April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and I want to take this opportunity to raise awareness in Rockland and Orange Counties about child abuse and neglect, and encourage individuals and communities to support children and families. Reports of suspected child abuse or maltreatment should be made immediately -- at any time of the day and on any day of the week -- by telephone to the New York Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (sometimes referred to as the State Central Register or SCR). The Child Abuse Hotline Number: 1-800-342-3720
A Child Protective Specialist who answers your call will ask you for as much information as you can provide about both the suspected abuse or maltreatment and the family about which you are calling.
In addition, New York State and the New York State Child Protective System recognize certain professionals as holding the important role of mandated reporter of child abuse or maltreatment. These professionals can be held liable by both the civil and criminal legal systems for intentionally failing to make a report.
Mandated reporters are required to report instances of suspected child abuse or maltreatment only when they are presented with reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or maltreatment in their professional roles.
I particularly want to discourage parents and guardians from leaving a child alone.
For further information, contact the Orange County Department of Social Services at (845) 291-4000 or the Rockland County Department of Social Services at (845) 364-3100.