When we examine how a society cares for its children, we are looking directly into the heart of a nation. Most of our nation's children lead happy and healthy lives, however, many others are not as fortunate. Therefore, certain professionals are required to act as watch guards for children's safety, as their caretakers are unable to provide the care and support that they need to flourish. The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC), the first child protection agency in the world, designed this book to guide those designated as "mandated reporters" in their responsibility to recognize and report child abuse and neglect.
As the world's first child protection agency, The NYSPCC is committed to the prevention of child abuse and neglect. The agency responds to the complex needs of all abused and neglected children, and those involved in their care, by providing best practice counseling, legal and educational services. Through research, communications and training initiatives, The NYSPCC works to expand these programs to prevent abuse and,
Every day in this country, more than five children die as a result of abuse and neglect, approximately 1,300 children died as a result of abuse and neglect last year. Three quarters of these children were under the age of four. Everyone can recall a recent media story about a horrific death. It is our hope that as more concerned individuals take an active role in safeguarding children at risk, these numbers will lessen.
You have an important responsibility as a mandated reporter. When you think a child is at risk for abuse or neglect, you must contact the state central register (SCR) and make a report, even if you are not one hundred percent certain that abuse or neglect has occurred. As long as you have reasonable suspicion, you are making the right decision. A child's life may depend on your call. Trained specialists at the SCR's child abuse hotline will take over and investigate your report. This investigation can also result in a family getting the attention and services that they need to grow stronger, healthier and able to provide a caring home for their children.
The NYSPCC salutes the professionals who take the time to learn about the proper methods of identifying and reporting child abuse and neglect. Thank you for making New York State a safer place for children.
Mary L. Pulido, Ph.D.