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Child Protective Services will deploy workers at local hospitals

With statistics indicating that a majority of child abuse cases are reported from three area hospitals, Child Protective Services is moving into those facilities to allow for quicker investigations.
Almost all claims of abuse or neglect are called in to a toll-free phone number in Albany. They are  processed with a call number and then passed through to local Child Protective Services offices in the counties. That CPS office has up to 24 hours to investigate.

Erie County Social Services Commissioner Carol Dankert-Maurer says the decision was made to put workers in the hospitals because of the volume of calls.
"In 2013, we received about 1,000 reports between the three hospitals, Women & Childrens, Sister's and Mercy. And, it made sense for us to reach out to the medical community and try to figure out how we could work together to partner and to strengthen our collaboration in terms of these investigations."

Mandated reports of neglect or abuse will still go through Albany but Dankert-Maurer says they will be handled more rapidly in those hospitals because there will be workers assigned as of Monday.

One worker will always be in Women and Children's while Mercy and Sisters' will share a worker. The commissioner says this will allow the veteran case workers to share their knowledge with medical personnel.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.