This bill has been amended

Bill S4081A-2013

Relates to notice of indicated reports of child maltreatment and changes of placement in child protective and voluntary foster care placement and review proceedings; repealer

Relates to notice of indicated reports of child maltreatment and changes of placement in child protective and voluntary foster care placement and review proceedings.

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  • Jun 18, 2013: PRINT NUMBER 4081A
  • Jun 18, 2013: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • Jun 13, 2013: PRINT NUMBER 4081A
  • Jun 13, 2013: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • Mar 7, 2013: REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4081A

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the family court act and the social services law, in relation to notice of indicated reports of child maltreatment and changes of placement in child protective and voluntary foster care placement and review proceedings; and to repeal certain provisions of the family court act, in relation to technical changes thereto

This is one in a series of measures being introduced at the request of the Chief Administrative Judge upon the recommendation of her Family Court Advisory and Rules Committee.

Reflecting a pronounced legislative 1:relic:tat both Federal and State levels, Family Court's oversight responsibility for children in foster care has increased sharply in the past two decades. See Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-89); L. 1999, c. 7; L. 2005, c. 3. Both the Federal and State Adoption and Safe Families Acts emphasize that a child's safety is paramount, making it vital that the Court and the parties be informed promptly of all events affecting child safety, especially indicated reports of abuse or maltreatment.

As important; the Federal ASFA measures success in terms of outcomes, i.e., the states ability to reach Federally-established targets for timely achievement of permanency for children. The second "Child and Family Service Review (CFSR)," conducted by the Administration for Children and Families of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in 2008, concluded that New York again ranked among the lowest scores in the nation and demonstrated how far our State must go to achieving, the Federal targets.{1} It is therefor crucial that steps be taken to ensure that Family Courts can exercise their important monitoring functions on the basis of complete, timely information. The 2005 permanency legislation, with its salutary provisions for continuing jurisdiction, was an important-step, but further legislation is necessary to ensure that information regarding the most compelling of circumstances is conveyed to the Court, the child's attorney and the parties on a timely basis in order to bring New York State into compliance with ASFA. This measure answers that need.

This measure would ensure that the parties and children's attorneys are informed promptly of any changes in placement and of any indicated reports of maltreatment that may warrant Family Court intervention. The measure would amend sections 1055 and 1089 of the Family Court Act, as well as section 358-a of the Social Services Law, to require an agency with which a child has been placed, either voluntarily or as a result of an abuse or neglect finding, or to whom guardianship and custody has been transferred as a result of the child being freed for adoption, to report to the attorney for the child not later than ten days in advance of any change in the child's placement status and not later than the next business day in any case in which an emergency placement change has been made. These provisions are consistent with recently issued policy directives of the State Office of Children and Family Services and the New York City Administration for Children's Services, but would have the stronger force of statute.{2}

The measure adds two important requirements not contained in the new agency policies. First, it requires a report within five days of the date that any report of abuse or maltreatment is found to be indicated. It contains an important proviso that such reports notify the recipients that the information shall be kept confidential, shall be used only in connection with the child protective, foster care or related proceedings under the Family Court Act and may not be redisclosed except as necessary for such proceeding or proceedings and as authorized by law. Second, recognizing that fairness also compels such notifications to be made to the attorneys for all parties, not simply the attorneys for the children, the measure requires that both notices of changes in placement and indicated child maltreatment reports be conveyed to attorneys for the birth parents except in cases involving children freed for adoption. The two types of reports, in fact, are related, as the existence of an indicated report of maltreatment may bear directly upon the suitability of a planned status change. Indeed, there have been instances in which the existence of indicated child abuse reports has not come to light until the point of finalization of adoptions.

Significantly, this measure is fully responsive to concerns raised in then-Governor Paterson's 2010 Veto Message regarding A 8418, a bill passed by the Legislature that would have required notification to children's attorneys' of changes in placement. First, by explicitly authorizing electronic transmission of notices, the measure minimizes the burden imposed upon the placement agencies. Second, since notifications are sent to the attorneys but not to the courts, the measure insures that court intervention would only occur in the rare case in which an application is made by one of the attorneys.

