What happens when DFCS receives a call about child abuse and neglect?
In Santa Clara County, the Department of Family and Children's Services (DFCS), has the duty of receiving referrals (reports) through a local hotline. California also requires that certain forms of abuse, such as sexual abuse or severe physical abuse, be made known to the police through a process called a cross report.
Anyone may report an incident of known or suspected child abuse and/or neglect by calling the DFCS Child Abuse and Neglect Center (CANC), or a report may be made to the police.
By law, the name of anyone making a report must be kept private. If you are unsure about making a report, you are welcome to call the CANC to discuss your concerns with our trained staff.
If you fall into the group of a mandated reporter, you are required by law to make a report of suspected child abuse and/or neglect.
After a report is made, the report may be taken for "information" only, and no action is taken. It may be evaluated out by connecting the family with community resources, or a Social Worker may be assigned to investigate the allegation.
It is decided that investigation is needed
It is decided the call does not rise to the level of abuse or neglect