Carrier outage affects child abuse reporting line: Cagle urges public to call again

September 4, 2015

ATLANTA –Director of Georgia’s Division of Family and Children Services Bobby Cagle is seeking the public’s help in ensuring all reports of abuse and neglect made Thursday have been submitted to the agency.

On Thursday, a nationwide carrier outage caused a five-hour disruption in service on the state’s central child abuse reporting line. During the outage, local DFCS and law enforcement worked together to receive reports and ensure a social worker responded as quickly as possible.

“We typically receive around 30 reports statewide during this time period, and while we are hopeful anyone who couldn’t get through and believed a child was in danger contacted law enforcement, we are urging callers who didn’t to call again today,” said Cagle. “Missing even one report due to this outage is one too many and could mean a child is in danger. We want to make absolutely certain we are aware of and able to respond to all concerns of abuse and neglect across the state.”

NexxPhase, the company that hosts the Division’s central child abuse reporting hotline, notified agency officials of an outage around 6 p.m. Thursday. Nexxphase reported that a nationwide telephone carrier outage with CenturyLink, a third-party vendor for NexxPhase, caused the disruption for the child abuse hotline.

Alternative methods of making reports, including web-based and facsimile submissions, were not affected by the outage.The phone system was operational again by 10:30 p.m. Thursday.

Immediately upon learning of the outage, local DFCS offices alerted local law enforcement and provided direct staff numbers for contact. To be certain all reports have been received, Division staff are reaching out to mandated reporters such as hospitals to inquire about any missed calls during the outage.

DFCS implemented its central child abuse reporting number, 1-855-422-4453, in April 2014 and receives an average of 15000 reports of abuse or neglect each month. For more information about making a report of child abuse or neglect, visit http://dfcs.dhs.georgia.gov/child-abuse-neglect.

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