Report child abuse & neglect

The DHS Office of Children Youth and Families Intake Department also takes calls about suspected abuse and neglect.

You may remain anonymous. CYF call screeners do not log telephone numbers.

24-hour 412-473-2000

  1. The call screener gathers the information and consults with their supervisor about whether to investigate.
  2. A supervisor looks at any available DHS and CYF data related to the child and family, assesses risk and safety and either screens out or chooses to investigate.
  3. If the child is unsafe, a caseworker is dispatched within two hours.

What happens if your child is removed from your home?

Your CYF caseworker is bound by state law to act if kids are at risk. While you may be angry and upset, work with your caseworker to figure out how to get your child back home.

A child may be placed with:

  1. someone else in your family
  2. a foster family
  3. a group home with other kids where they all receive care
  4. a residential treatment facility if they have mental health or behavioral challenges

Most CYF cases are resolved through voluntary participation, but some require court hearings. Here are the most common types:

Within 72 hours of a child being removed from their home.

What happens?
These are informal and the CYF caseworker, parents and child can talk.

What’s the result?
The child goes back home, the family gets support, another hearing is scheduled or there is no more court activity.

If it is believed that a child is at-risk and needs court supervision.

What happens?
The Court determines whether a child becomes a “dependent” based on testimony from a caseworker, County Solicitor and advocates for children and parents.

What’s the result?
While parents still have parental rights, the Court can override parents’ decisions.

Every three months

What happens?
To determine whether a child is safe where they are, discuss progress and decide whether the CYF services put in place are working.

What’s the result?
Ends with a recommendation for future action like returning home, living with a relative or adoption.

After a judge decides that a child can’t safely go back home.

What happens?
Parental rights are terminated.

What’s the result?
A child can be adopted or placed in another permanent living arrangement.

The following people may be present at your child’s hearing:

  • Assistant County Solicitor who represents the Allegheny County Department of Human Services
  • Attorney for your child or “child advocate” provided by KidsVoice
  • KidsVoice
  • Attorney for you or “parent advocate”
  • Allegheny County Juvenile Court Project
  • Court-appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for your child
  • Caseworkers
  • Foster parents
  • Witnesses
  • Medical or educational guardians

Foster parents can play a critical role in a child’s life during a difficult time.

Right now, hundreds of kids in Allegheny County can use support and guidance.

Learn how to become a foster parent.

Other helpful resources

Have a question or concern about services?

DHS Director's Action Line specialists are available Monday - Friday 8AM - 5PM.