The Colorado Law Project

Report Abuse and Neglect

Title 19 of the Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) covers issues relating to the abuse and neglect of children. C.R.S. §19-1-103 Definitions defines the terms “abuse” and “child abuse or neglect” as used in Title 19. Instances of abuse include physical abuse like skin bruising, bleeding, malnutrition, burns, or fractures, and emotional abuse. Abuse also includes “any case where a child is subject to unlawful sexual behavior” C.R.S. §19-1-103(II). Click the statute linked above to see the complete definition of these terms.

Article 3 of Title 19 covers dependency and neglect of a child. The statutes in Article 3 include C.R.S. §19-3-102 Neglected or dependent child which lists instances where a child is considered neglected or dependent, and C.R.S. §19-3-304 Persons required to report child abuse or neglect which lists persons required to report possible child abuse or neglect. Instances of neglect under C.R.S. §19-3-102 include when a parent/guardian abandons a child, where a child’s environment is injurious to his or her welfare, when a parent/guardian refuses to provide food, shelter, education, or medical treatment, or where a parent/guardian has subjected the child to continual abuse. Persons required by law to report possible abuse under C.R.S. §19-3-304 include doctors, school personnel, social workers, mental health workers, and clergy members. Click the above links to access these statutes or browse all of the statutes in Article 3 of Title 19 by clicking here.

The State of Colorado also provides protection for adults considered at risk. Article 3.1 of Title 26 (Protective Services for Adults at Risk of Mistreatment or Self-Neglect) covers the mistreatment or neglect of at-risk adults. C.R.S. 26-3.1-101 Definitions defines an “at-risk adult” as “an individual eighteen years of age or older who is susceptible to mistreatment . . . or self-neglect . . . because the individual is unable to perform or obtain services necessary for the individual’s health, safety, or welfare or lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate responsible decisions concerning the individual’s person or affairs.” Article 3.1 also covers the financial exploitation of at-risk adults. Click here to browse all of the statutes in Article 3.1 of Title 26.

The links below provide other resources for learning about or reporting abuse or neglect.

  • Colorado Department of Human Services Division of Child Welfare
    The CDHS Division of Child Welfare consists of a group of services intended to protect children from harm and to assist families in caring for and protecting their children. This website provides information on child abuse including resources for prevention. To report child abuse in any Colorado county use this link County listings or dial 911.


  • Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect
    Headquartered in Denver, the Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect provides direct resources and information for abused or neglected children. They also provide child abuse treatment and prevention programs. Kempe provides comprehensive assessment, treatment, and referral services for children who have been physically or sexually abused.
  • Sungate Kids National Children’s Alliance
    Sungate Kids is a Colorado based non-profit children’s advocacy agency serving Colorado’s 18th Judicial District in the Denver area which includes Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln Counties. This resource provides investigation and support services to victims of child abuse.
  • Childhelp
    Founded in 1959, Childhelp is a national non-profit organization dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect. The Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline, 1-800-4-A-CHILD, operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and receives calls from throughout the United States, Canada, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Guam.
  • Fussy Baby Network Colorado
    Fussy Baby Network Colorado offers a range of support services including a Fussy Baby Warmline, Fussy Baby Clinics, a Fussy Baby Infant/Baby Program, and Community Connections. Services are at no cost and no family will be turned away. Services are also available in Spanish. Fussy Baby team members are available by phone. Please call 877-6-CRYCARE (1-877-6-279-2273). Leave a message and a team member will call you back.
  • Families First
    Families First’s mission is “to provide services which strengthen families, empower parents, nurture children, and end the cycle of child abuse and neglect.” A non-profit Colorado organization, Families First provides a family support line, parent support groups, education classes, and residential treatment. From 10 am – 10 pm you can call for support, information, and referrals: 1-877-695-7996 or in Spanish 1-866-Las-Familias.
  • The Kohl’s Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Campaign
    The Children’s Hospital, The Kempe Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect, and Kohl’s Department Stores have partnered together to create The Kohl’s Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention Campaign in Colorado. This website provides information about Shaken Baby Syndrome and how to calm a crying baby.
  • Colorado Coalition for Elder Rights and Adult Protection
    CERAP provides education on adult and elder abuse, promotion of events designed to bring attention to elder abuse, and support for laws, regulations, and policies designed to protect the rights of elders and at-risk adults.
  • Colorado Department of Human Services Adult Protective Services Unit
    The CDHS Division of Aging and Adult Services Adult Protective Services Unit is charged with protecting at-risk adults from abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and exploitation though the provision of services. Information on how to report abuse of adults/elderly persons in Colorado is available on this site.


Sturm College of Law
University of Denver
2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208