In few areas of the Court's functioning is its continuing. jurisdiction as critical as in child welfare, where complex decisions regarding children must be adjusted to the dynamic of their constantly changing needs and circumstances. Federal and State statutes emphasize that a child's safety must be the paramount consideration and that timely achievement of permanence must be the central goal. Not only are these vital public policy concerns, but they also are determinative of the State's eligibility for several hundred million dollars of annual Federal foster care aid. Prompt receipt by the Court, the parties and attorneys for children of information regarding a child's ever-changing circumstances, both as to any child maltreatment suffered by the child and as to changes in the child's placement, is vital to effective exercise of Family Court's continuing jurisdiction and a critical component of the State's ability to comply with the ASFA funding eligibility mandates.

This measure would have no meaningful fiscal impact upon the State, and would take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that section 2 shall take effect immediately and shall be deemed to have been in full force and effect since the effective date of chapter 342 of the laws of 2010 and, effective immediately, the additions, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date is authorized and directed to be completed on or before such effective date.

2011-12 Legislative History: Senate 5456 (Sen. Savino) (Rules) Assembly 7598 (M. of A. Paulin, et al) (Passed)

2013 Legislative History: Senate 4081 (Sen. Felder) (Children & Families) Assembly 2599 (M. of A. Paulin, et al) (Codes)

{1} As in 2001, New York State scored poorly in the time for children to achieve permanency. See Final Report of the Child and Family Services Review of New York State: Executive Summary, p. 2 (March, 2009)(available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/proitrarns/cb/cwrp/executive/ny/html)

