Report Suspected Abuse

Every adult in North Carolina has a legal obligation to report suspected child or adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation. If you make a report, you are immune from criminal or legal liability if the report is made in good faith. You may make a report anonymously, but you are encouraged to provide your name and contact information in case additional information is needed later.

To report suspected abuse/neglect, you do not need to have proof but you do need to have reasonable grounds for suspicion. You do not need permission from the child’s caregivers.

How to Report
You may make a report of suspected child abuse or neglect 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling (828) 324-9111. A social worker will listen to your concerns and document all information given. You may also make a report by mail or in person. We are located at the main Social Services offices.

The following information is needed when making a report:

  • Name, address and age of the child(ren)
  • Name and address of the child’s parent, guardian or caretaker
  • The child’s condition, including the history, nature and extent of the injury or maltreatment

Information known about the family that could affect the safety of the child, and perhaps the safety of a social worker.

It is the law that any person who has reasonable cause to believe that a disabled person is in need of Protective Services must report the case to the county Social Services Department (N.C.G.S. 108A-102). The reporter's identity is kept confidential unless a court of law orders disclosure.

How to Report

Telephone, write, or visit Catawba Social Services when you have information about a disabled adult being abused, neglected, or exploited. The following information is needed when making a report:

  • Name, age, and address of the disabled adult
  • Name and address of caretaker (if applicable)
  • Nature of abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation
  • Other pertinent information

By Phone:
(828) 695-5609 from 8:00am-5:00pm Monday-Friday. If reporting after hours or during holidays, call 911.

By Mail:
Catawba County Social Services
PO Box 669
Newton, NC 28658

In Person:
3030 11th Ave Dr SE
Hickory, NC 28602

The allegations in the report will be screened to see if they meet the legal definition of abuse, neglect, or dependency. The department has jurisdiction only when the alleged mistreatment falls within legal definitions and was committed or allowed by the parent or caretaker. If the allegations and alleged perpetrator meet these criteria, an investigation is begun. If a report is not accepted for investigation/assessment, the person reporting the abuse has a right to challenge this decision through an agency review process.