How and where do I report child abuse and/or maltreatment in New York?
If you are aware of child abuse or maltreatment, you should call the New York Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (also known as the State CentralRegister or SCR) immediately. They are available 24x7.
Call the Child Abuse Hotline number 1-800-342-3720.
The Child Protective Specialist will ask you for as much information as you can provide about the suspected abuse or maltreatment and the family about which you are reporting.Here are sample questions the Child Protective Specialist might ask you during the call. Every bit of information that you know is essential. The specialist will review and analyze the information you provided and determine if it is sufficient to register a report.
• What is the nature and extent of the child’sabuse, injuries, or the risk of harm to the child?
• Have there been any prior suspicious injuries tothe child and/or other members of the household?
• What is the child’s name?
• What is the child’s home address?
• How old is the child?
• What is the name of the child’s parent and the address of the parent or other person legally responsible who might have caused the abuse or injury?
• Do you have any information about the treatmentof the child, or the child’s current whereabouts?
Where can I find the laws pertaining to Child Protective Services and Social Services?
In the State of New York, you can find information on the laws pertaining to child abuse in the Family Court Act (FCA) and the Social Services Law.
Child abuse is prosecutable under the law as a criminal offense. Such cases can be handled by both the criminal court and the family court at the same time, with both police and CPS involved in the investigation.
What is amandated reporter?
The New York State and the New York State Child Protective System recognize certain professionalswith the important role of mandated reporter of child abuse and maltreatment.These professionals are held liable by both the civil and criminal legal systems for intentionally failing to make a report. These professionals include;
doctors, school teachers, guidance counselors, to name a few.
These mandated reporters are required to report incidents of suspected child abuse ormaltreatment only when they are presented with a reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or maltreatment in their professional roles.
What happens after I make a report?
After a report has been made, the Child Protective Service (CPS) unit of the local department of social services is required to begin an investigation of each report within 24 hours. The investigation must include an evaluation of the immediate safety and current whereabouts of the reported child and any other children in the household.
Child Protective Services can take a child away from their home without a court order if it is suspected they are in imminent danger of serious harm. The case will usually go in front of a Family Court judge the following day. If you are going in front of a judge in a family court matter, you have the right to hire a qualified Family Law Attorney. The court can order any services it deems necessary for the future protection of the child.
How long does it take CPS to come up with a determination for the case?
Although CPS starts its investigation immediately upon receiving the report, it has 60 days to determine whether the report is “indicated” or “unfounded”. The law requires the CPS to provide a written notice to the parents and other subjects of the report concerning the rights accorded to them by the New York State Social Services Law. The CPS investigator will also inform the State Central Registerof the determination of their investigation.
What are my rights if I am named in a report?
If you are the alleged subject of a report, the law requires your county Child Protective Services (CPS) office to notify you about the report in writing. The report will not include any identifying information about the person who filed the complaint. This is for their protection.
You can request a copy of the record by writing to:
State Central Register
P.O. Box 4480
Albany, NY 12204
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