Child Abuse and Maltreatment/Neglect: Identification and Reporting
New York State Mandatory Training

What Happens After a Report is Made

Who Are the Mandated Reporters?

Abuse and Maltreatment/Neglect Have Many Presentations

The Disturbing Statistics

Legal Definitions Related to Child Maltreatment

Recognizing Child Abuse

Case Studies: Identifying Abuse

Risk Factors Contributing to Child Abuse and Maltreatment

Protective Factors for Child Abuse and Maltreatment

The Consequences of Child Abuse

Perpetrators of Child Abuse

Talking with Children

Reporting Child Abuse and Maltreatment

Reasonable Cause/When to Report

How to Report

The Abandoned Infant Protection Act




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After taking the report of child abuse or maltreatment/neglect from a mandated reporter, staff at the SCR, based on the information provided will make a determination if the report is to be registered and investigated by the local Child Protective Service (CPS), if it will be referred to law enforcement or if the report is not registered (see Figure 2. The New York State Child Protective Services System).

Figure 2. The New York State Child Protective Services System

There were 159,556 reports of child abuse and maltreatment made to the New York State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR), sometimes called the Child Abuse Reporting Hotline, in 2008 (USDHHS-ACF, 2010). The CPS unit of the local Department of Social Services is required to begin an investigation of each report within 24 hours. The investigation should include an evaluation of the safety of the child named in the report and any other children in the home, and a determination of the risk to the children if they continue to remain in the home. In 2008, upon investigation, 50,989 reports were substantiated as situations of child abuse and/or neglect. There are more victims than reports because more than one child is involved in some cases. In 2008, 108,567 reports of child abuse and maltreatment/neglect were determined to have been unsubstantiated (USDHHS-ACF, 2010).

CPS may take a child into protective custody if it is necessary for the protection from further abuse or maltreatment. Based upon an assessment of the circumstances, CPS may offer the family appropriate services. The CPS caseworker has the obligation and authority to petition the Family Court to mandate services when they are necessary for the care and protection of a child.

After conducting interviews with family members, the alleged child victim, and sometimes other people familiar with the family, the CPS agency makes a determination concerning whether the child is a victim of abuse or neglect, or is at risk of abuse or neglect. This determination is often called a disposition.

CPS has 60 days after receiving the report to determine whether the report is "indicated" or "unfounded". The law requires CPS to provide written notice to the parents or 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 SCR of the determination of the investigation.

The SCR may refer the report to law enforcement. This may occur if the "Subject of the Report" is not someone who meets the legal definition. The perpetrator of the abuse may not be someone who has the legal responsibility for the child. In such cases, referrals to law enforcement agencies are made in order to execute the appropriate legal action. There are situations in which both law enforcement and CPS will be involved, depending on who is the subject of the report and the nature of the injury and if any crimes have been committed.

In some cases, perhaps such as in Case #2 of Juanita, if the nurse practitioner had decided to report the family to the SCR, the report may not have been taken by the SCR staff. This may occur when there is information provided by the mandated reporter that indicates a more appropriate intervention would be family resolution or referral to a community resource.

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