The Child and Family Services Division of the Monroe County Department of Human Services provides child and family welfare services required by the community. These include a range of voluntary and involuntary, preventive, protective, supportive, and rehabilitative services for adults, children, and families to maintain and enhance their quality of life. The Children and Family Services Division houses teams at four sites: 111 Westfall Road, 691 St. Paul Street, 1099 Jay Street and 1 Mt. Hope Ave. The Child and Family Services Division is comprised of these program areas:
- Child Protective Services
- Foster Care and Adoption
- Preventive Services
- Adult Protective Services
- FACT (Family Access and Connection Team)
Throughout this website, each of these program areas and their services are further described, along with contact information. Special initiatives and other services are also presented. As always, we are open to feedback or consumer/community input. Please feel free to send this office a message or inquiry.
A Family’s Guide to the Child Welfare System , which was produced from a collaborative effort among children and family organizations across the country (Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health), will help you better understand how the child welfare system works. It also will inform you of your rights and responsibilities. In addition to contacting us, this guide is an option for answering questions if you or someone you know becomes involved in the child welfare system.
Download: A Family’s Guide to the Child Welfare System.
Download: A Guide to the NYS Child Protective Services System https://assembly.state.ny.us/comm/children/20140128/index.pdf
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OCFS Promotes Safe Sleep Efforts by Monroe County
Child Protective Services
Child Protective Services is a program area of the Children and Family Services Division of the Monroe County Department of Human Services that:
- Receives and investigates reports of suspected abuse and neglect of children;
- Protects children who have been abused or neglected; and
- Provides support and rehabilitative services to families where children have been abused or neglected.
Child Protective Services is organized into three sections:
- Child Protective Services Intake/After Hours
Provides 24 hour services to the Monroe County community to investigate reports of suspected child abuse or neglect.
- Child Protective Services Investigation
Investigates reports of suspected child abuse or neglect and provides immediate services to families to resolve short-term child abuse or neglect problems.
- Family Assessment Response (FAR) This is an alternative response for some families reported for suspected maltreatment of their children. Rather than focusing on details of an incident, or determining whether or not abuse or maltreatment occurred, the focus will be on the safety of your children and providing services to meet the needs of your family. There will be NO determination. How a response is chosen: When Monroe County receives reports alleging child maltreatment, a decision is made to initiate a Child Protective Services Investigation or to engage the family in a Child Protective Services Family Assessment Response.
- Child Protective Services Management
Provides respectful, strength-based, and culturally competent case management and supportive services to children and their families. Safety, permanency, and well-being are the main focus of these teams, who work to support the right of each child to a lasting, safe, and nurturing environment where he or she can develop secure attachments and a sense of belonging. Some of these families have children in foster care, some have children court-placed with relatives, and others have children at home under MCDHS supervision.
What to do if you think a child is being abused or neglected.
Please call the New York State Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-342-3720. You can call anytime of the day or night. When you call, a Child Protective Services intake specialist will ask you for information about the child’s family and about how and why you think the child is being mistreated. If the situation you describe meets the legal standards that are required for Child Protective Services to take action, a report of your suspicions will be registered and assigned to a Monroe County Child Protective Services Unit for investigation or assessment.
What happens when a child abuse or neglect report is registered?
All situations that are recorded in the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Register must be investigated by caseworkers from Child Protective Services. The investigation must begin within 24 hours of the time the child abuse or neglect report was recorded and must include the following steps:
- An immediate assessment of the safety of the children in the household;
- A visit to the home to assess the living conditions and interaction between the family members;
- Personal observations and interviews with all members of the household;
- Contact with the person who made the child abuse or neglect report to gather more information;
- Contact with other people who are in a position to provide relevant information about the family’s situation;
- A decision about whether evidence of child abuse or neglect exists;
- Development of a plan to protect the abused or neglected children and reduce the risk of further child abuse or neglect.
Is there confidentiality for reporters of abuse or neglect?
Generally, Child Protective caseworkers are prohibited by law from identifying people who make child abuse or neglect reports. In rare instances, a Child Protective caseworker may tell a family who made a report. This could occur when:
- The person who made the report gives written permission to tell the family;
- A judge orders that the identity of the person who made the report be provided in a court hearing
- If an Article 10 Abuse/Neglect petition is filed, the source is named in the petition.
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Definitions of Child Abuse, Child Neglect, Serious Physical Injury, and Sex Offense
What is child abuse?
Child abuse occurs when a parent or another person with legal responsibility for the care of a child:
- Causes a serious physical injury to the child or allows someone else to cause a serious physical injury to the child;
- Creates a substantial risk of a serious physical injury to the child or allows someone else to create a substantial risk of a serious physical injury to the child; or
- Commits a sex offense against the child or allows someone else to commit a sex offense against the child.
What is child neglect?
Child neglect occurs when a parent or another person with legal responsibility for the care of a child causes physical, mental, or emotional harm to the child (or creates an imminent danger of such harm) by:
- Failing to supply the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, medical or surgical care; or
- Failing to provide the child with proper supervision or guardianship; or
- The excessive use of physical punishment; or
- Using drugs; or
- Using alcoholic beverages to the extent that he/she loses control of his/her actions; or
- Other acts of a serious nature.
What is a serious physical injury?
A serious physical injury is one that causes:
- Serious or protracted disfigurement;
- Protracted impairment of physical or emotional health;
- Protracted loss or impairment of the use of any part of the child’s body.
What is a sex offense?
A sex offense against a child is any sexual contact that involves a child and parent (or other adult responsible for the child’s care) and is done for the sexual gratification of either the child or the adult.
Sex offenses against children also include:
- Allowing, permitting, or encouraging a child to engage in prostitution;
- Committing incest with a child;
- Using a child in a sexual performance
Family Access and Connections Team (FACT)
This team is a strength-based assessment and referral program designed to support families experiencing difficulties with their children under the age of 18 exhibiting a pattern of the following behaviors.
- Behaving in a way that is dangerous or out of control; violence in the home/destruction of property, verbally and/or physically aggressive, including injury to others or pets/animals, self-harming behavior
- Stealing, theft from family/residence
- Drug/alchohol abuse
- Leaving home without permission, curfew violations
- Truancy - missing full days of school/illegal absences
To contact FACT, please call 753-2639 or walk-in during business hours (located at 1099 Jay St.)