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The Child Protective Services Act of 1973 established a Child Protective Service (CPS) in each county in New York. These Child Protective Services investigate child abuse and maltreatment reports, protect children and adolescents under 18 years old from further abuse or maltreatment, and provide rehabilitative services to children, parents, and other involved family members. A report of suspected abuse or maltreatment may also generate a law enforcement investigation or criminal action. This system of reporting was created to provide a method to protect children from abuse by their legally responsible caregivers (parents, teachers, residential care providers, etc.).

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services maintains a State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment. This State Central Register, also known as the Child Abuse Hotline, receives telephone calls 24 hours a day, seven days a week regarding alleged child abuse or maltreatment from both mandated and voluntary reporters. The State Central Register then relays the information to the local Child Protective Services for investigation, monitors for a prompt response, and identifies if there are related prior child abuse or maltreatment reports. For more information, see the Office of Children and Family Services website .

Medical and hospital personnel are mandated reporters. In order to be licensed, a medical provider must be able to provide documentation of having completed coursework or training regarding the identification and reporting of child abuse and neglect. The Summary Guide for Mandated Reporters provides mandated reporters with an overview of their obligations and a conceptual framework of the New York State Child Protective Services System. It is available at (PDF).

Key Concepts
line spacer When to Report

  • Definitions of abuse
  • Need to report cause of death

How to Make a Report

  • The content of a report
  • How to make a report in a hospital setting
  • If the report is not accepted

Confidentiality and Disclosure of Information

  • To whom information is disclosed
  • Limits of privileged information
  • Confidentiality of source and report


  • Immunity from liability
  • Penalties for failure to report and false reporting

Additional Resources

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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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