Child Protective Services is a program area of the Children and Family Services Division of the Monroe County Department of Human Services that:
- Receives and investigates reports of suspected abuse and neglect of children;
- Protects children who have been abused or neglected; and
- Provides support and rehabilitative services to families where children have been abused or neglected.
Child Protective Services is organized into three sections:
- Child Protective Services Intake/After Hours
Provides 24 hour services to the Monroe County community to investigate reports of suspected child abuse or neglect.
- Child Protective Services Investigation
Investigates reports of suspected child abuse or neglect and provides immediate services to families to resolve short-term child abuse or neglect problems.
- Child Protective Services Management
Provides respectful, strength-based, and culturally competent case management and supportive services to children and their families. Safety, permanency, and well-being are the main focus of these teams, who work to support the right of each child to a lasting, safe, and nurturing environment where he or she can develop secure attachments and a sense of belonging. Some of these families have children in foster care, some have children court-placed with relatives, and others have children at home under MCDHS supervision.
At times, Child and Family Services must remove a child(ren) from their home due to immediate and/or impending danger from their legal guardian. Whenever possible, efforts are made to work with the legal guardians and parent(s) to identify known relative or non-relative caretakers to provide safe care for the child(ren) until the safety issues can be resolved. NYS requires District and voluntary authorized agency child welfare workers who notify relatives and non-relative Kinship caregivers, and prospecitve suitable persons of a child's remoaval due to maltreatment and must provide in accordance with 18-OCFS-ADM-23. 18-OCFS-ADM-23 mandates that the following informational materials be provided at such time:
- Know Your Options: Kin Caring for Children (Pub. 5175)
- Make an Informed Choice: Kin Caring for Children (Pub. 5120)
If a relative or non-relative chooses to provide care to a child removed from the home by Child Welfare, that family is additionally eligible for supportive services to assist them in continuing to provide ongoing care. Services that accompany a child welfare placement with a relative or non-relative caretaker may include case management services, daycare support for working caretakers, and referral and connection to community services for counseling, health care, or other services.
What to do if you think a child is being abused or neglected.
Please call the New York State Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-342-3720. You can call anytime of the day or night. When you call, a Child Protective Services intake specialist will ask you for information about the child’s family and about how and why you think the child is being mistreated. If the situation you describe meets the legal standards that are required for Child Protective Services to take action, a report of your suspicions will be registered and assigned to a Monroe County Child Protective Services Unit for investigation or assessment.
Visit the link below for questions about preventing and reporting child abuse.
What happens when a child abuse or neglect report is registered?
All situations that are recorded in the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Register must be investigated by caseworkers from Child Protective Services. The investigation must begin within 24 hours of the time the child abuse or neglect report was recorded and must include the following steps:
- An immediate assessment of the safety of the children in the household;
- A visit to the home to assess the living conditions and interaction between the family members;
- Personal observations and interviews with all members of the household;
- Contact with the person who made the child abuse or neglect report to gather more information;
- Contact with other people who are in a position to provide relevant information about the family’s situation;
- A decision about whether evidence of child abuse or neglect exists;
- Development of a plan to protect the abused or neglected children and reduce the risk of further child abuse or neglect.
Is there confidentiality for reporters of abuse or neglect?
Generally, Child Protective caseworkers are prohibited by law from identifying people who make child abuse or neglect reports. In rare instances, a Child Protective caseworker may tell a family who made a report. This could occur when:
- The person who made the report gives written permission to tell the family;
- A judge orders that the identity of the person who made the report be provided in a court hearing
- If an Article 10 Abuse/Neglect petition is filed, the source is named in the petition.
What is child abuse?
Child abuse occurs when a parent or another person with legal responsibility for the care of a child:
- Causes a serious physical injury to the child or allows someone else to cause a serious physical injury to the child;
- Creates a substantial risk of a serious physical injury to the child or allows someone else to create a substantial risk of a serious physical injury to the child; or
- Commits a sex offense against the child or allows someone else to commit a sex offense against the child.
What is child neglect?
Child neglect occurs when a parent or another person with legal responsibility for the care of a child causes physical, mental, or emotional harm to the child (or creates an imminent danger of such harm) by:
- Failing to supply the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, medical or surgical care; or
- Failing to provide the child with proper supervision or guardianship; or
- The excessive use of physical punishment; or
- Using drugs; or
- Using alcoholic beverages to the extent that he/she loses control of his/her actions; or
- Other acts of a serious nature.
What is a serious physical injury?
A serious physical injury is one that causes:
- Serious or protracted disfigurement;
- Protracted impairment of physical or emotional health;
- Protracted loss or impairment of the use of any part of the child’s body.
What is a sex offense?
A sex offense against a child is any sexual contact that involves a child and parent (or other adult responsible for the child’s care) and is done for the sexual gratification of either the child or the adult.
Sex offenses against children also include:
- Allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution;
- Committing incest with a child;
- Using a child in a sexual performance