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Child Abuse Hotline

Child Welfare
Kelly Varamogiannis, Deputy Commissioner

John H. Mulroy Civic Center
421 Montgomery Street
Syracuse, NY 13202

Hours:  8:30 AM – 4:30 PM (Monday – Friday)

Phone: (315) 435-2884

Become a foster parent
Become a foster parent

Our Mission
Children’s Division is dedicated to professional practice in the protection of children from violence and neglect by their caretakers, preservation of families, the provision of alternative care, and the achievement of permanence for children to help them become productive adults.

The Children’s Division of the Onondaga County Department of Social Services is responsible for the direct and indirect provision of Child Protective Services, Foster Care, Intake, Adoption and Preventive Services.


The Child Abuse Hotline is Available 24 Hours A Day

1 800-342-3720

Child Protective Services
Child Protective Services is the only public entity responsible for safeguarding the physical, mental, and emotional well being of abused and neglected children.  CPS receives all reports of suspected child abuse and maltreatment within families and conducts investigations, first to assess the risk of harm to the children and then to examine the allegations of maltreatment in each report.  In cases where neglect or abuse exists, CPS provides and arranges for services necessary to ensure that risks to the children’s safety are eliminated as well as work to preserve and stabilize family life whenever possible.

The Intake Unit provides an array of services including the assessment of an identified family’s service needs, voluntary placement of children into foster care, and referral for preventive services.  To request services, call (315) 435-2884.

Family Services
The focus of the Family Services Unit is to address the risk and safety issues present in identified families in order to prevent the foster care placement of children.  Efforts are undertaken to coordinate and integrate the family with community services and resources.  If foster care placement is unavoidable, intensive services are provided in an effort to reunite the family or to achieve another form of permanency. 

Preventive Services
The Preventive Services Unit provides services to families and children when there is a documented risk to the children of placement in foster care or remaining in foster care without such services.  To request services, call 435-2884.

Foster and Adoptive Homefinding
Foster and adoptive parents are special people who open their hearts and homes to children in our community who can no longer stay with their families for a variety of reasons.  Their stay may be temporary or in some cases permanent.  The Homefinding Unit recruits, trains and certifies foster and adoptive families.  If you are interested in making a difference in a child’s life, please call (315) 435-3827 or check out our web site at: https://www.onfostercare.org/

Adoption Services
There are many children in Onondaga County that are waiting to be adopted.  The adoption unit arranges placements of these children in appropriate homes.  They provide support and guidance to the children and the adoptive parents until the adoption is finalized.  Photographs and biographies of the children available for adoption in New York State are available in the New York State Adoption Album.  If you are interested in adopting, please call (315) 435-3827 or check out our web site at: https://www.onfostercare.org/

Independent Living Services
The Independent Living Unit provides services to all teens in foster care who are interested in learning real world life skills.  This is accomplished through intensive casework and participation in group activities.  Our teens have an opportunity to discover what it is like to take responsibility for themselves and are instructed in strategies designed to assist them with life on their own as adults.

Related Links

Give your life a smile and become a foster parent

New York State Office of Children and Family Services Child Protective Services

New York State Office of Children and Family Services Counties of New York Mandated Reporter’s Guide 

New York State Office of Children and Family Services Foster Parent Manual

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Multiethnic Placement Act of 1994



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