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Process of Reporting and Investigating
TO REPORT SUSPECTED ABUSE OR NEGLECT OF A CHILD IN ARIZONA CALL 24 HOURS/7 DAYS A WEEK: Arizona's Statewide Toll-free Child Abuse Hotline 1-888-SOS-CHILD (1-888-767-2445)

Investigation Protocol by County

How to Make a Report:
When reporting, the following information, if known, will be requested:

  • Name, age, and gender of child and other family members
  • Address, phone numbers, and/or directions to child's home
  • Parents' place of employment
  • Description of suspected abuse or neglect
  • Current condition of the child

What happens to the report?
A CPS report is defined based on ARS §8-802 as being an incoming communication to 1-888-SOS-CHILD containing an allegation that: a person presently under the age of eighteen (18) is the subject of physical, sexual or emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment or exploitation which a parent, guardian or custodian has inflicted, may inflict, permitted another person to inflict or had reason to know another person may inflict AND contains sufficient information to locate the child.

A CPS Specialist will investigate the report through interviews with all children in the home, parents, friends, relatives, and any other person who may have information about the child and family.

After investigation, if CPS has reason to believe that a parent guardian or custodian abused or neglected a child and intends to confirm this, a letter will be sent to the person accused explaining how an appeal of this decision may be requested and how to get a copy of the CPS report.

Following investigation, the CPS team determines if the report should be substantiated or unsubstantiated. When a report is substantiated it means that the information gathered supports a finding of child abuse or neglect. CPS may provide services to the family or refer them to services in the local community. When a report is unsubstantiated it means that the information gathered does not support a finding of child abuse or neglect. CPS may end its involvement with the family unless the family requests additional help. A confidential record of all CPS reports and outcomes is maintained in a computer database. https://www.azdes.gov/dcyf/cmdps/cps/pdf/PAC-488%20edits.pdf

What is the Penalty for FALSE Reporting?
False Reporting
Rev. Stat. § 13-3620.01 A person acting with malice who knowingly and intentionally makes a false report of child abuse or neglect, or a person acting with malice who coerces another person to make a false report of child abuse or neglect, is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

A person who knowingly and intentionally makes a false report that another person made a false report is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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