Should You Call the Hotline if a Child’s Parents are Addicted to Opiates?


If a child’s parents are addicted to opiates, this does not necessarily mean that Child Protective Services should be called. CPS conducts investigations to determine whether a child is in immediate danger.


When a call is placed about a child’s parents abusing alcohol, using, or selling drugs, CPS intake staff will usually ask “How has this use harmed the child or caused imminent danger of harm and how do you know?” If the caller only knows that the parent is using, CPS may ask them to gather more information about how the child is being harmed.


In the case that there is no information to support an allegation that the child has been harmed (or is in imminent danger of harm) in a way that has been observed and can be described, CPS would suggest a referral to a community agency for primary prevention.





Someone who is legally responsible for a child.


In Depth:


Who Do Hotline Reports Come From?


Outcomes of Reporting System in Monroe County:


While 69% of our registered reports of suspected child abuse and neglect come from mandated reporters, 31% came from voluntary reporters including concerned citizens, neighbors, and relatives. This distribution of sources of reports further emphasizes that the protection of children depends on a shared responsibility by mandated reporters, concerned citizens and relatives, and us (CPS). We can take action only if you call with information that can be registered as a report. We want to build and maintain good relationships with you and share information about how well our reporting system is working in Monroe County. Table 1 shows the source of reports of suspected child abuse and neglect from Hotline calls. As you can see, more than half of all calls received can’t be registered as a report or investigated by us because they don’t meet the five criteria as specified by state law. In addition, after our investigation, only 25% of those registered reports actually result in a finding of child abuse and neglect (are indicated). The staff resources that we utilize to investigate all the reports that turn out to be unfounded result in decreased staff time and resources that would otherwise be used to focus on helping the children who are experiencing abuse and neglect.


TABLE 1. Source of Reports of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect from Hotline calls – Monroe County 2016




Source of Calls



% of total reports received (7,904)



Mandated Reporters






  A. Health Care Providers






  B. Law Enforcement






  C. Education Providers






  D. Child Care Providers






  E. Health and Human Services Providers






Voluntary Reporters – Concerned Citizens and Relatives





Source: Monroe County Child Protective Services, Department of Health and Human Services—based on Year 2002 Reports. Total number of calls registered = 5967



Details from: