Help us protect Louisiana's children. Report Child Abuse & Neglect: 1-855-4LA-KIDS (1-855-452-5437) toll-free, 24 hours a day, seven days a week

Child Protection Investigation

Child protection investigation is the investigation of child abuse and neglect, as well as the provision of short-term, concrete services to children and families. These services are legally mandated, specialized investigations and social services for children who are alleged to be neglected, abused, exploited or without proper custody or guardianship.

To report suspected child abuse or neglect, or to report juvenile sex trafficking, call 1-855-4LA-KIDS (1-855-452-5437) toll-free 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

How does Child Protection Investigation work?

The investigation process begins with a report of child abuse and/or neglect of a child living in a family, daycare center and restrictive care facilities, or a foster home. Reports are received by our Centralized Intake Unit, which consists of trained social workers to screen calls to determine if the reported information constitutes a report of child abuse and/or neglect that Child Welfare should investigate.

The report must concern:

  • an alleged child victim under the age of eighteen,
  • a parent or caretaker as the alleged perpetrator or with alleged or unknown culpability in the maltreatment, and
  • an allegation that the condition of the child presents a substantial risk of harm to his health or welfare.

The child protection investigation worker investigates the allegations made by the reporter in order to determine whether or not a child has been abused and/or neglected. In addition to the determination of the validity of the report, the worker is responsible for assessing safety and the risk of further harm or injury to a child victim.

What does determination of the validity of the report mean?

Once the Child Protective Services worker has completed the investigation contacts required by policy, any additional contacts indicated by case circumstances, and has obtained the information and documentation necessary for decision making, the worker is responsible for deciding with their supervisor, during a validity conference, the findings of the investigation. 

  • Invalid (not justified) means that the agency determined that the abuse and/or neglect did not occur.   
  • Inconclusive means that the agency was not able to rule out the abuse and/or neglect nor was there evidence, by agency standard, that the abuse and/or neglect occurred.  
  • Valid (justified) means that the agency determined that the abuse and/or neglect occurred.  

More information on valid findings and the right to appeal those findings is located at Administrative Appeals of Justified (Valid) Child Protection Investigations.

How long can the service be received?

The service can be received for as long as it takes to complete the child protection investigation. Once the investigation has been completed, the case is closed if the finding is invalid or inconclusive, or transferred to the Family Services Program if it is valid and there is a need for ongoing sources to the family.

If the child abuse and/or neglect is serious enough to remove the child from the home, the case is staffed prior to the removal and an instanter order is obtained from a judge. The child is then placed in foster care or provisional custody is granted to a suitable individual or relative. However, prior to removal, reasonable efforts are made to prevent the removal.

Reporting Child Abuse or Neglect or Reporting Juvenile Sex Trafficking

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