What Happens After You Call About Child Sex Abuse

July 30, 2014

You can’t get the child out of your mind, yet there is nothing else that you can do. You learned about alleged child sex abuse at a church in Oak Lawn, a scout troop in Skokie, or a school in Berwyn, and you made the appropriate calls. You called the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) and you notified the parents of the alleged victim. The responsibility is no longer yours, but you can’t help wondering….

What Will Happen Now?

We can’t tell you what the parents of the child will do. Every family reacts differently to news of suspected sex abuse. However, the state of Illinois has specific procedures that it should follow when a call of suspected sex abuse is made. Specifically:

  • A trained social worker should answer your call and make a professional determination about what to do next.
  • A social worker may decide that a formal investigation should occur. This happens in about 25 percent of cases.
  • A social worker may decide that the child and family can be connected with the right resources to prevent future abuse.


It is the responsibility of the state and of the family to keep the child safe once you make the call.

Do You Know Someone About to Make a Child Sex Abuse Report?

The reporter, and certainly the family of the child, may need support. Please share this blog post with that person and encourage him to watch our free videos to learn more about protecting children from the horrors of sex abuse.



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