencies connect parents with the support they need,” said Castillo Cohen. “In the majority of cases, children and teens stay safely at home while their families receive services.” 

In 2019, of the 19,598 Colorado kids and their families involved in an open child welfare case:

  • 69% of children and teens stayed safely at home while their family received services
  • 31% of children and teens were placed in an out-of-home placement, including with a kinship or foster family or in a congregate care facility

Call 1-844-CO-4-KIDS to report concerns about child abuse and neglect. If a child or teen is in immediate danger, dial 9-1-1. Calls to the hotline are routed to the appropriate county through the Hotline County Connection Center in Lamar, and all callers are able to speak with a call-taker 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Visit to learn more about the signs of child abuse and neglect and other ways you can help children, teens and families in your community.

Media contact:

Madlynn Ruble, deputy director of communications