91% of Tennyson kids have experienced neglect, trauma, and/or physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Studies show that these kids are at much greater risk of homelessness, suicidality, substance abuse, PTSD, incarceration, and unemployment. They deserve better—and we are committed to delivering that.
Along with our community of child welfare leaders, advocates, and supporters, we are building a world that keeps more kids out of welfare, keeps families together, and helps all to heal and thrive.
You can be an advocate for children by learning the signs of abuse and reporting it. Remember, you are reporting suspicion of child abuse. Even if you aren’t sure, it’s better to let authorities check it out. You might save a child’s life!
Colorado has one toll-free phone number to report child neglect and abuse 24/7, 365 days a year. Please call the Colorado Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 844-CO-4-KIDS (844-264-5437) to report concerns about a child’s safety and well-being. All calls are confidential and will be routed to the county where a child resides. If it is an emergency or you are witnessing a child in a life-threatening situation, call 911 immediately.
Recognize Child Abuse
If you see a child you know acting differently, it could be a sign of abuse or neglect.
When you have concerns for a child’s well-being, the indicators listed below may help guide you. Many of these signs could be caused by things other than abuse or neglect. However, these indicators can indicate that a child’s safety may be at risk and the situation should be assessed by a professional who is able to determine the causes of these symptoms and offer the help and assistance necessary to reduce the child’s risk.
Signs of Neglect*
- Lacks needed medical or dental care, immunizations, or glasses
- Is frequently absent from school
- Begs for or steals food or money
- Lacks sufficient clothing for the weather
- States that there is no one home to provide care
- Lacks adult supervision
Signs of Abuse
- Discloses maltreatment
- Is reluctant to be around a particular person
- Shows sudden changes in behavior or school performance
- Has unexplained bruises or injuries
Key Facts and Statistics About Child Abuse
According to the Children’s Defense Fund, a child is abused or neglected every 47 seconds in America. In Colorado, this abuse costs an average of $830,928 per victim over their lifetime, and $27.2 billion in economic burden in the Denver metro area alone. Sadly, the emotional and physical costs are even more staggering.
- Nearly a third of the Colorado fatalities involved victims younger than one-year-old, and two-thirds were three or younger. The same is true for near-fatal incidents.
- Nearly a third of families where a child had died because of maltreatment had some history with domestic violence.
- Nearly a third experienced substance abuse issues and more than a third included a history of mental health treatment for at least one caregiver.
- In 2018, 40.3% of all children in fatal, near fatal, and egregious incidents of child maltreatment lived in a household with two parents.
- 36 child fatalities in 2018 in Colorado, with 19 near fatalities.
- Since January 2015, more than 1 million calls have been made to the Colorado’s neglect and abuse hotline system.
- On an average day in Colorado, 14 children and teens are placed in foster care.
- Today, there are more than 2,000 children and teens living with a foster family in Colorado.
- Nonfatal child maltreatment costs an average $830,928 per victim/lifetime, which translates to $27.2 billion in economic burden for cases of maltreatment in the Denver metro area alone.
Prevent Child Abuse
Parenting isn’t easy. Caring for children can be a difficult task. If you are feeling overwhelmed or stressed, here are some tips that can help prevent child abuse from happening:
- Get involved with other parents in your community. Help vulnerable children and their families. Start a playgroup.
- Discipline your children thoughtfully. Never discipline your child when you are upset. Give yourself time to calm down.
- Remember that discipline is a way to teach your child.
- Use privileges to encourage good behavior and time-outs to help your child regain control.
- Be a nurturing parent. Use your actions to show children and other adults that conflicts can be settled without hitting or yelling.
- Educate yourself and others. Simple support for children and parents can be the best way to prevent child abuse.
- Use after-school activities, parent education classes, and mentoring programs when you need them.
- Teach children their rights. When children are taught they have the right to be safe, they are less likely to think abuse is their fault, and more likely to report an offender.
Help Your Kids Stay Safe While Online
Follow these tips to keep your kids safe while using computers, phones, and tablets:
- Children should never give out their full name, address, phone number, or where they attend school to anyone they do not know without a parent’s permission.
- Explain to your children why it is important not to volunteer information to any company or individual.
- Warn children that even reputable-looking web sites might not be what they appear to be, nor as friendly as they appear to be. Explain that someone might not be who they say they are online.
- Offer to be with your child when they are online.
- Monitor what your child does online like checking browser history or logging into social media sites.
Resources and Links
The Childhelp USA® National Child Abuse Hotline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and receives calls from throughout the United States, Canada, US Virgin Islands, Guam and Puerto Rico. Approximately 134,000 callers are assisted annually with Childhelp USA’s abuse hotline.
Child Abuse Prevention and Education
Child AbuseWatch.net is a national child abuse prevention and educational resource for the public and professionals. Information available in English, Spanish, and French.
Promises2Kids is a 27-year-old nonprofit organization with a mission to break the cycle of child abuse, through prevention, education, advocacy, and funding.
Choosing child care is an important decision. Good child care arrangements can improve the daily lives of children and parents. In addition, children in high quality care have higher levels of success when they enter school. (source: Child Care Aware)
Lawyers For Children is a New York City based nonprofit corporation that provides free legal and social work services to children in foster care and to children who are involved in high conflict custody or visitation cases.
- 800-787-3224 (hearing impaired)
Your support and encouragement can be of tremendous value to a friend involved in an abusive relationship. You can ease the isolation and loss of control by listening, providing information and helping your friend to explore options. (source: National Domestic Violence Hotline)
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children’s® (NCMEC) mission is to help prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation; help find missing children; and assist victims of child abduction and sexual exploitation, their families, and the professionals who serve them.