Anyone – including a parent, advocate, or guardian – can make a report to the Vulnerable Persons Central Register (VPCR) hotline and is encouraged to make a report when they have knowledge or have reason to believe that a person with special needs has been abused, neglected, or mistreated. However, some people are required to report to the VPCR. These “mandated reporters” include provider agency staff and human service professionals who, by nature of their job, must report allegations of abuse and neglect. Mandated reporters include direct support staff, clinicians, administrative staff, and other human service professionals.
The Vulnerable Persons Central Register (VPCR) is a toll-free hotline and incident reporting system for allegations of abuse and neglect available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Whenever a mandated reporter has reasonable cause to suspect a reportable incident occurred, he or she is required to immediately report to the VPCR. Reporting may be delayed to ensure the safety of staff and people receiving services, including calling 9-1-1. A report must be made to the VPCR within 24 hours of the mandated reporter’s discovery of a reportable incident. The Justice Center cannot release the name(s) of the person(s) who made the report to the VPCR hotline or the name(s) of any person(s) who cooperated in the investigation to the public or to any person not authorized by law to receive such information.
This guidance document outlines the reporting requirements for human services professionals.
A call center representative will first determine if an emergency responder is necessary and/or if the person receiving services is in danger or needs immediate assistance. If it is an emergency situation, the call center representative will instruct the caller to hang up and dial 9-1-1.
Step 1: Intake
A recording of the call begins. A trained call center representative collects information from the reporter and assigns an incident number. Confidentiality laws protect reporters.
Step 2: Classification
The incident is classified as reportable or non-reportable.
- Abuse or neglect
- Significant Incident
- Death (administrative)
- Not under the jurisdiction of the Justice Center
- General inquiry
Step 3: Assignment
The incident is assigned to the appropriate entity for investigation or review. The Justice Center conducts investigations for abuse or neglect (based on severity and/or setting) and deaths. Less serious incidents may be delegated to the appropriate State Oversight Agency which may delegate to the provider agency. The Justice Center reviews all investigations and makes all final determinations.
- Abuse: Abuse can be physical, sexual, or psychological, as well as the deliberate misuse of restraint or obstruction of an investigation.
- Neglect: Neglect is the failure to provide supervision, or adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care, or access to education.
- Significant Incident: A significant incident has the potential to result in harm to the health, safety or welfare of a person receiving services.
- Mortality (administrative): The death of a person receiving services from a facility or program under the mortality review jurisdiction of the Justice Center must be reported immediately to the Justice Center. All deaths reported to the Justice Center are reviewed to determine whether further investigation is necessary. If someone suspects that the death may have been the result of abuse or neglect, it must be reported separately to the VPCR hotline.
Contact Make a Report to the Justice Center Contact
The Justice Center’s Vulnerable Persons’ Central Register (VPCR) operates a centralized, statewide toll-free hotline and incident reporting system 24 hours a day, 7-days a week. Reports are made by service providers and others who are “mandated reporters” as well as by any individual who witnesses or suspects that a person with special needs has been the victim of abuse or neglect, or is involved in a significant incident. In addition, you can make a report online.
Contact Mortality Review Contact
Contact us by phone:
NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs
401 State Street
Schenectady, NY 12305