Child Protective Services (CPS) is an intake unit within the Department of Social Services that investigates reports of suspected child abuse or neglect received through the New York Statewide Central Register (SCR) for any child under the age of 18 years.
If a determination is made that any child is unsafe, or at high risk of placement based on neglect or abuse, child protective staff arrange services for families to alleviate the identified risk. Service interventions are intended to enhance overall family functioning, ensure child safety, and reduce future risk of harm and/or out-of-home placement. When ongoing services or monitoring is necessary, CPS staff coordinates referrals to other Services Division units and/or community-based services.
In certain situations where serious safety/risk concerns remain and/or cannot be mitigated/resolved, CPS staff will seek Family Court intervention. Family Court has the authority to intervene in these situations. Such interventions may include orders of protection or orders requiring some form of parental/child compliance, and in the most serious cases, orders to place the children in the custody of the Commissioner of the Department of Family and Community Services.
Child Protective Caseworkers assigned to the Child Advocacy Center (CAC) operate as part of a multi-disciplinary team co-located with law enforcement officers, family advocates, medical services, and mental health professionals. The CAC investigates abuse cases, including serious physical and/or sexual abuse, and child fatality reports.
To make a report of suspected child abuse/maltreatment call the Statewide Central Registry:
- Statewide Toll-Free Telephone Number: 1-800-342-3720
- If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call TDD/TTY at: 1-800-638-5163
- If you believe that a child is in immediate danger call: 911
The New York State Office of Children and Family Services oversees the provision of services provided by local departments of social services and offers a wide range of information such as Signs of Child Abuse or Maltreatment, Child Protective Services FAQ, Safe Sleep, Keeping Children Safe, Domestic Violence, Resources, mandated Reporter Training and much more. Please visit the NYS Preventive Services website for more information.