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NYS Child Abuse: Identification & Reporting

The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) has been approved by the New York State Education Department (NYSED) to provide this course for all mandated licensed healthcare providers, certified teachers and social workers.  This program is designed as a distance learning, self-study program which meets the New York State child abuse recognition and reporting requirements.

The New York State Nurses Association is accredited as a provider of nursing continuing professional development by the American Nurses Credentialing Center's Commission on Accreditation.

This program has been awarded 2.0 CHs through the New York State Nurses Association Accredited Provider Unit.

The New York State Nurses Association is accredited by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training “IACET” and is authorized to issue the IACET CEU.

The New York State Nurses Association is authorized by IACET to offer 0.2 CEUs for this program.

This course is intended for RNs and other healthcare and licensed professionals.  In order to receive contact hours/CEUs, participants must read the course materials, pass an examination with at least 80%, and complete an evaluation.  Contact hours/CEUs will be awarded for this course until December 5, 2022.

NYSNA wishes to disclose that no commercial support or sponsorship was received for this program.

Course Introduction

Child abuse and neglect are seen in many areas of clinical practice.  The content for this course uses the hospitalized child as a specific model.  It is important when reviewing the information that professionals realize that the indicators of child abuse, maltreatment and neglect can be applied to all practice settings in which professionals interact with children and their families/caregivers.  Child abuse identification and reporting are not limited to one setting.

Reprinted with permission from Corporate Graphics Resource.

Chapter 544 of the laws of New York State (1988), as amended, established a requirement for certain professions (see Table 1) to provide documentation of having completed two hours of coursework or training regarding the identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment (New York State Education Department, Office of the Professions [NYSED, OP], 2009).  The law further states that the coursework or training must be obtained from a provider approved for this purpose by the New York State Education Department (NYSED).  The New York State Nurses Association (NYSNA) has been approved as a provider and this course meets the training requirements.

In addition, Chapter 394 was amended to provide information for persons in the normal course of their employment, or who travel to locations where children reside, to recognize signs of an unlawful (clandestine) methamphetamine laboratory (New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services, n.d.). 

In 2015, the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (NYSOCFS) revised and published the Summary Guide for Mandated Reporters in NYS.  This helpful booklet can be downloaded and used as an overview of the material in this course as well as a handy reference on the identification and reporting of child abuse, including how to report suspected child abuse to the New York Statewide Central Register (SCR) of child abuse and maltreatment.  A copy of the booklet can be obtained the NYSOCFS Web site.

Regardless of the mandated reporter’s professional discipline or location of provided services, it is important to understand the responsibility of all professionals to be able to recognize child abuse/neglect and to engage in appropriate interventions.

Social Service Law

Section 413 of Social Services Law (SSL) in New York State identifies professionals and officials who are required to report cases of suspected child abuse or maltreatment.

Table 1. Mandated Reporters

(In order as listed in Article 6, Title 6, Section 413 of the New York Social Services Law)  
  • Physician

  • Registered Physician Assistant

  • Surgeon

  • Medical Examiner

  • Coroner

  • Dentist
  • Dental Hygientist

  • Osteopath

  • Optomotrist
  • Chiropractor
  • Podiatrist

  • Resident

  • Intern

  • Psychologist

  • Registered Nurse

  • Social Worker

  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Licensed Creative Arts Therapist

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

  • Licensed Mental Health Counselor

  • Licensed Psychoanalyst

  • Licensed Behavior Analyst

  • Certified Behavior Analyst Assistants
  • Christian Science Practitioner
  • Hospital personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care, or treatment of persons


    School official including (but not limited to):
    • Teacher
    • Guidance Counselor
    • Psychologist
    • Social Worker
    • Nurse
    • Administrator or other personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license or certificate
    Director of a:
    • Children's overnight camp
    • Summer day camp
    • Traveling summer day camp
  • Social Services Worker
  • Day Care Center Worker
  • School Age Child Care Worker
  • Provider of family or group family day care
  • Employer or volunteer in a residential care facility for children

  • Any other child care or foster care worker
  • Mental Health Professional
  • Substance Abuse Counselor
  • Alcoholism Counselor
  • All persons credentialed by the NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services
  • Peace Officer
  • Police Officer
  • District Attorney or Assistant District Attorney
  • Investigator employed in the office of a district attorney
  • Any other law enforcement official

The entire current list can be found in Article 6, Title 6, Section 413 of the New York Social Services Law, which can be accessed online through the New York State Legislature's Web site. Click on Laws of New York to access Social Services Law.

