IN.gov - Skip Navigation

Note: This message is displayed if (1) your browser is not standards-compliant or (2) you have you disabled CSS. Read our Policies for more information.

Indiana Department of Child Services

DCS  > Child Protective Services Child Protective Services

Indiana's Child Protective Services (CPS), protects Indiana's children from further abuse or neglect and prevents, remedies, or assists in solving problems that may result in abuse, neglect, exploitation, or delinquency of children.

CPS operates a toll-free hotline (1-800-800-5556) for people to call and report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect. Although reports can be made in person or by correspondence, the vast majority of child abuse and neglect reports are made via telephone. CPS receives and initiates investigations of child maltreatment on a 24-hour basis.

Investigations of abuse or neglect may be substantiated or unsubstantiated. The child's safety is the paramount concern for child protective staff conducting investigations. Families receive services based on the severity of the abuse or neglect, an assessment of the child's and the family's needs, and an assessment of the relative safety and risk to the child in the home.

The Family Preservation Program carries out the agency's goals to prevent unnecessary separation from their families by identifying family problems and assisting families in resolving them.

DCS also seeks to return children who have been removed from their own homes to their families through the provision of services to the child and family.

For more information on what constitutes child maltreatment, visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway

For information on Shaken Baby Syndrome, visit their website.

The Family Preservation Program carries out the Bureau's goals to prevent unnecessary separation of children from their families by identifying family problems and assisting families in resolving them.

The Bureau also seeks to return children who have been removed from their own homes to their families through the provision of services to the child and family.

The Family Preservation Program provides services to prevent out-of-home placement or reunifies children and their families in cases of substantiated reports of child abuse or neglect. Services offered to families include:

  • education
  • counseling
  • visitation
  • sexual abuse treatment
  • parent aides
  • homemaker services
  • home-based family services

The program carries out these goals through the following services:

  • Informal Adjustments - agreements made by the family case manager, the child's parent(s) guardian, custodian, attorney and other involved parties when a family admits to a problem and the child is at minimal risk in the home. The agreement is filed with the juvenile court, must be approved by the court, and may include many of the above-noted services.
  • Services to a Child in Need of Services (CHINS) - services to children made wards of the court include case planning, periodic case review and many of the services mentioned above.
  • Reunification Services - services provided to families when a child who has been removed from the family has a goal to return to the family. Any or all of the above-noted services may be offered.

Institutional Child Protection Services serves children who allegedly have been abused or neglected in any institutional or out-of-home care. Reports are received via the statewide hotline and investigations of abuse are initiated within 24 hours. This program determines whether the child should remain at the facility or home, whether adequate protection can be provided, whether referrals are needed for follow-up monitoring, and whether referral for prosecution of perpetrators is indicated (substantiated cases).

For more information about Child Welfare and Child Protection Services, contact the local Department of Child Services office in the county in which you live.