CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES
"It Shouldn't Hurt to Be a Child"
NEW YORK STATE
Child Protective Services is responsible
for investigating all allegations of Child Abuse and Neglect
received by the Department from the New
York Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment, part
of the New York
State Office of Children and Family Services.
Who Can Make A Report?
Anyone can make a report of Child Abuse
and/or Neglect if he/she is suspicious that a child (0-18
yrs of age) is being neglected or abused. The report
is kept confidential and the source can be anonymous
if the reporter is not mandated by law to report.
Always call 911 if a real emergency
What happens after a report is made?
The investigation of a report is a
fact-finding process that includes interviewing, observing,
and information gathering. Its purpose is to protect
the children, determine the validity of the allegations,
evaluate any condition of abuse or maltreatment that
was not reported, and determine the services necessary
to ensure the protection of the children and reduce the
degree of future risk to the children. The investigation
includes an evaluation of all children in the home, whether
or not they are actually named in the report. The final
step in an investigation is the determination of whether
the report is "indicated" or "unfounded".
If some credible evidence of abuse or maltreatment exists,
the report is indicated and the family is offered appropriate
services. If no credible evidence of abuse or maltreatment
is found, the report is unfounded and sealed. The final
decision must be made within 60 days.
Allegations fall into the following
four categories. The list illustrates examples but is
not all inclusive:
- Physical abuse takes place
when a child is hit, punched slapped, whipped, beaten
or burned and injuries such as abrasions, bruises,
lacerations, bleeding, burns, or fractures occur.
The physical injury is not accidental and it causes
or creates a substantial risk of death, or serious
or protracted disfigurement or protracted impairment
of physical or emotional health or protracted loss
or impairment of the function of any bodily organ.
- Neglect takes place when a
parent who is financially able, or offered financial
means or other means to meet a child's health and
safety needs, does not provide basic care such as
food, clothing, shelter, education, medical care,
medication, or adequate supervision.
- Sexual abuse takes place when
a child is touched by a parent or caretaker for the
purpose of gratifying sexual desire; when the child
is encouraged or forced to touch the parent or caretaker
for the purpose of gratifying sexual desire; when
a child is engaged or attempted to be engaged in
sexual intercourse or deviant sexual intercourse;
forced or encouraged to engage in sexual activity
with other children or adults; exposed to sexual
activity or exhibitionism for the purpose of sexual
stimulation or gratification of another; permitted
to engage in sexual activity which is not developmentally
appropriate and results in the emotional impairment
of the child; or used in a sexual performance such
as a photograph or video tape.
- Emotional abuse takes place when
a parent or caretaker's pattern of behavior has a harmful
effect on the child's emotional health or well-being.
The effect can be observed in the child's abnormal
performance or behavior and there is substantial impairment
in the child's ability to function normally due to
the parent or caretaker's conduct. For example a child
who is repeatedly isolated, frightened, embarrassed,
belittled, or threatened manifests symptoms of impact
such as aggressive or self-destructive behavior, inability
to think and reason, inability to speak and use language
appropriately, extreme passive behavior, extreme social
withdrawal, psychosomatic symptoms, or severe anxiety.
A mental health professional should assess the child
to determine that the child's impairment is causally
linked to the acts or omissions of the parent or caretaker.
Nassau County receives
and begins investigating reports of abuse or maltreatment
24 hours per day, 7 days per week. The
New York State Central Register transmits
all reports to the Nassau Child Protective Services Program
Office located at 60 Charles Lindbergh Blvd., Uniondale,
N.Y. 11553 daily between the hours of 8:00am to 6:00pm.
For information please call 516-227-8133. Reports telephoned
between 4:00pm and 9:00am, and on weekends and holidays
are received by Emergency Services. Emergency Services
can be reached through a hotline at 516-573-8626.
COURT LIAISON – Unit 323 – 516 571-9306
This Unit is comprised of caseworkers which represent our field service workers (Child Protective Services, Children’s Services and Adult Protective Services) in family court proceedings. These caseworkers provide updated information to the judges regarding the families which are brought to the court’s attention. The families are involved with the court system due to neglect, abuse, placement with children in foster care, custody and family offense petitions.
CASEWORKER TRAINING – Unit 121 – 516 – 227-8215
Comprised of new caseworkers who are learning to investigate allegations of child abuse and neglect. The unit supervisors provide support and guidance to new caseworkers while coordinating a wide range of professional experiences in order to develop well-rounded casework staff.
Child Advocacy Center of Nassau County (CAC)
Opened in 1998, the CAC is a specially designed environment for the child victims of sexual assault and severe physical abuse. It was founded by the Coalition Against Child Abuse and Neglect (CCAN) which today manages the facility in its Bethpage offices. It primary purpose is to prevent the re-traumatization of children disclosing sexual abuse or severe physical abuse as they re-tell their stories numerous times to varying government representatives in different locations. Today, the child victim and non-offending family members can experience a single-interview process in a warm, safe, secure place to disclose their allegations and to receive various supportive services from CCAN, including mental health therapy. The CAC is home as well to the Nassau County Multidisciplinary Team consisting of representatives of the Police Department's Child Abuse Unit, Social Services' Child Protective Services Unit, District Attorney's Special Victims Unit, Nassau County Medical Center's Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect Unit and CCAN. Working together on cases enhances effective prosecution of alleged perpetrators.