Child Abuse Identification and Reporting in New York State

Child Abuse Identification, Reporting and Prevention Training

“Each year in the United States, more than 3 million reports of child abuse and neglect are reported, involving more than 6 million children. This makes the United States one of the worst among industrialized nations for child abandonment and abuse. Child abuse and neglect are shown to cause increased incidence of such life-altering diseases as ischemic heart disease, liver disease, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (“COPD”). Studies have shown that adults who report having 6 or more harmful or detrimental experiences in their childhood have a life expectancy shortened by 20 years” (Legal Dictionary). This is why child abuse prevention training courses exist and why there has been an increasing focus on education the general public on the signs of abuse and neglect and what to do if they suspect a child is being abused or mistreated.

Child Protective Services (CPS) is the common name for the specialized government agency throughout the United States. This is the department that is responsible for protecting underaged children and minors by ensuring they are taken care of and by reporting child abuse cases. The following list of indicators may be used as a guide to help determine if there is a suspicion of child abuse or neglect. These indicators can also exist in situations where a child is not abused or neglected; they are only suggestive of abuse or neglect. The presence of any one or more of these indicators may have an entirely appropriate or unrelated explanation. This is why it is important to know what signs to look for, to report and to investigate suspected cases to determine if there is proof of child abuse.


  • Unexplained injuries that include bruises, welts, bite marks, cuts, bald spots, etc.
  • Numerous bruises which appear at different times and build on each other progressively
  • Behavioral extremes or sudden changes such as withdrawal, aggression, or fear
  • Uncomfortable with any kind of physical contact and shying away from people
  • Afraid to go home or cries when caregivers come back
  • Repeatedly dressed in clothes that are inappropriate for the current weather
  • Cringes when approached by someone seen as an authority figure at school or elsewhere
  • Overreacts to accidents such as spilling milk or is overly apologetic
  • Does not speak about home life, parents, siblings, their family etc
  • Extreme attachment to parents and attentiveness to needs of parents


  • Pain, irritation, rash, wound, bruising, or itching in the genital area that is persistent
  • Bruises or bleeding in external genitalia or torn, stained or bloody underclothing
  • Venereal disease or symptoms of STDS and other sexually transmitted illnesses
  • Sexual knowledge beyond what is natural for a child
  • Acting out sexual activities or talking about them at random
  • Poor self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, and idea of self-worth
  • Problems with bedtime or fear of the dark and of bedtime
  • Bedwetting in a child who has long been potty trained at night


  • Unattended medical needs resulting in sores, infection, illnesses on a regular basis
  • Consistent lack of supervision and reports of a young child being alone for long periods
  • Persistent hunger, poor hygiene, distended stomach, or emaciated body
  • Delayed physical development, failure to thrive, poor development markers
  • Habit disorders and regression such as thumb sucking, crying, baby balling, etc
  • Passive or aggressive behavior extremes and sudden changes in normal behaviors
  • Neurotic traits such as sleep disorders, sleep walking, memory issues, regression

Contact us today to sign up for a child abuse prevention training and to learn more about how you can help protect children in NYS from abuse and neglect contact us today and sign up for a course!

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