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REPORTING: How to Make a Report

If you are a private physician, first make an oral report to the State Central Register unless it's appropriate to make an oral report to the local Child Protective Service.

State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment
1-800-635-1522 - Mandated reporters
1-800-342-3720 - All other reporters
1-800-635-1554 - FAX

Then, file a signed, written report within 48 hours of the oral report. This written report is admissible evidence in any proceedings related to child abuse or maltreatment. Forms are provided by the Commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services and can be downloaded from the web at www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/forms/#cps .

If the suspected abuse or maltreatment involves a familial, day care, or foster home setting, submit the written report to the local Child Protective Service. You can request the address from the child protective specialist at the time of the oral report to the State Central Register.

If the child is in residential care, send the written report to the State Central Register. Cases involving children in institutions, group homes, and family homes operated or supervised by state agencies are investigated by the Department of Social Services and the Commission of Quality of Care for the Mentally Disabled.


The Content of a Report
line spacer The following information should be included in the written document:

  • The names and addresses of the child/adolescent and his or her parents or other person responsible for his or her care, if known

  • The name and address of the residential care facility or program in which the child/adolescent resides or is receiving care, if this is the case

  • The child/adolescent's age, sex, and race

  • The nature and extent of the injuries, abuse, or maltreatment, including any evidence of prior injuries, abuse, or maltreatment

  • Any abuse or maltreatment of his or her siblings, if this is the case

  • The name of the person or persons alleged to be responsible for causing the injury, abuse, or maltreatment, if known

  • Family composition, where appropriate

  • The source of the report, the person making the report, and where he or she can be reached

  • The actions taken by the reporting source, including the taking of photographs and X-rays, removal or keeping of the child, or notifying the medical examiner or coroner

  • Any other information which the commissioner may, by regulation, require or the person making the report believes might be helpful

If you took photographs of areas of trauma or ordered a radiological exam, send these to Child Protective Services with the written report or as soon after as possible.


How to Make a Report in a Hospital Setting
line line In a hospital setting report the abuse to the Child Protection Coordinator who will report it. New York State Department of Health regulations require that hospitals designate a staff member as the Child Protection Coordinator to coordinate compliance with the reporting requirements concerning suspected child abuse and maltreatment. This person should be contacted regarding all cases of suspected child abuse and maltreatment, including child sexual abuse, identified in the hospital. It is the Coordinator's responsibility to collect any additional information needed to make reports complete; ensure reports are made in a timely fashion; provide feedback and coordinate evaluations among hospital staff; and facilitate communication with the child protective worker and/or the police and the district attorney, as appropriate.

If the Child Protection Coordinator decides not to report and you have reasonable cause to suspect abuse or neglect, you are required to make the report yourself.


If the Report Is Not Accepted
line spacer Give all the information regarding your suspicions about the abuse to the hotline staff member. Sometimes this information is not enough to warrant a full investigation. In that case, carefully document the content of the phone conversation in the medical record and consider alternative options that would ensure the safety of the child. You may choose to offer more frequent office visits, refer the family to local social services, or hospitalize the child until the situation is sorted out. For more information about protective custody, see LEGAL ISSUES: Protective Custody.

If you believe the concern has not been understood and that the report should be accepted, ask the hotline staff member for an explanation as to why the report is not being registered. You can also ask to speak with a supervisor who will provide further clarification and address your concerns. If additional information is needed, consider making a referral to a local medical expert in child abuse for advice or consultation. After attempting to resolve misunderstandings through clarification of your report, you may wish to contact the New York State Office of Children and Family Services Regional Office for your locale. The regional office website is www.ocfs.state.ny.us/main/regionaloffices_main.asp .

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Reporting: Overview  Reporting: When to Report  Reporting: How to Make a Report  Reporting: Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information  Reporting: Liability  Reporting: Additional Resources 

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On this page:
The Content of a Report
How to Make a Report in a Hospital Setting
If the Report Is Not Accepted