Rutherford County TN

Child Abuse

To report a child abuse:
Emergency: 911
Sheriff’s Office: (615) 898-7770 Department of Children’s Services: Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 1-877-237-0004
Reports also can be made online on the Department of Children’s Services secure site.


Law Enforcement and the Department of Children’s Services work together to minimize the trauma to child abuse victims. Examples of a reportable child abuse: Any sexual abuse of a child under the age of 18, any physical abuse of a child under the age of 18, neglect situations of children (young children being left alone for long periods of time, no adult supervision, extremely dirty home, children not being fed, clothed properly, or domestic violence in the home that is ongoing). Citizens should be aware that reporting of Child Abuse and Neglect is done so in good faith. People making a referral have immunity from any civil or criminal liability. It should also be noted that those who know or suspect child abuse and fail to report it are guilty of breaking the law and could be charged with failure to report. Given the totality of the circumstances, a child can be left alone at age 13 and a child can babysit younger siblings. The circumstances are considered when investigating these types of situations, such as maturity level of child, how long the child is left alone and how many siblings are left with an older one. This is why citizens are urged to get involved. If there is a problem or a child needs help, call the Sheriff’s Office Family Crimes Unit at (615) 904-3053 to answer any questions.