Frequently Asked Questions

This webpage will connect you to the most frequently asked questions and answers (FAQs) on many child welfare topics, including child abuse and neglect, foster care and other out-of-home placements, adoption, and more.

If you do not find an answer to your question, you can submit a question by clicking on the Ask a Question box.

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This document provides frequently asked questions about the AFCARS final rule.

The issue of whether or not visitation rights extend to the grandparents is a matter for the family courts to decide. You may wish to consult with and/or obtain the services of an attorney in your State who practices in the area of family law. If assistance is needed in locating an attorney, the American Bar Association (ABA) website provides a variety of services to the general public, including a lawyer referral directory and the Find Legal Help webpage, which includes pro bono attorney referrals and links to court resources.

Many states accept anonymous reports of alleged child abuse and neglect. It is important to note, however, that all states are required to preserve the confidentiality of all child maltreatment reports, except in certain limited circumstances: see Disclosure of Confidential Records Visit disclaimer page .

Most state laws, policies, and regulations require districts and schools to implement a bullying policy and procedures to investigate and respond to bullying when it occurs. provides information on state antibullying laws and policies Visit disclaimer page .

Constituent input and lobbying initiatives may help generate significant changes in State policy and procedures.

Concerns for the welfare of a child's safety and well-being should be reported to the child welfare agency in the state/county where the alleged maltreatment may be occurring. Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children's Bureau, maintains a state-specific listing of child abuse and neglect reporting numbers Visit disclaimer page .

If you are worried that a friend may be abused or neglected, please contact Childhelp Visit disclaimer page , a national organization with a 24-hour crisis hotline number (1.800.422.4453). Childhelp's staff consists of trained counselors that can listen to your concerns and connect you to the appropriate local child protection agency or other helpful services in your community. Childhelp now offers text and chat-based support for reporting suspected child abuse or neglect.

Depending on a number of factors, including caregiver's income and the legal status of the caregiving arrangement, a grandparent may be eligible for some type of financial support.

Each state provides its own policies and procedures for reporting and investigating child abuse and neglect cases. State and local agencies and courts implement these policies and procedures according to state laws.

Scholarships and tuition waivers may be available to youth who were adopted from foster care.