Child Protective Services
How To Report
When you suspect that a child is being abused or neglected, you should make a report as soon as possible to the local Department of Social Services. You may call the Dinwiddie Department of Social Services at (804) 469-4524 during normal business hours. There is also a social worker available on-call after hours to handle emergency concerns. This worker can be accessed through police dispatch. Reports can be made to the Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline by calling 1 (800) 552-7096 24/7.
Provide as much of the following information when reporting an incident:
- The name, address, and telephone number of the child and parents or other person(s) responsible for the child's care
- The child's birth date or age, sex, and race
- A description of the nature of the injuries or condition
- History of prior reported incidents of injuries or maltreatment of the child or siblings
- Reasons for suspecting abuse or neglect
- If medical or other emergency services are necessary
- The names and ages of other persons who live with the child and their relationship to the child
- The name, address, and telephone number of the suspected abuser and his/her relationship to the child
- Any other pertinent information
- Your name (however reports may also be made anonymously)
Anyone may report abuse or neglect; however, under Virginia law, certain professionals are required to report. Mandated reporters include teachers, doctors, law enforcement, therapists, and others responsible for the care of children.
Reports may be made anonymously. However we encourage callers to leave their names so they may be contacted if additional information is needed. Also, the results of the investigation will be provided.
The identity of the caller is not revealed during the investigation. It is only revealed under order of the court in extremely rare situations.
Section 63.1-248.5 of the Code of Virginia provides protection from criminal and civil liability to the following persons unless it is proven that these persons acted with malicious intent: any person making a report of child abuse / neglect; and any person who participates in a judicial proceeding resulting from either making a report or taking a child into immediate custody.
After a report of suspected abuse or neglect is received, the report is assessed for validity. Before a referral for a family assessment or investigation, a determination must be made that the allegations meet the definition of abuse and neglect, the victim is currently under the age of 18, there is a caretaker relationship between the victim and the alleged abuser / neglecter, and that the abuse occurred under the local department's jurisdiction.
If a report is determined to be invalid, it does not mean that we disagree with the caller's concern, but rather that the call did not meet the stated criteria for assessment. If the call is screened out for assessment, the caller will be notified and the information is maintained for one year. If a caller does not agree with this decision, the caller is encouraged to report any additional information or to clarify the concern.