DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado officially launched a statewide hotline to increase reporting of suspected cases of child abuse and neglect.

Colorado’s first child-abuse hotline of its kind was the focus of a soft launch in January. Since then, more than 50,000 calls have come into the hotline.

On April 7, the hotline was officially launched with an announcement by the executive director of the Colorado Department of Human Services and Gov. John Hickenlooper.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

The Department of Human Services said they developed the hotline to make it easier for concerned citizens to report potential problems.

Prior to the hotline, the system was county-based with all 64 counties in Colorado. Hickenlooper said the hotline streamlines the reporting process because concerned Coloradans can make calls from anywhere to one central number.

Callers to the hotline will be assisted 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

The hotline phone number is 1-844-CO-4-KIDS or 1-844-264-5437.

April is also Child Abuse Prevention month. Officials used the hotline announcement to encourage reporting and announce some of the warning signs.

“So often children being left unsupervised, having unexplained injuries, not properly being cared for, parents who might have mental health issues that are a distraction from their ability to care for their children, or substance abuse issues, drug addiction, these are the types of warning signs, particularly for very young children,” said Dept. of Human Services Executive Director Reggie Bicha.

Additional case workers are also being hired in the Dept. of Human Services to handle the potential for increased monitoring.

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