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Common Questions

What can I do if I suspect a child may be being abused?

Last reviewed in April 2023 by the Clicklaw Editors

Child abuse can take different forms. It may be physical, sexual, emotional, or the result of neglect. If you believe that a child (a person under 19) needs protection, you have a legal duty to report the matter to the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) by contacting your local child welfare worker. You do not have to give your name. When a report is made to a child protection social worker, the worker will determine the most appropriate response. A response may include, among other things, making a report to the police or conducting a child protection investigation jointly with a police investigation.

Good starting points include:

Need more help?

  • Contact a local child welfare worker by calling the MCFD office at 1-800-663-9122 or 604-660-4927 (Lower Mainland).
  • Call Helpline for Children, from the provincial government, at 310-1234 (no area code needed).

See our related common questions:

child abuse, reporting a crime, exploitation of children, child neglect, child protection, removal of a child from the home