Child Protective Services
"It Shouldn't Hurt to Be a Child"
|24 HR HOTLINE||1-800-342-3720|
|MANDATED REPORTER HOTLINE||1-800-635-1522|
|OUTSIDE OF NEW YORK STATE||1-518-474-8740|
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 source of the report as well as the report is kept confidential. The source can be anonymous if the reporter is not mandated by law to report
Always Call 911 if a real emergency exists.
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 assessment 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 determination 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 6:00pm 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.
This unit is comprised of Child Protective Service caseworkers which represent Child Protective Service, 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.
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.
Family Assessment Response (FAR)
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 State Central Registry (SCR). It is an alternative approach to providing protection to children by focusing on engaging families in informal and support services that meet their needs and their ability to care for their children. FAR requires an initial assessment of children's safety and if there is imminence of danger, the report may be handled by a traditional investigative approach.
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. Its 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.