Relates to individuals who refuse to participate in an investigation being conducted by child protective services; grants a twenty-four hour notice to the individual for the meeting or home visit; defines "blatant refusal"; declares that such refusal shall indicate a need for a more thorough investigation and shall be grounds for issuing an immediate warrant to enter such individual's home to investigate the safety and well-being of the child or children; mandates that such immediate warrant occur after one instance of blatant refusal.
BILL NUMBER: S131
TITLE OF BILL : An act to amend the social services law, in relation to individuals who refuse to participate in an investigation being conducted by child protective services
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL : To create a system where a failure to participate (blatantly refusing to allow an investigator in the home or meet with investigators) in a child protective investigation would indicate that a more thorough investigation is needed and would immediately issue a warrant:
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS : Adds a new subsection (e) to section 422-a of the social service law. Subsection (i) states that if a child protective worker identifies themselves and is carrying an ID card proving that they are, in fact, a child protective worker, and the subject of the investigation (i.e. parent or guardian) blatantly refuses to meet with the worker or let them into the home, the parent or guardian will have twenty-four hours to comply with the request for a meeting or a home visit.
Subsection (ii) states that the child protective agency will be responsible for informing the parent or guardian that the twenty-four hours have lapsed. If the individual is still refusing to meet with child protective workers than this should indicate a need for a more thorough investigation and an immediate warrant will be issued in order to evaluate the safety and well-being of the child or children. This action will be taken upon the first blatant refusal of the parent or guardian. Blatant refusal is defined as verbally refusing a meeting or refusing to meet with investigators by using physical force.
EFFECTS OF PRESENT LAW WHICH THIS BILL WOULD ALTER : There is currently no action or lack of action that calls for an immediate warrant for child protective workers to investigate a case under current law. Presently, if the agency pursues a warrant or not depends upon the judgment of each individual case worker's opinions on each individual case.
This bill provides child protective workers with the power and authority to pursue an immediate warrant if the subject of the investigation (i.e. parent or guardian) blatantly refuse to participate in the investigation by refusing to meet with workers or by refusing a home visit. This would occur upon the first refusal to participate and would provide an opportunity for child protective workers to meet with the family in order to evaluate if the child/children are in imminent danger.
JUSTIFICATION : After the tragic death of Nixzmary Brown, age 7, who was brutally tortured and murdered by her stepfather, some sources have indicated that her stepfather refused to comply with the child protective worker's request for a meeting with the family within their home. There was talk of pursuing a warrant, but child protective services never followed through. It has now become clear that some of the subjective nature of child protective investigations must be removed.
Defining specific circumstances that would issue an immediate warrant would eliminate the subjectivity of when a warrant would be issued and for what behaviors or actions. One specific' circumstance that should be an indication that an immediate warrant be issued is a parent or guardian's blatant refusal to meet with a investigator from child protective services or allow such an investigator into their home. Meeting with investigators, especially within the family's home, provides critical information regarding the safety and well-being of the child or children. These meetings are necessary in helping to keep children out of harm's way.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY : S.2156 of 2007 02/01/07 Referred to Social Services, Children & Families
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS : None.
EFFECTIVE DATE : This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 131 2009-2010 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 7, 2009 ___________Introduced by Sen. SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Social Services, Children and Families AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to individuals who refuse to participate in an investigation being conducted by child protective services THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 1 of section 422-a of the social services law, as added by chapter 12 of the laws of 1996 and paragraph (d) as amended by chapter 136 of the laws of 1999, is amended to read as follows: 1. Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law to the contrary, the commissioner or a city or county social services commissioner may disclose information regarding the abuse or maltreatment of a child as set forth in this section, and the investigation thereof and any services related thereto if he or she determines that such disclosure shall not be contrary to the best interests of the child, the child's siblings or other children in the household and any one of the following factors are present: (a) the subject of the report has been charged in an accusatory instrument with committing a crime related to a report maintained in the statewide central register; or (b) the investigation of the abuse or maltreatment of the child by the local child protective service or the provision of services by such service has been publicly disclosed in a report required to be disclosed in the course of their official duties, by a law enforcement agency or official, a district attorney, any other state or local investigative agency or official or by judge of the unified court system; or (c) there has been a prior knowing, voluntary, public disclosure by an individual concerning a report of child abuse or maltreatment in whichEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01972-01-9 S. 131 2
such individual is named as the subject of the report as defined by subdivision four of section four hundred twelve of this title;
[or](d) the child named in the report has died or the report involves the near fatality of a child. For the purposes of this section, "near fatal- ity" means an act that results in the child being placed, as certified by a physician, in serious or critical condition; OR (E) (I) WHERE THE CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE DECLARES HIMSELF OR HERSELF AS AN EMPLOYEE OF SUCH CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICE AND PRESENTS AN IDENTIFICATION CARD PROVING SUCH EMPLOYMENT AND AN INDIVID- UAL BLATANTLY REFUSES TO ALLOW SUCH CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICE REPRESEN- TATIVE ENTRANCE INTO SUCH INDIVIDUAL'S HOME OR REFUSES TO MEET WITH SUCH REPRESENTATIVE. SUCH INDIVIDUAL WHO IS THE SUBJECT OF AN INVESTIGATION AND WHO IS BLATANTLY REFUSING SHALL HAVE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS TO COMPLY WITH SUCH MEETING OR HOME VISIT WITH SUCH REPRESENTATIVE. (II) THE CHILD WELFARE AGENCY SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR NOTIFYING SUCH INDIVIDUAL THAT THE TWENTY-FOUR HOURS HAVE LAPSED. IF AT SUCH TIME, SUCH INDIVIDUAL BLATANTLY REFUSES TO A MEETING OR HOME VISIT WITH SUCH REPRE- SENTATIVE OF THE CHILD WELFARE AGENCY, SUCH REFUSAL SHALL INDICATE A NEED FOR A MORE THOROUGH INVESTIGATION AND SHALL BE GROUNDS FOR ISSUING AN IMMEDIATE WARRANT TO ENTER SUCH INDIVIDUAL'S HOME TO INVESTIGATE THE SAFETY AND WELL-BEING OF THE CHILD OR CHILDREN. THIS ACTION SHALL OCCUR UPON THE FIRST INSTANCE THAT SUCH INDIVIDUAL BLATANTLY REFUSES TO COOP- ERATE WITH SUCH REPRESENTATIVE. FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION, "BLATANT REFUSAL" MEANS VERBALLY REFUSING OR REFUSING BY USING PHYSICAL FORCE. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.