Every year between 4,000 and 5,000 children are substantiated as abused or neglected in Wisconsin. You do not need to be an expert in the definitions of abuse and neglect. It is the responsibility of Child Protective Services (CPS), law enforcement and the court systems. You just need to understand the signs of possible abuse and neglect so you are prepared to recognize situations that may need to be reported.
Source: Wisconsin Child Welfare
When a parent or caregiver fails, refuses or is unable, for reasons other than poverty, to provide the necessary care, food, clothing, medical or dental care which seriously endanger the physical health of the child
Physical injury inflicted on a child by other than accidental means. Physical injury includes, but is not limited to, lacerations, fractured bones, burns, internal injuries, serve or frequent bruising or great bodily harm.
Sexual intercourse or sexual touching of a child, sexual exploitation, forced viewing of sexual activity or permitting, allowing or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution.
Harm to a child's psychological or intellectual functioning which is exhibited by serve anxiety, depression, withdrawal or aggression.
Deciding to get involved in a situation of suspected abuse or neglect can be difficult. It is, however, a decision that may be crucial to a child not only today, but also in the future. Parents who have abused or neglected their children may need services and support to provide safe care for their children.
WHAT TO REPORT
Explain, as well as you can, what happened or is happening to the child. Describe the nature of the abuse or neglect. Be as specific as possible. Be prepared to give the name, address and telephone number of the child and also the name of the parent or caretaker. Even if you do not know all of this information, report what you do know.
Any CPS Agency can take your report. If the abuse is happening now or is violent in nature, call 911. An oral or in person report must be made within 48 hours to one of the following or to law enforcement officials.
Dane County – (608) 261-5437
Dodge County – (920) 386-3750
Jefferson County – (920) 674-3105
Rock County – (608) 757-5200
PENALTY: persons required to report and who intentionally fail to report suspected child abuse or neglect may be fined up to $1,000 or imprisoned for up to 6 months or both. Persons who report in good faith are immune from civil or criminal liability.