Child Protective Services Policies

Skip to Content

Accessible Navigation and Information

Use the following links to quickly navigate around the page. The number for each is also the shortcut key. You can jump to:

Child Protective Services Policies

18-OCFS-LCM-14
Child Protective Services Manual Updates

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to advise local departments of social services (LDSS) of updates to the New York State Child Protective Services Manual (CPS Manual; December 2017). These updates replace prior iterations of the manual and are intended to reflect the most recent law, regulation, and policy. Also, included in this update are revisions to sections where additional clarifying information was necessary, as well as resources added to the appendix for use by child protective services (CPS).

18-OCFS-LCM-05
SFY 2018-19 Enhanced Child Protective Services (CPS) Funds (revised)

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to advise local social services districts (districts) of the availability of $758,000 of Local Assistance General Funds in the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2018-19 Enacted Budget for the improvement of child protective services (CPS) staff-to-client ratios. This LCM also provides information on each district’s allocation, the allocation methodology, how districts may use the funds, and planning and claiming requirements.

18-OCFS-ADM-08
Requesting Records from the New York Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR) for the Certification or Approval of Foster Boarding Homes

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to provide direction to authorized agencies (i.e., local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs)) regarding New York Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR) checks1 during the initial application for certification or approval, and re-openings, of foster boarding homes. When the authorized agency is notified by the SCR in response to a required database check that the applicant(s), or any person 18 years of age or older residing in the applicant(s)’ home, is a confirmed subject in an indicated report of child abuse or maltreatment, the authorized agency must obtain a signed Authorization for Release of Information (OCFS-5023) form from that person. The authorized agency will utilize the completed form to obtain the relevant records from the SCR.

18-OCFS-ADM-05
Criminal History Record Checks of Persons 18 Years of Age or Older Residing in Foster Boarding Homes

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to remind local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) 1 that at the time certified or approved foster parent(s) apply to renew their certification or approval, state and national criminal history record checks must be completed through the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on all persons 18 years of age or older residing in the home, if no such criminal history record check was previously completed. This includes any person already residing in the foster home who has turned 18 (including foster children) and any person 18 years of age or older who moved into the home since the initial or subsequent certification or approval.

The LDSS and VA must add these individuals to the Foster and Adoptive Home Development (FAD) stage of CONNECTIONS and are strongly encouraged to complete the criminal history record checks on all persons 18 years of age or older at the time they are notified that the new person is residing in the foster home.

18-OCFS-ADM-04
Requirement to Forward Reports of Suspected Child Abuse or Maltreatment to the Local Departments of Social Services and Voluntary Authorized Agencies Charged With the Care, Custody, or Guardianship of a Child in Foster Care

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of Chapter 281 of the Laws of 2017, which requires child protective services (CPS) of an LDSS to ascertain whether a child named in a report of suspected child abuse or maltreatment, or any other child in the same foster home, is in the care, custody, or guardianship of an authorized agency. If the agency with care, custody or guardianship is not in the same LDSS in which the foster home caring for such children is located, the report must be sent by the investigating LDSS to such authorized agency and any other LDSSs with care, custody or guardianship of any children in the home as soon as possible. For the purpose of this release, an authorized agency with care, custody or guardianship means a LDSS with care and custody, or custody and guardianship of the foster child or the LDSS or VA that certified or approved the foster home. The investigating LDSS must also provide the results of the investigation (whether indicated or unfounded) to the LDSS with care, custody or guardianship and to the LDSS or VA that approved or certified the foster home.

17-OCFS-ADM-16
Mandated Reporters, Background Checks; Publicly-Funded Emergency Shelters for Families with Children

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) licensed, residential programs for victims of domestic violence, and local departments of social services (LDSSs) on the requirements of Part Q of Chapter 56 of the Laws of 2017 (Chapter 56), which amended Social Services Law (SSL) sections 412, 413, 424-a, and added a new section 460-h.

