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Child Abuse and Neglect

Under NH Law and NH Patient Care Protocols, EMS providers are required to report suspected child abuse to the Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) and local police within 24 hours. 


To report suspected abuse or neglect call DCYF Central Intake Unit at:

  • 603-271-6562

  • 800-894-5533 (in-state only)


The Intake unit is staffed 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays.

Sometimes, people are unsure if a situation is abusive. Even if you're in doubt, call. DCYF has extensive experience in child protection and while DCYF may find no abuse or neglect has taken place, they may still offer assistance to the family.

  • Informing hospital personnel or involving law enforcement does not fulfill legal reporting responsibilities in accordance with state law.

  • Do not send reports of suspected child abuse by email.

NH Law requires any person who suspects that a child under age 18 has been abused or neglected must report that suspicion immediately to DCYF. (New Hampshire RSA 169-C:29-31).

child with hand blocking face

What should I do if I suspect abuse or neglect?

EMS Procedure for Assessment

  • Treat and document assessment findings using appropriate medical treatment protocols.

  • Whenever possible, secure and bag (in paper) clothing or items needed as evidence.

  • Interview patient in a calm, respectful, and private manner, while observing for:

  1. Mental status.

  2. Inappropriate fears or atypical reaction to situation.

  3. Avoidance behaviors.

  4. Inappropriate interaction with caregiver or parent.

  • Do not interrogate, accuse, or otherwise address specifics of abuse or neglect to patient, caregiver or parent.

  • Obtain pertinent history relating to presenting injuries or illness.

  • Document verbatim any patient statements of instances of rough handling, sexual abuse, alcohol/drug abuse, verbal or emotional abuse, isolation or confinement, misuse of property, threats, and gross neglect such as restriction of fluids, food, medications, or hygienic care.

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