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Child Protective Services

Program Overview:

Each county in New York State has a Child Protective Services (CPS) Unit, which investigates reports of suspected child abuse and neglect received from the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Register (Hotline) located in Albany. The safety of all children named in a report is assessed within 24 hours. Within 60 days, a determination is made as to whether or not there is credible evidence of abuse/maltreatment. In addition to assessing whether the child is safe from immediate danger, the risk of future harm is also examined. Investigations include the obtaining of information from collateral contacts such as hospitals, schools and police; an identification and diagnosis of current or past abuse//maltreatment; and, an assessment as to the family's current functioning. Child Protective Services must offer, provide or arrange for rehabilitative services to families where safety/risk issues are identified. CPS has the authority to remove children from their home if children remain unsafe with the current caretaker. Removals and other serious cases result in Family Court involvement.

Eligibility Criteria:

All children in Herkimer County are eligible for this service without regard to income. If a parent or caretaker is a subject of a report, they are eligible for services as well as their children.

Referral Process:

To make a report of suspected child abuse/maltreatment, call the NYS Child Abuse/Maltreatment Register.

Client Fees: None

Child Abuse/Maltreatment Register (Hotline): # 1-800-342-3720

FAQ's

Q. How much proof do I need to call in a report?
A. The level of evidence needed to make a report is very low - you need only have a "reasonable cause to suspect" that a child has been abused or maltreated before calling the SCR. As a mandated reporter, there are generally three situations where a report is required: If a child tells you of maltreatment at home; if a parent tells you of an abusive or neglectful situation regarding their children; or if you suspect maltreatment based on your training or experience (i.e.: injury to a child does not match the explanation given.)

Q. What do indicated and unfounded mean?
A. "indicated" means that the caseworker has determined there is "credible evidence" to substantiate a finding of abuse or neglect. These reports stay on file with the Register in Albany 10 years after the youngest child named in the report turns 18 years. "Unfounded" means that there was not credible evidence gathered during the investigation. These findings are also kept on file - for 10 years.

Q. Does the caseworker tell the family that I made the report? Do I have to leave my name when I call the hotline?
A. Caseworkers are prevented by law from revealing the name or identity of the person who made the report. If you are a mandated reporter, you must give your name to the SCR specialist due to liability protections. The general public does not have to leave their name, but it is recommended and encouraged.

Q. How does CPS decide when to remove a child?
A. The decision to remove a child is made based on the criteria of "imminent danger to a child's life or health". Interventions other than removal are always considered first. When parents are unable or unwilling to care for or protect their child and all other safety interventions are not appropriate, a removal is considered. At times these important decisions have to be made immediately, and with very little information. Frequently, relatives will agree to care for a child, preventing the need for placement.

Q. When can I call the Hotline?
A. The NYS Child Abuse and Maltreatment Register is always available - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you suspect an abusive situation is in progress, call the local police - they can respond immediately to your call. If you feel the situation is not as imminent, call the Register. It generally takes about an hour from the time you make your call to when it is received by the CPS unit at the local district.

Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program

SNAP, a program of the US Department of Agriculture, is provided to insure that the nutritional needs of income eligible persons are met.

Temporary Assistance

Temporary Assistance is temporary help for needy adults and children. If an applicant is unable to work, can't find a job or his/her job does not pay enough, Temporary Assistance may be able to pay for some household expenses.

School Intervention Program

Child Preventive Services and the SIP Program provide supportive assessment and referral services to Prevent the placement of a child into foster care ,Return a child currently in foster care to his/her parents sooner than would otherwise be possible and to Prevent the re-placement of a child into foster care

Child Protective Services

Each county in New York State has a Child Protective Services (CPS) Unit, which investigates reports of suspected child abuse and neglect received from the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Register (Hotline) located in Albany.

Child Support Services

The Child Support program provides custodial parents with assistance in obtaining financial support and medical insurance coverage for their children by locating parents, establishing paternity, establishing support orders and collecting and distributing support payments.

Foster Care

Foster Care is provided to children under the age of 18 who are in need of an alternate living arrangement.

Home Energy Assistance Program

In an effort to help income eligible individuals cope with higher fuel bills of winter, NYS participates in the Federal funded "Home Energy Assistance Program", commonly known as HEAP.

Indigent Burials

The Commissioner of Social Services is responsible for the burial of any Herkimer County resident that meets the criteria outlined in the Indigent Burial Policy adopted by the Herkimer County Legislature on September 11, 2019.

Managed Care

Herkimer County currently has a mandated Medicaid Managed Care program through three Medicaid Managed Care health plans.

Medicaid

Medical Assistance is help for people who cannot pay for all of their medical care.

Person in Need of Supervision (PINS) Diversion Program

The Family Support PINS Diversion Program began in February 2003 and is the point of entry for PINS Diversion services in Herkimer County. Services provided include a formal assessment, in home counseling, case management, family support, respite and mentoring for at-risk youth.

Adoption Services

Services range from assessing a child to securing an adoptive home, to assisting parent(s) under appropriate circumstances to surrender a child, to the recruitment and evaluation of prospective adoptive parents.

Adult Protective Services

Adult Protective Services is a service provided to individuals who are 18 years of age or older, Unable to protect his/her own interests due to lack of awareness or incompetence, Incapacitated due to a physical or mental impairment , In danger of being harmed or threatened with harm , Have an unmet need such as failure to receive adequate food, shelter, or clothing, Have no one willing or able to assist responsibility

Alternatives in Long Term Care Program

The Alternatives in Long Term Care Program provides a central access point to long term home care services for all Herkimer County residents with chronic long-term home care needs.

Child Care Assistance (Day Care)

Day care assistance is an income eligible program available to assist working parents. The Day Care Unit keeps a current listing of registered day care homes in Herkimer County, which is available to the general public.

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Employment Assistance

The goal of the Employment Unit is to help applicants and recipients of Temporary Assistance and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits to achieve self-sufficiency.

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