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

Talking with Children

Reporting Child Abuse and Maltreatment

Reasonable Cause/When to Report

How to Report

The Abandoned Infant Protection Act




Take Test

Exit to Menu

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

New York State has allowed each county to institute voluntary alternative response if desired.  Currently some counties are using this alternative response, which in New York State is called the Family Assessment Response (FAR) (NYS-OCFS, nd). 

Chapter 452 of the Laws of 2007 authorized local departments of social services (LDSS), other than in New York City, to apply to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) to use a family assessment and services approach for a subset of families that are reported to the Statewide Central Register (SCR) for child maltreatment. The family assessment response (FAR) is a child protective response that does not require an investigation and determination of allegations and individual culpability for families reported to the SCR.  It is an alternative approach to providing protection to children by focusing on engaging families in informal and formal support services that meet their needs and increases their ability to care for their children.  FAR requires an initial assessment of child safety. If a child is assessed to be in danger, the report may not be handled using a family assessment response. States have found that a family assessment approach is less threatening to and is more engaging of families. It allows the family to have a larger role in determining what services will benefit their children and the LDSS is more likely to be viewed by the family as a helping entity in the future should issues arise that create risk to children (NYS-OCFS, nd).

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.

Continue on to The Abandoned Infant Protection Act