PA DHS Urges Child Abuse Awareness (November 13, 2020)

The PA Department of Human Services (DHS) encourages all Pennsylvanians to learn more about the signs of potential abuse or neglect and make a report to ChildLine if they begin to suspect abuse or neglect. Reporters do not have to prove abuse and neglect, and reporting to ChildLine allows trained child welfare and law enforcement professionals to properly investigate cases of suspected abuse.

Signs of potential abuse or neglect can include:
-Numerous and/or unexplained injuries or bruises;
-Chronic, pronounced anxiety and expressed feelings of inadequacy;
-Flinching or an avoidance to being touched;
-Poor impulse control;
-Demonstrating abusive behavior or talk;
-Cruelty to animals or others; and,
-Fear of parent or caregiver, among othersOpens In A New Window.

Pennsylvanians can learn more about the signs of potential abuse at

DHS also encourages parents/guardians and families who are struggling to cope during this time of crisis to reach out for help. Anyone struggling with mental health and in need of referrals to helpful programs can call Pennsylvania’s new Support & Referral Helpline, which is operated 24/7 by skilled caseworkers who can provide emotional support during this difficult period. The number to call is 1-855-284-2494. For TTY, dial 724-631-5600. Another helpful resource is the 2-1-1 hotline operated by the United WayOpens In A New Window, which can connect people and families to local resources that can help during the public health crisis.