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What To Do If You Suspect Child Abuse

A child told (disclosed) me that he is being abused, now what? 

I suspect a child is being abused, what should I do?

  • If a child tells you it is because they trust you.
  • Be aware of your reaction to a child’s disclosure; the child will be aware of your reaction as well.
  • Tell the child you believe him or her.
  • Thank the child for telling you.
  • Assure the child that it is not his or her fault
  • Be honest with the child and don’t make any promises. Let the child know that you will have to talk to other people in order to get help and ensure their safety.

Contact appropriate authorities.
Call the New York State Abuse Hotline 1-800-342-3720
Allow the authorities and experts to conduct the investigation

I reported the suspected abuse, what happens next?

  • If and when the report is accepted by the NYS Abuse Hotline it will be sent to Child Protective Services and/or Law Enforcement
  • CPS and/or LE will conduct their initial investigation
  • The case will then be referred to the CARE Center by CPS, LE, or District Attorney’s Offices
  • CARE Center staff will coordinate with MDT members to set up a forensic interview and medical exam, if necessary
  • At the time of the interview there will be a victim advocate present to provide information regarding the legal process and answer any questions that the child and non-offending family members have. The advocate will also provide information regarding referrals for mental health/counseling services.
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You suspect a child is being abused. What should you do next?

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