Child Protective Services


The mission of Child Protective Services (CPS) is to investigate reports of suspected maltreatment, neglect or abuse of children in Rensselaer County, to identify safety and risk elements and to provide interventions to safeguard children in our charge.


Anyone can call the State Central Register for Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR) at 800-342-3720 to make a report concerning abuse or neglect of children. According to Social Services Law 413: Legal obligation to report: a neglected/abused child coming before a person working in their official capacity is a mandated reporter. Mandated reporters include 

  • Christian Service Practitioner
  • Daycare/Residential Worker
  • District Attorney Personnel
  • Medical/Dental Personnel
  • Mental Health Provider
  • Peace and Police Officer
  • School Official
  • Social Service Worker
  • Substance Abuse Worker

Some safety factors to consider when making a report are as follows:

  • Caretaker's drug or alcohol use impairs ability to supervise
  • Caretaker's mental illness or developmental disability impairs ability to protect or care for child
  • Caretakers behavior is violent or out of control
  • Caretaker has not met the child's needs for food, clothing, shelter or medical care
  • Caretaker appears unwilling or incapable of providing significant supervision
  • Caretaker likely caused physical harm to the children or has made a plausible threat of such
  • Caretaker describes or acts towards child in predominately negative terms or has extremely unrealistic expectations
  • Child sexual abuse is suspected
  • Child living conditions appear extremely unsanitary or hazardous
  • Child is afraid of people living in or frequenting the home

Child Protective Services Division

Following the receipt of a report regarding a child in Rensselaer County, the SCR transmits said report to the local Department of Social Services. The Child Protective Services Division commences an investigation to assess the immediate and ongoing safety of children and to provide support and services when necessary. Child Protective Caseworkers respond within 24 hours to all reports made to the SCR.

If the allegations are found to be true, services are provided to the family to begin the healing process and keep the family together. Sometimes it is necessary to remove children from the family when there is imminent risk of serious harm. Cases involving domestic violence, sexual abuse or serious injury to a child are also prosecuted in civil court.