What is child abuse?

A child is abused or neglected when he/she is injured by the intentional acts or omissions of an adult.

Below are examples of abuse and neglect:

  • physical or mental injury
  • excessive corporal punishment
  • sexual offenses
  • failure to supply food, clothing, shelter, education or medical care
  • abandonment
  • encouraging delinquency
  • substantial risk of abuse or neglect

How to report child abuse: 

Call the Department of Human Resources (DHR) if the suspected perpetrator is:

  • child’s parent, guardian or foster parent
  • operator, employee or caregiver of a public or private residential home, institution, agency or childcare facility
  • adult who has assumed the role of or responsibility of a parent or guardian for the child (does not necessarily have legal custody)

Report to local law enforcement if the suspected perpetrator is not responsible for the child’s welfare. Examples include:

  • occasional babysitter
  • neighbor
  • stranger
  • leader in youth organization
  • Family member other than parent, guardian or foster parent.

 Local contact numbers:

Jefferson County DHR:                205-423-4850                 Jeff Co. Sheriff                              205-325-5700
Shelby County DHR:                    205-669-3086                Shelby Co. Sheriff                         205-669-4181
St. Clair County DHR                   205-812-2100                St. Clair County Sherriff                205-594-2140

Walker County DHR:                    205-387-5420               Walker Co. Sheriff                          205-302-6464
Blount County:  DHR                   205-274-5200               Blount Co. Sheriff                          205-625-4133

If a child is in imminent danger, please call 911.