17-OCFS-ADM-15
Relief from Duplicate Reports of Incidents to the Vulnerable Persons Central Register by Mandated Reporters

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify those who are mandated to report to the Vulnerable Persons Central Register (VPCR), operated by the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs (Justice Center), abuse, neglect and significant incidents in programs operated, licensed or certified by the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) of the change in mandated reporter requirements.

17-OCFS-ADM-03
Entry of Incident Date for Substantiated Allegations

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to notify local departments of social services (LDSSs) of CONNECTIONS data entry requirements relevant to the calculation of performance metrics included in the federal Child and Family Services Review (CFSR). As noted in 15-OCFS-ADM 25 Timely Data Entry and Use of Incident Date, LDSSs were mandated to enter in CONNECTIONS the incident date associated with any substantiated allegation of child abuse and maltreatment involving a child placed in out-of-home care, which includes foster care placements. Since the issuance of that policy, data analysis has shown the importance of entering the incident date for all substantiated allegations in every child protective report whether or not the substantiation results in a child’s placement in foster care. The New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) is now requiring LDSSs to record the incident date for each substantiated allegation in all reports for all children.

17-OCFS-LCM-15
Statewide Central Register Jurisdictional Assignment of Sensitive Child Protective Services Intake Reports

The purpose of this Local Commissioner’s Memorandum (LCM) is to establish a consistent statewide procedure for assigning child protective services (CPS) intake reports that are sensitive. This will enable the New York Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR) to transmit sensitive reports to local departments of social services (LDSS) and CPS in a timely manner, protect the security of sensitive information, and avoid possible conflicts of interest.

17-OCFS-LCM-07
SFY 2017-18 Enhanced Child Protective Services (CPS) Funds

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to advise local social services districts (districts) of the availability of $758,000 of Local Assistance General Funds in the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2017-18 Enacted Budget for the improvement of child protective services staff-to-client ratios. This LCM also provides information on each district’s allocation, the allocation methodology, how districts may use the funds, and planning and claiming requirements.

17-OCFS-LCM-03
Amendments to the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act by the Federal Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 and Corresponding State Requirements

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs) of the amendments made to the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) by the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016 (CARA) [Public Law 114-198]. The amendments relate to the needs of infants born and identified as being affected by prenatal substance and alcohol exposure. This LCM also serves to remind LDSSs of the procedures already in place that constitute New York State’s compliance with the CAPTA amendments.

17-OCFS-LCM-02
After-Hours Transmission Procedure for Reports of Suspected Child Abuse and Maltreatment Registered by the New York Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum is to alert local commissioners that the New York Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR) will no longer verbally transmit reports of suspected child abuse or maltreatment after hours but will only support the electronic transmission of such reports.

17-OCFS-INF-03
New York State Processes Related to Notifications of Victims of Human Trafficking

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to explain differences between certain requirements (detailed in 15-OCFS-ADM-16) to identify, document, and report child victims of trafficking, and the process of confirming human trafficking victimhood; a process managed by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) and New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA).

16-OCFS-ADM-13
Requirements Relating to CPS Reports Involving Foster Parents

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to remind local departments of social services (LDSSs) and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of existing regulatory and policy requirements relating to reports of suspected child abuse or maltreatment involving certified or approved foster parents. The ADM also addresses other current regulatory and policy requirements that assist in the prevention of abuse or maltreatment of foster children in such placements. The requirements reflected in this ADM are intended to support coordination and cooperation among the LDSSs and VAs administering foster care and child protective services (CPS) programs with the goal of enhancing the safety and well-being of foster children placed in certified or approved foster homes.

16-OCFS-ADM-11
Amended Code of Conduct for Use by Facility and Provider Agencies under the Jurisdiction of the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform affected programs and facilities of changes to the Code of Conduct for custodians issued by the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs (Justice Center).

