Emergency Response (ER)
What is this service?
Child Welfare Services is available to take reports of suspected child abuse 24 hours a day, seven days a week and will respond to the concerns that meet the criteria for a response. Reports meeting the criteria are responded to within 24 hours, three (3) days, five (5) days, or ten (10) days depending on the severity of the concerns. A social worker will respond and assess the household for risk and safety in addition to referring families to services.
Who can use this service?
Anyone can use this service.
Is there a charge for this service?
This service is provided free of charge.
What is the process?
Step 1: Reporting to Social Services
Please call one of the following hotline numbers to make a report to Social Services:
- 805) 781-KIDS (781-5437); or
- 781-1700; or
- (800) 834-KIDS
These hotline numbers are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During non-business hours, calls are forwarded to on-call staff that take the information and respond accordingly, depending upon the type of abuse reported and the information provided.
When and where is this service offered?
Please call one of the following hotline numbers:
- (805) 781-KIDS (781-5437); or
- (805) 781-1700; or
- (800) 834-KIDS
These hotline numbers are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. During non-business hours, calls are forwarded to on-call staff that take the information and respond accordingly, depending upon the type of abuse reported and the information provided.
If you are unsure if the situation is “abuse”, a social worker will ask you a series of questions to determine if child welfare can respond.
Location, directions and hours of operation
Click on location name to show hours of operation, directions and phone information
SLO Social Services- Higuera
3433 South Higuera San Luis Obispo, CA 93401
Arroyo Grande Social Services
1086 East Grand Avenue Arroyo Grande, CA 93420
681 West Tefft Street Suite 1 Nipomo, CA 93444
Atascadero Social Services
9415 El Camino Real Atascadero, CA 93422
Paso Robles Social Services
406 Spring Street Paso Robles, CA 93446
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I make a report?
Typically suspected child abuse reports are phoned in but any person wanting to make a report can go to any County of San Luis Obispo Social Services Department office during working hours and use a phone to make a report. In-person reports can be made at the San Luis Obispo Social Services office (3433 South Higuera Street, San Luis Obispo). All County Social Services offices are open Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (closed on County-observed holidays).
If I make a report, will Child Welfare advise me of the results of their investigation?
No. Any information Child Welfare receives during their investigation is by law, confidential. If you are a mandated reporter, you will receive written notice regarding your report that states one of the following:
- Does not meet the State requirement for intervention;
- Allegations appear to be unfounded-case closed,;
- Allegations cannot be substantiated-case closed;
- Situation stabilized-case closed;
- Family has agreed to voluntary Social Services;
- Case open for service;
- Referred to community agency.
Is my information confidential?
Yes, as a reporter your name will never be disclosed to the family. In fact, unless you are a mandated reporter, you are not required to give the child abuse hotline your name, you can tell the worker you wish to remain anonymous.
Several people have told me that they make reports and nothing ever happens. Why make a report if nothing is going to happen?
Child Welfare reviews every report made to determine whether the information provided is enough to rise to the level of Child Welfare involvement. The Welfare and Institutions Code Section 300 (a-j) defines the criteria for opening a case and involving the Juvenile Court, as everyone has their own idea as to what is defined as “abuse”. For example, being homeless does not constitute abuse or neglect and the children cannot be removed from their parents simply because they are homeless.
What if I don't have very much information?
Before Child Welfare can respond, some identifying information will need to be provided, such as the child's name and approximate age, a parents/adult caregivers name, an address, and information about the suspected abuse. Without some identifying information, Child Welfare will be unable to investigate suspected child abuse.
Who can use this service?
Anyone who suspects a child is the victim of abuse. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Family members
- Mandated Reporters (professionals who are required to report suspected child abuse, such as school personnel, law enforcement, medical personnel, child care workers etc.)
- Members of the community