{2} N.Y.S. Office of Children and Family Services, "Notice of Placement Change to Attorneys for Children," Administrative Directive 410-0CFS-ADM-16 (Dec. 14, 2010); Memorandum of John B. Mattingly, Commissioner, N.Y.C. Administration for Children's Services, entitled "Notice of Placement Change to Attorneys for Children," dated Aug. 30, 2010.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4081--A 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE March 7, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sen. FELDER -- (at request of the Office of Court Adminis- tration) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the family court act and the social services law, in relation to notice of indicated reports of child maltreatment and changes of placement in child protective and voluntary foster care placement and review proceedings; and to repeal certain provisions of the family court act, in relation to technical changes thereto THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 1017 of the family court act is amended by adding a new subdivision 5 to read as follows: 5. IN ANY CASE IN WHICH AN ORDER HAS BEEN ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE REMANDING OR PLACING A CHILD IN THE CUSTODY OF THE LOCAL SOCIAL SERVICES DISTRICT, THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY CHARGED WITH CUSTODY OF THE CHILD SHALL REPORT ANY ANTICIPATED CHANGE IN PLACEMENT TO THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD NOT LATER THAN TEN DAYS PRIOR TO SUCH CHANGE IN ANY CASE IN WHICH THE CHILD IS MOVED FROM THE FOSTER HOME OR PROGRAM INTO WHICH HE OR SHE HAS BEEN PLACED OR IN WHICH THE FOSTER PARENTS MOVE OUT OF STATE WITH THE CHILD; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT WHERE AN IMMEDIATE CHANGE OF PLACE- MENT ON AN EMERGENCY BASIS IS REQUIRED, THE REPORT SHALL BE TRANSMITTED NO LATER THAN THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY AFTER SUCH CHANGE IN PLACEMENT HAS BEEN MADE. EACH REPORT SHALL STATE THE ANTICIPATED DATE OF THE CHANGE, THE GROUNDS FOR THE OFFICIAL'S OR AGENCY'S CONCLUSION THAT SUCH CHANGE IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR A SOCIAL SERVICES OR AGENCY OFFICIAL WHO MAY BE CONTACTED FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY SHALL ALSO SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY
FOR THE CHILD OR INCLUDE IN THE REPORT OF A CHANGE IN PLACEMENT ANY INDICATED REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT WHERE THE CHILD OR ANOTHER CHILD IN THE SAME HOME IS THE SUBJECT WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF THE INDICATION OF THE REPORT. THE OFFICIAL OR AGENCY MAY PROTECT THE CONFI- DENTIALITY OF IDENTIFYING OR ADDRESS INFORMATION REGARDING THE FOSTER OR PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS. REPORTS REGARDING INDICATED REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL INCLUDE A STATEMENT ADVISING RECIPIENTS THAT THE INFORMATION IN SUCH REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT SHALL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL, SHALL BE USED ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH A PROCEEDING UNDER THIS ARTICLE OR RELATED PROCEEDINGS UNDER THIS ACT AND MAY NOT BE REDISCLOSED EXCEPT AS NECESSARY FOR SUCH PROCEEDING OR PROCEEDINGS AND AS AUTHORIZED BY LAW. REPORTS UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE TRANSMITTED IN WRITING, BY ELECTRON- IC MEANS OR ON THE RECORD DURING PROCEEDINGS IN FAMILY COURT. S 2. Subparagraph (E) of paragraph (i) of subdivision (b) of section 1055 of the family court act, as amended by chapter 41 of the laws of 2010, is REPEALED. S 3. Section 1055 of the family court act is amended by adding a new subdivision (j) to read as follows: (J) IN ANY CASE IN WHICH AN ORDER HAS BEEN ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION PLACING A CHILD IN THE CUSTODY OF THE COMMISSIONER OF SOCIAL SERVICES, THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY CHARGED WITH CUSTODY OF THE CHILD SHALL REPORT ANY ANTICIPATED CHANGE IN PLACEMENT TO THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD NOT LATER THAN TEN DAYS PRIOR TO SUCH CHANGE IN ANY CASE IN WHICH THE CHILD IS MOVED FROM THE FOSTER HOME OR PROGRAM INTO WHICH HE OR SHE HAS BEEN PLACED OR IN WHICH THE FOSTER PARENTS MOVE OUT OF STATE WITH THE CHILD; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT WHERE AN IMMEDIATE CHANGE OF PLACEMENT ON AN EMERGENCY BASIS IS REQUIRED, THE REPORT SHALL BE TRANSMITTED NO LATER THAN THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY AFTER SUCH CHANGE IN PLACEMENT HAS BEEN MADE. EACH REPORT SHALL STATE THE ANTICIPATED DATE OF THE CHANGE, THE GROUNDS FOR THE OFFICIAL'S OR AGENCY'S CONCLUSION THAT SUCH CHANGE IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR A SOCIAL SERVICES OR AGENCY OFFICIAL WHO MAY BE CONTACTED FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMA- TION. THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY SHALL ALSO SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD OR INCLUDE IN THE REPORT OF A CHANGE IN PLACEMENT ANY INDI- CATED REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT WHERE THE CHILD OR ANOTHER CHILD IN THE SAME HOME IS THE SUBJECT WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF THE INDICATION OF THE REPORT. THE OFFICIAL OR AGENCY MAY PROTECT THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF IDENTIFYING OR ADDRESS INFORMATION REGARDING THE FOSTER OR PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS. REPORTS REGARDING INDICATED REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL INCLUDE A STATEMENT ADVISING RECIPIENTS THAT THE INFORMATION IN SUCH REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT SHALL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL, SHALL BE USED ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH A PROCEEDING UNDER THIS ARTICLE OR RELATED PROCEEDINGS UNDER THIS ACT AND MAY NOT BE REDISCLOSED EXCEPT AS NECES- SARY FOR SUCH PROCEEDING OR PROCEEDINGS AND AS AUTHORIZED BY LAW. REPORTS UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE TRANSMITTED IN WRITING, BY ELECTRON- IC MEANS OR ON THE RECORD DURING PROCEEDINGS IN FAMILY COURT. S 4. Subparagraph (vii) of paragraph 2 of subdivision (d) of section 1089 of the family court act is amended by adding a new clause (H) to read as follows: (H) A DIRECTION THAT THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY CHARGED WITH CARE AND CUSTODY OR GUARDIANSHIP AND CUSTODY OF THE CHILD, AS APPLICABLE, REPORT ANY ANTICIPATED CHANGE IN PLACEMENT TO THE ATTOR-
