Reporting Abuse

If you Suspect Child Abuse:

“If you Suspect Child Abuse”, you are mandated to report your suspicions according to North Carolina State Laws. To report suspected abuse, call 911 to speak with a police dispatcher or call your County’s Department of Social Services.  Links below

Please use the following as a guideline. Each child is unique and so is the process that is taken to protect them. If you would like to contact a Family Advocate with questions or concerns please call 910-254-9898.

Suicide Crisis Help Line – Call 988

Suicide Hotline Call 988
Linea de prevencion del suicidio y crisis

Call 911 immediately if the child is in danger.

  • DO make sure the child remains in a safe environment
  • DO listen to the child
  • DO NOT try to investigate
  • DO NOT confront the abuser
  • DO make a report

Call 911 to speak with a police dispatcher


Call the Your County’s Department of Social Services (Links and phone numbers below for Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender County’s Department of Social Services (DSS).

What to Expect

Please use this as a guideline.  Every situation is unique and will be treated as the professionals involved deem it necessary in the best interest of the child.

Before you call:

When making a report of suspected abuse, be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Child’s name, date of birth, and address
  • Brief description of the child
  • Any of the following if relevant: current injuries, medical problems, or behavioral problems
  • Reason for suspicion

After you call:

The Police Department and/or Department of Social Services will coordinate to determine the best plan of protection for the victim and under what time frame.  DSS and/or the police investigator may make a home visit to interview members of the household to gather further information.

If deemed appropriate to proceed with an interview and medical exam at the Carousel Center, find out more information and what to expect about preparing the child for a visit and the process HERE in What We DO.

If you would like to discuss the reporting process with a Family Advocate, please call The Carousel Center at 910-254-9898.

Partnering With The Community to Prevent Child Abuse

The Carousel Center uses a MDT (Multi-Disciplinary Team), consisting of community partners, to better hold child abuse perpetrators accountable by collecting evidence from children who have reportedly experienced sexual/physical abuse and/or neglect through initial forensic interviews and medical evaluations.

Referrals are made through law enforcement and Departments of Social Services.  If you have concerns about a child in your community, please feel free to contact The Carousel Center for guidance.

Mandatory Reporting

Please be aware that according to North Carolina MANDATED REPORTING LAWS any North Carolina adult that suspects that a child is being abused, neglected or mistreated, is required to report their suspicion to their local Department of Social Services.  These reports can be made anonymously. To review the mandated reporting laws please visit:

New Hanover County Social Services

New Hanover County
Department of Social Services
New Hanover County Social Services Web Site

Brunswick County Social Services

Brunswick County
Department of Social Services
Brunswick County Social Services Web Site

Pender County Social Services

Pender County
Department of Social Services
Pender County Social Services Web Site

We have reached the end of our first official year of the Tri-County Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Initiative! Launched on April 1, 2022, the goal was set to train 10% of the adult population in Stewards of Children to reach a tipping point in New Hanover, Pender, and Brunswick Counties.

In the Initiative’s first year, we have trained 2,307 adults to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse!

Additionally, have trained 46 organizations and received approval for 19 Partners in Prevention. We are in the process of submitting/awaiting approval for 21 additional Partnerships. This will total 40 Partnerships in the Tri-County area! These Partners are listed below:

Join the local Tri-County Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Initiative, or partner with Carousel Child Advocacy Center to become a distinguished “Partner in Prevention”.

Contact Rebecca Martin, Child Abuse Awareness/Outreach Coordinator at (910) 254-9898 or