Toolkits A resource for all adults describing signs of child abuse and where to report.

Kids Need All Adults to Report Abuse During COVID-19

Kids are Counting on All Adults to Protect Them

This means YOU! This resource is for any adult who interacts with a child. It outlines signs of abuse and neglect and where to report.

In times of crisis and economic instability, child abuse and neglect rates increase. However, reports of child abuse and neglect in Minnesota have declined.

Children are not going to school, activities, places of worship, and other public places where adults look out for their safety and well-being.

Trust your gut

If something does not look safe, sound safe or feel safe – report.

Making a report is asking for help and services

When you report, you are asking for a professional to help a child and their family. You do not need proof. You are not making an accusation.

You may be the only person to act

If you reasonably suspect a child is unsafe – report.

Anyone can make a report of suspected child abuse or maltreatment. Anyone making a report in good faith is protected against civil/criminal penalty or adverse employment action.

Some Signs a Child is Not Safe

Physical abuse

  • Child appears frightened of the caregiver.
  • Child has burns, bites, broken bones, bruising, black eyes, or complaints of pain.
  • Caregiver offers no explanation for a child’s injury, the parent “blames” the child’s behavior or personality for the injury. Ask yourself “Does the story match the injury?”

Sexual abuse

  • Child attaches very quickly to strangers or new adults in their environment.
  • Demonstrates unusual sexual knowledge or behavior for their age.
  • Difficulty walking or sitting.
  • Witnessing an adult inappropriately touching a child, watching pornography with a child, or saying sexual things to a child.

Emotional abuse

  • Child shows extremes in behavior: Overly aggressive or compliant.
  • Appears emotionally unattached to caregiver and others.
  • Caregiver constantly blames, belittles, or berates the child and refuses to help the child when needed.


  • Child begs or steals food, has severe poor hygiene, or states that no one at home provides care.
  • Witnessing a child use alcohol or other drugs.
  • Highly stressful family situations and/or adults in the home abusing alcohol or other drugs.
  • Unlocked weapons or guns in the home.

Where To Report

To report concerns about child abuse or maltreatment, contact your local child protection agency.

If a child is in immediate danger, call 911.

How to Report Child Abuse »