New York City Marks Child Abuse Awareness Month
April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month and New York City has joined the nation in stressing the importance of reporting child abuse and neglect among parents, relatives, caregivers and all adults who come into contact with children – particularly professionals such as educators, medical professionals and law enforcement personnel who are mandated reporters. As part of the Administration for Children’s Services’ (ACS) commitment to protecting children, Commissioner John B. Mattingly reminded New Yorkers that reporting child abuse or neglect is a key component in keeping children safe.
ACS is distributing free brochures, magnets, stickers and palm cards with information about the reporting process, including key phone numbers to report abuse to the State Central Register. ACS is also seeking to remind mandated reporters that the ACS Office of Safety First is available to handle inquiries from them with ongoing safety concerns related to open child protective investigations.
“National Child Abuse Prevention Month reminds us that we all have an important part to play in the protection of children,” said Commissioner Mattingly. “We need all New Yorkers to report any suspicions of child abuse and neglect immediately to the State Central Register child abuse hotline so that we have a chance to investigate. It is only through our hearing about potential problems that we can take the steps necessary to protect a child or provide the services necessary to strengthen a family before trouble develops or worsens.”
Commissioner Mattingly stressed that while mandated reporters, such as teachers, child care workers, physicians, and law enforcement personnel are required by law to report abuse and neglect, all adults have a responsibility to call the hotline if they believe a child is being abused or neglected. “Don’t assume that the problems will go away by themselves,” Commissioner Mattingly said. “It is only by calling that you can make sure the situation is being investigated.”
In addition, ACS also has magnets and stickers available for mandated reporters, as well as a DVD entitled, “A LifFor information regarding the Abandoned Infant Protection law about when and where a person may responsibly leave an infant, please call this hotline number: 866-505-SAFE (7233).
e to Love.” This child safety video educates parents and caregivers about how to prevent accidents, focusing on the hazards of leaving children unattended in a bath or a car; the importance of window guards; Shaken Baby Syndrome; Sudden Infant Death Syndrome and car seat usage. The DVD includes translations in Spanish, Chinese, Creole, Arabic and Russian.
A booklet called “Take Good Care of Your Baby: What Everyone Can Do” is also available in several languages, including English, Spanish, Russian, Korean, and Chinese. This booklet also contains information for parents on child safety topics such as choosing a caregiver, getting help for drug and alcohol abuse, and childproofing.
Child abuse and neglect awareness activities have been promoted across the country during April of each year for the past 25 years. Nationwide, incidents of child abuse amount to nearly 20 percent of all violent crimes committed against juveniles and reported to police.
Copies of the DVD “A Life to Love,” as well as the other free materials regarding the reporting of child abuse and neglect, are available by calling the ACS Office of Communications at 212-341-0999.
Also, reports of child abuse or neglect can be reported by calling:
- 3-1-1 for NYC residents; ask to be connected to the State Central Registry;
- 800-342-3720, the general public’s hotline to the State Central Registry;
- 800-635-1522, the mandated reporters’ hotline for reporting child abuse or neglect.
For more information on ACS, mandated reporters, and other child welfare and safety topics, please go to the ACS Web site at: www.nyc.gov/acs.
ACS Press Office: (212) 341-0999