This is the new phone number to report all suspected cases of child or vulnerable adult abuse statewide, regardless of the location of the suspect abuse or the residence of the victim or abuser.
I’d like to congratulate the State Department of Human Services on their recent move to one phone number for the entire state to report suspected abuse or neglect of children or vulnerable adults. No more trying to figure out the location of the incident and the victim’s residence before anyone can be assigned to investigate. As a member of local government, I see us as the people who deliver services at the grass-roots level and I am frequently critical of state government who I see as more likely to be bureaucratic and disconnected to what really happens in communities. Today I’m suspending my criticism, because I’d like to congratulate DHS on their new statewide intake system for these very important calls effective today.
Previously, each office had their own number. Even though it is a state agency, each office had to have an on-call person designated to take these reports 24x7x365 which is a difficult proposition at best (ask me, I know about managing that type of system). Because these are individual offices, I’m guessing there wasn’t an intake classification system that registered state-wide giving them the opportunity to classify and triage those reports that appeared to be more serious and send the appropriate resources. Each office appeared to be its own entity rather than operating as one big system that shared resources. I’m a systems person and I think of everything as a system. When you want to make improvements –you can’t decide how to fix a thing without making sure you understand how the parts all interact.
An analogy is our dispatching system — callers only need one number –911–to reach us. Our intake system numbers and classifies every new reported incident so that we can track how fast we respond and with what resources. We can also reconstruct an incident complete with recorded phone calls and radio traffic to determine what went wrong when we are not pleased with our outcomes. I’m hoping their new system will do something similar.
We are partners with DHS in the protection of these vulnerable populations so I wish them good luck in their new system — I think it is a really great idea.