16-OCFS-ADM-07
Sharing Child Protective Services Information with Law Enforcement When a Child Is Missing

The purpose of this Administrative Directive is to convey to local social services districts (local districts) the provisions of Chapter 436 of the Laws of 2015 as amended by Chapter 13 of the Laws of 2016. These chapters revise the New York State Social Services Law (SSL) in relation to sharing information in child protective services reports with law enforcement during a situation in which a child is missing.

16-OCFS-LCM-06
SFY 2016-17 Enhanced Child Protective Services (CPS) Funds

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to advise local social services districts (districts) of the availability of $758,000 of Local Assistance General Funds in the State Fiscal Year (SFY) 2016-17 Enacted Budget for the improvement of child protective services staff-to-client ratios. This LCM also provides information on each district’s allocation, the allocation methodology, how districts may use the funds, and planning and claiming requirements.

16-OCFS-LCM-05
Phillips v. Orange County – Considerations for Child Protective Services Investigations

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to discuss an oral order issued by the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on August 19, 2015 pertaining to Phillips et al. v. County of Orange, et al. (“Phillips”). The order granted a motion by the plaintiffs for summary judgment and held that, in this case, the county engaged in an unconstitutional seizure of a child when the child was questioned in a public school as part of a child protective services (“CPS”) investigation.

This LCM clarifies the position of the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) that this order pertains only to Orange County and should not change other local social services districts’ (districts) procedures or protocols.

16-OCFS-INF-09
Expansion of Severe or Repeated Abuse Findings and of the Statewide Automated Registry of Orders of Protection and Warrants

The purpose of this informational letter is to explain the impact of the amendments made to the Family Court Act (FCA) and Executive Law by Chapter 492 of the Laws of 2015, which became effective February 18, 2016. The changes authorize family courts to issue findings of severe or repeated abuse against non-parents in child abuse and neglect proceedings brought pursuant to Article 10 of the FCA. They also require that certain orders of protection issued in child abuse cases be maintained in the statewide computerized system for orders of protection and warrants of arrest.

15-OCFS-ADM-17
Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and Medicaid to Age 26

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to inform local departments of social services (LDSSs), including the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, and voluntary authorized agencies (VAs) of changes pertaining to requirements for Medical Assistance (Medicaid) eligibility under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) [P.L. 111- 148] for youth and young adults formerly in foster care who are under the age of 26 years and the continuing option to provide Medicaid to age 21, under the Foster Care Independence Act (FCIA) of 1999 [P.L. 106-169], for those youth and young adults who are at least 18 years of age or older at the time of discharge from care and who were not in receipt of Medicaid at that time.

15-OCFS-ADM-10
Sharing of Investigation Information by Child Protective Services and the Office of Children and Family Services, Division of Child Care Services

The purpose of this Administrative Directive (ADM) is to provide direction to local social services districts (local districts) and agencies that license or register child day care providers regarding their responsibilities for sharing information with each other.

15-OCFS-LCM-01
Funding for Co-location/Collaboration of Behavioral Health and Child Protective Services

The purpose of this Local Commissioners Memorandum (LCM) is to inform local social services districts of the availability of $1.2 million in federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) funds for child protective services and behavioral health partnerships.

13-OCFS-INF-05
Protection of People with Special Needs Act and the Formation of the Justice Center and the Vulnerable Persons Central Register

The purpose of the Informational Letter is to inform local social services districts and other agencies about the Protection of People with Special Needs Act, Chapter Law 501 of the Laws of 2012.

12-OCFS-INF-07
Changes in the Abandoned Infant Protection Act

The purpose of this Informational Letter (INF) is to inform local social services districts and other agencies about important changes to the Abandoned Infant Protection Act (AIPA) that were enacted into law through Chapter 447 of the Laws of 2010.

12-OCFS-INF-01
Sharing of Confidential Client-identifiable Information Between Child Protective Services (CPS) and Protective Services for Adults (PSA)

The purpose of this release is to provide guidance to local departments of social services (LDSS) as to permissible means for the sharing of client-identifiable information between Child Protective Services (CPS) and Protective Services for Adults (PSA) units of an LDSS.