Things to know

When a child or youth discloses abuse, or you suspect that something may have happened to a child, use the following guide to help you.

DO - Report this information to the RCMP or Child & Family Services as soon as possible.


CHILD AND FAMILY SERVICES: 780-538-5102 RCMP: 780-830-5701

DO - Let the child know that abuse is NEVER their fault.

DO - Try to remain calm and control your emotions.

DO - Ask for help, if you feel you are unable to control your reaction.

RESPECT – The Person Who Has Disclosed

If a child is telling – listen.

If a child is quiet, do not try to make him/her continue talking.

Do not force a child/youth to undress- even if you suspect they may have injuries.

Ask the child’s permission before showing the injuries to others.


DO - Ask the child’s permission before discussing the abuse with other family members.

Proceed With Caution

  • Facial expressions should be kept neutral – looking shocked or disgusted by what the child has to say will send a negative message.
  • Be cautious in how you speak about the offender.
    The child has a relationship with that person.
  • Choose words wisely.
    A child may become frightened if there is talk of JAIL, ASSAULT, CHILD ABUSE etc.
  • Listen, Carefully
    It is important that you accurately record the child’s words without correcting, (including slang or obscene words) changing, or adding to the child’s description of what happened.

    It is very important to the investigation that you do not alter the child’s account.

Tell The Child/Youth What Will Happen Next

  • Let them know that you MUST contact the authorities in order to get help, stop the abuse, and keep people safe.

  • Answer their questions simply and honestly.

To Report Abuse In The Grande Prairie Area:

Only the RCMP or Child Family Services can make a referral to the Caribou Centre.

In Alberta, you are REQUIRED to report allegations of child abuse directly to children’s services or the RCMP.




  • Leave the INVESTIGATING to the Professionals: You do not need to try to prove or disprove the allegation – doing so may contaminate the investigation, or put the child at further risk
  • Accept the information that the child has provided to you without asking further questions or eliciting more details.
  • The child is NEVER to blame for the abuse – avoid asking children “WHY” something may have happened – this may make them feel responsible and/or ashamed.
  • It is important that you Do NOT ask questions that may suggest to the child what happened: eg: “How did you get that bruise on your leg – were you hit with a wooden spoon?”
  • Try not to interrupt the child, or add your own words or feelings to their description.

How To Report An Incident

Making a Report is the First Step

The information provided by the caller will be assessed to determine if further investigation is required.

Only the RCMP or Child Family Services can make a referral to the Caribou Centre.

In Alberta – Under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act any person who has “reasonable and probable grounds” to believe that a child is being harmed, has an obligation to report it to the proper authorities.

In Grande Prairie Area:  
To report, call Child and Family Services Authority at 780-538-5102, or the RCMP at 780-830-5701