New York State Office of Children and Family Services (NYSOCFS), 2011

  • October 1, 2007, Chapter 193 of the Laws of 2007 were amended for those mandated reporters who work for a school, child care provider, foster care facility, residential care facility, hospital, medical institution or mental health facility, and who have direct knowledge of any allegation(s) of suspected child abuse or maltreatment.
  • These persons must personally make a report to the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR) and then immediately notify the person in charge of the institution or his/her designated agent that a report has been made. 
  • The person in charge, or the designated agent of such person, is then responsible for all subsequent internal administration necessitated by the report.  This may include providing follow-up information (ex. relevant information contained in the child’s educational record) to Child Protective Services (CPS).

Note:  Notification to the person in charge or designated agent of the medical or other public or private institution, school, facility or agency does not absolve the original mandated reporter of his or her responsibility to personally make a report to the SCR.  A mandated reporter who has direct knowledge of possible child abuse or maltreatment, and not the person in charge of the institution, school, facility, or agency, who does not have direct knowledge of the alleged abuse or maltreatment, must make the initial report to SCR. 

  • All initial or subsequent reports made to the SCR shall include the name, title and contact information for every staff person of an institution that is believed to have direct knowledge of the allegations contained in the report.  Nothing in Chapter 193, however, is intended to require that more than one report from any such institution, school or agency be made to the SCR.
  • No medical or other public or private institution, school, facility, or agency shall take retaliatory personnel action against an employee who made a report to the SCR.  Furthermore, no school or school official, child care provider, residential care facility provider, hospital or medical institution provider, or mental health facility provider shall impose any conditions - including prior approval or prior notification - upon a member of their staff mandated to report suspected child abuse or maltreatment.
  • At the time of the making of a report, or at any time thereafter, such person or official may exercise the right to request, pursuant to paragraph (A) of subdivision four of Section 422 of this article, the finding of an investigation made pursuant to this title or Section 45.07 of the mental hygiene law.

    (NYSOCFS, 2011)

Agency Responsibilities

Any person, institution, school, facility, agency, organization partnership or corporation which employs persons mandated to report suspected incidents of child abuse or maltreatment shall provide all such current and new employees with written information explaining the reporting requirements.  The employers shall be responsible for the costs associated with printing and distributing the written information.

Any state or local government agency or authorized agency which issues a license, certificate or permit to an individual to operate a family day care home or group family day care home shall provide each person currently holding or seeking such a license, certificate or permit with written information explaining the reporting requirements (NYSOCFS, 2011).

The person in charge or designated agent, when advised by a mandated reporter that the report was made to the SCR by another mandated reporter, shall confirm with the mandated reporter who made the call that a report was made and accepted by the SCR.  The organization should establish a policy as to how this confirmation will be accomplished.  When a report is accepted, the SCR will advise the mandated reporter who made the report of the SCR number assigned to the report.  Included in the policy should be the process in which the mandated reporter notifies the agency of the SCR number assigned to the report and a way in which other mandated reporters in that organization who would have contact with the child, that a report was made, as every mandated reporter is not required to file a separate report if they know that a report of alleged abuse has been made.

© 2018 NYSNA, all rights reserved.


Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the learner will be able to:

  • Define what constitutes "abuse," "maltreatment,” and "neglect" according to the New York State Family Court Act and Social Services Law.

  • Distinguish among various behavioral and environmental characteristics of abusive parents or caregivers.

  • Identify what equipment and chemicals may be signs of a clandestine methamphetamine lab.

  • Define “drug-endangered child” and outline how to report child endangerment.

  • Identify physical and behavioral indicators commonly associated with physical abuse, maltreatment, and/or neglect.

  • Contrast the physical and behavioral indicators of sexual abuse.

  • Identify the professional’s role in child abuse identification and reporting.

  • Describe the actions in caring for abused/maltreated children and their families/caregivers.

  • Describe situations in which mandated reporters must report suspected cases of child abuse, maltreatment and/or neglect.

  • Describe what constitutes "reasonable cause to suspect" that a child has been abused or maltreated.

  • Outline the proper procedure for effectively making a report of suspected child abuse, maltreatment, and/or neglect.

  • List what actions certain mandated reporters might take to protect a child in addition to filing a child abuse report.

  • Describe the legal protections afforded mandated reporters and the consequences for failing to report.

To enroll in this course, please click the "Register" button below.

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