How to Make an Abuse/Neglect Report


 North Carolina’s mandatory reporting law requires anyone to report when there is “cause to suspect” that a child, juvenile, senior, and/or disabled adult is abused, neglected, or dependent. Individuals who make reports in good faith are immune from any civil or criminal liability.

To report suspicions of abuse/neglect:

BY PHONE: 828-265-8100 (Monday-Friday; 8am-5pm)
Please do not leave reports on voicemail

IN PERSON: Watauga DSS (Monday-Friday; 8am-4pm)
                      132 Poplar Grove Connector, Suite C
                      Boone NC 28607
For emergencies afterhours/weekends, call Watauga Co. Sheriff’s Dept (
828-264-3761, ext. 2) and ask for the emergency/on-call social worker.

Please do not send reports of abuse/neglect via email. Specific and detailed questions are asked during a report and it is best for us to be able to talk to you to ensure we have as much information as possible. Emails are not monitored 24/7, therefore reports sent via email may not be screened in a timely manner.

Please be aware that you will be asked several questions in order to gain as much information about the situation as possible. Making a report typically takes 30-45 minutes. Reports should be made to the county in which the victim child/adult resides.

When possible, please have the following information available:

·         Names & ages of all household members

·         Phone numbers & addresses of children/adults and caretakers

·         School & employment information

·         Specific details of what has happened to the child or adult who you believe is being harmed (When/Where did the abuse occur? Were there any injuries? Has anyone tried to intervene in the abuse/neglect?)

The identity of a reporter is confidential. Your name or contact information will not be shared unless the Department is directed to by a court order. Reporters may choose to receive written notice as to whether or not a report was accepted and the outcome of the investigation.

Please be aware that Child Protective Services & Adult Protective Services do not perform welfare checks. To request a welfare check, please contact local law enforcement.

CPS/APS is only able to respond if there is information that abuse/neglect HAS occurred. We are not able to intervene on suspicion that abuse/neglect may occur in the future.