Child Abuse Information

Do you have concerns that a child is being abuse or maltreated? 

If so, please call New York State's Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-342-3720.

This line is managed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year! 

Child Abuse and Neglect… LET'S MAKE IT A PROBLEM OF THE PAST!


Child abuse and neglect is a serious problem.

This prevention and reporting information is for you to use and to share with others. Our hope is that this information will decrease the numbers of children who are abused, neglected, or assaulted.

We also hope that it will help you to help yourself or to assist others who need or want help with problems of parenting. If you need help or you know someone who does, these numbers are very important:

First Call for Help
Broome or Tioga County - 211 or 1-800-901-2180

Chenango County 1-800-227-5353
(Answers questions and can direct you to services in the community.)


With your help, we CAN make child abuse and neglect a problem of the past.

What Is Child Abuse?

Child abuse, neglect, or maltreatment is defined when a parent or other person legally responsible for the child's care commits, or allows to be committed, injury or harm to a child under the age of 18.

In New York State causing such harm may be labeled in several ways:

Physical Abuse:
Includes instances in which beating, burning or even shaking (of extremely young children) causes serious physical harm. Whether the parent or caregiver actually inflicts the harm or merely creates the risk that the harm could occur, the act could be abuse.

Sexual Abuse:
Includes incest, rape, or any other sexual activity committed or allowed to be committed against a child.

Emotional Abuse:
Includes failure to provide warmth, attention to a child. It can also be excessive yelling, belittling, humiliation or teasing such that harm results to the child.


A failure to provide minimum degree of care and protection to a child; a failure to provide adequate…

  • food
  • clothing
  • shelter
  • education
  • medical attention
  • emotional support
  • supervision

…that results in physical, mental, emotional impairment to a child.

How Do I Recognize Child Abuse And Neglect?

(These are just some examples, there are other things you may see and hear that are not mentioned here).

The Child:

  • shows evidence of repeated skin or other injuries
  • has injuries that are inappropriately treated or unattended
  • shows evidence of overall poor care/appears to be undernourished or inadequately fed
  • seems generally fearful and afraid of his/her parents or caregiver
  • is kept confined for long periods of time
  • is destructive and aggressive or passive and withdrawn
  • is not supervised appropriately

Abuse and neglect may be present when one or several of the preceding factors are evident. It should be noted that certain factors are sometimes present in non-abused children.

The Parent:

  • discourages social contact
  • makes no attempt to explain the child's most obvious injuries or offers absurd, unreasonable explanations
  • does not understand or seems unconcerned about the seriousness of the child's injury/condition
  • loses control and is unable to cope with stress
  • delays in taking the child for medical care
  • ignores the child's crying or reacts with extreme impatience
  • exposes the child to unsafe living conditions
  • has unrealistic expectations for the child
  • sees the child as entirely bad, worthless or evil

Each can occur separately or several may show up in the same family.

Reporting – What Should You Do?

Some professionals such as health, education, law enforcement, social services, and child care are required by New York State law to report suspected child abuse or neglect. The law also states that any person may report if there is reasonable cause to suspect maltreatment. Most of us by our conscience and concern for the safety of all children want to make that phone call to the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Reporting Center if we suspect a child is being abused or maltreated.

Do not hesitate to speak out promptly. The intent of the Social Service law is not to punish parents but to keep the child in the home unless there clearly is danger. In most cases the whole family can be helped so that they stay together. If you report, and do it early, the child and the family can benefit from the services or the intervention. Individuals who report suspected child abuse/neglect are protected by the law and are immune from legal liability for reporting in good faith.

Care enough to help our children and keep them safe.

How To Report Child Abuse And Neglect In New York State:

Call 1-800-342-3720 and you will be asked to provide the following information:

  • the name and address of the child
  • the age of the child(ren), if known
  • the name and address of the parent or caretaker of the child
  • the name of the person you suspect is abusing or neglecting the child
  • why you suspect the child is being abused or neglected
  • your name if you choose to give it…
    This will make it possible for the child protective services
    worker to talk with you later if necessary. You may make
    an anonymous report and the case will still be investigated.
  • any other information you think is helpful

You can still make a report if you do not have all the information.
When you make a report it will cause an investigation to begin by the Child Protective Services Department in your community.

If a child is in immediate danger dial 911!

Further Reading: