New data shows who makes the most reports of child abuse

A child, a neighbor and a family court judge ruling on a repot of child abuse.

A child, a neighbor and a family court judge ruling on a repot of child abuse. Illustration by Zach Williams

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New data from the New York City Independent Budget Office shows who is making the most reports of alleged child abuse in the city. The results fall into two categories: mandated reporters like social workers and educators, and members of the general public. Complaints first go to the New York Statewide Central Register of Abuse and Maltreatment which then relays it to the city’s Administration for Children’s Services for investigation. Here are a few takeaways from the report:

  • Mandated reporters made up about two out of every three reports made in fiscal year 2016. Teachers and other educators were about a quarter of overall reports, including 5 percent of those made during the summer. Social service and child care personnel made about 21 percent of reports; law enforcement, about 11 percent.
  • Friends, neighbors and relatives other than parents were responsible for about 9 percent of reports, but “others” were responsible for a larger share – 12 percent.
  • Calls spiked after the highly publicized September and December 2016 deaths of two children, increasing from 62,743 in fiscal year 2016 to 67,860 in 2017, then to 68,463 in 2018. However, mandated reporters continued to make about two-thirds of all reports.

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