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New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs

The Protection of People with Special Needs Act established the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs (Justice Center) in 2013. The Justice Center is responsible for receiving reports of abuse, neglect, financial misappropriation, and significant incidents that threaten the health, safety, or welfare of residents of certain state-licensed residential settings. The Justice Center operates a Vulnerable Persons’ Central Register (VPCR), a 24/7 hotline to receive such reports. The toll-free number of the Vulnerable Persons Central Register Hotline is 1-855-373-2122.

Operators and staff of FTHAs are subject to the requirements of the Justice Center. They are mandated reporters to the VPCR, meaning they are responsible for calling the VPCR to report incidents of suspected abuse, neglect or other significant incidents that affect the health and safety of residents of FTHAs or other facilities covered under the this law. They are also covered by a code of conduct established by the Justice Center.

When a report is made by the VPCR, the Justice Center will determine whether it will investigate the report itself, or whether it will assign the report for an investigation by the state oversight agency. In the case of FTHA, the state oversight agency is OCFS. If the Justice Center assigns a case to OCFS, OCFS will determine whether OCFS staff and/or local district staff, will investigate the report.

For more information about the Justice Center, go to the Justice Center website at www.justicecenter.ny.gov.