Calls to the hotline are investigated by child protection workers who will interview the caller, visit the home to talk to children and look for any signs of abuse as well as interview family and friends. The complaint and interactions with the family are logged in the United Nevada Information Technology for Youth (UNITY) database for workers to keep track of their contacts with the family.
The workers are tasked with determining whether an allegation is substantiated, which requires more investigation or action. CPS actions can include everything from providing the family with services such as food, counseling and parenting classes to recommending the children are taken from their caregivers. A court must approve a parent losing custody.
CPS can also determine the allegation is unsubstantiated, which means CPS workers did not find evidence of neglect or abuse. The referral can also be marked “information only,” which means the allegation does not, on its face, meet the criteria for abuse or neglect and no further action is taken.
Nevada’s child protection system is divided by population.
Nevada Department of Health & Human Services’ Division of Child & Family Services conducts CPS investigations in rural areas, and Washoe and Clark counties have their own agencies.
If the abuse or neglect is happening in Washoe County, people should call (833) 900-SAFE (7233).
Outside Washoe and Clark counties, the hotline is 1-833-803-1183.