NEYS FOR THE PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD NOT LATER THAN TEN DAYS PRIOR TO SUCH CHANGE IN ANY CASE IN WHICH THE CHILD IS MOVED FROM THE FOSTER HOME OR PROGRAM INTO WHICH HE OR SHE HAS BEEN PLACED OR IN WHICH THE FOSTER PARENTS MOVE OUT OF STATE WITH THE CHILD; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT WHERE AN IMMEDIATE CHANGE OF PLACEMENT ON AN EMERGENCY BASIS IS REQUIRED, THE REPORT SHALL BE TRANSMITTED NO LATER THAN THE NEXT BUSINESS DAY AFTER SUCH CHANGE IN PLACEMENT HAS BEEN MADE. EACH REPORT SHALL STATE THE ANTICIPATED DATE OF THE CHANGE, THE GROUNDS FOR THE OFFICIAL'S OR AGENCY'S CONCLUSION THAT SUCH CHANGE IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR A SOCIAL SERVICES OR AGENCY OFFICIAL WHO MAY BE CONTACTED FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY SHALL ALSO SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD OR INCLUDE IN THE REPORT OF A CHANGE IN PLACEMENT ANY INDICATED REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT WHERE THE CHILD OR ANOTHER CHILD IN THE SAME HOME IS THE SUBJECT WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF THE INDICATION OF THE REPORT. THE OFFICIAL OR AGENCY MAY PROTECT THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF IDENTIFYING OR ADDRESS INFORMATION REGARDING THE FOSTER OR PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS. REPORTS UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH SHALL NOT BE SENT TO ATTORNEYS FOR BIRTH PARENTS WHOSE PARENTAL RIGHTS HAVE BEEN TERMINATED OR WHO HAVE SURRENDERED THEIR CHILD OR CHILDREN. REPORTS REGARDING INDICATED REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDI- VISION SHALL INCLUDE A STATEMENT ADVISING RECIPIENTS THAT THE INFORMA- TION IN SUCH REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT SHALL BE KEPT CONFI- DENTIAL, SHALL BE USED ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH A PROCEEDING UNDER THIS ARTICLE OR RELATED PROCEEDINGS UNDER THIS ACT AND MAY NOT BE REDISCLOSED EXCEPT AS NECESSARY FOR SUCH PROCEEDING OR PROCEEDINGS AND AS AUTHORIZED BY LAW. REPORTS UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE TRANSMITTED IN WRITING, BY ELECTRONIC MEANS OR ON THE RECORD DURING PROCEEDINGS IN FAMILY COURT; AND S 5. Subdivision 3 of section 358-a of the social services law is amended by adding a new paragraph (g) to read as follows: (G) IN ANY CASE IN WHICH AN ORDER HAS BEEN ISSUED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION APPROVING A FOSTER CARE PLACEMENT INSTRUMENT, THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY CHARGED WITH CUSTODY OF THE CHILD SHALL REPORT ANY ANTICIPATED CHANGE IN PLACEMENT TO THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD NOT LATER THAN TEN DAYS PRIOR TO SUCH CHANGE IN ANY CASE IN WHICH THE CHILD IS MOVED FROM THE FOSTER HOME OR PROGRAM INTO WHICH HE OR SHE HAS BEEN PLACED OR IN WHICH THE FOSTER PARENTS MOVE OUT OF STATE WITH THE CHILD; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT WHERE AN IMMEDIATE CHANGE OF PLACEMENT ON AN EMERGENCY BASIS IS REQUIRED, THE REPORT SHALL BE TRANSMITTED NO LATER THAN THE NEXT BUSI- NESS DAY AFTER SUCH CHANGE IN PLACEMENT HAS BEEN MADE. EACH REPORT SHALL STATE THE ANTICIPATED DATE OF THE CHANGE, THE GROUNDS FOR THE OFFICIAL'S OR AGENCY'S CONCLUSION THAT SUCH CHANGE IS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE CHILD AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR A SOCIAL SERVICES OR AGENCY OFFICIAL WHO MAY BE CONTACTED FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION. THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY SHALL ALSO SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE ATTOR- NEYS FOR THE PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD OR INCLUDE IN THE REPORT OF A CHANGE IN PLACEMENT ANY INDICATED REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT WHERE THE CHILD OR ANOTHER CHILD IN THE SAME HOME IS THE SUBJECT WITHIN FIVE DAYS OF THE INDICATION OF THE REPORT. THE OFFICIAL OR AGENCY MAY PROTECT THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF IDENTIFYING OR ADDRESS INFORMATION REGARDING THE FOSTER OR PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS. REPORTS REGARDING INDICATED REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL INCLUDE A STATEMENT ADVISING
RECIPIENTS THAT THE INFORMATION IN SUCH REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT SHALL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL, SHALL BE USED ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH A PROCEEDING UNDER THIS SECTION OR RELATED PROCEEDINGS UNDER THE FAMILY COURT ACT AND MAY NOT BE REDISCLOSED EXCEPT AS NECES- SARY FOR SUCH PROCEEDING OR PROCEEDINGS AND AS AUTHORIZED BY LAW. REPORTS UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE TRANSMITTED IN WRITING, BY ELECTRON- IC MEANS OR ON THE RECORD DURING PROCEEDINGS IN FAMILY COURT. S 6. This act shall take effect immediately, provided that sections one, three, four and five of this act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that section two of this act shall be deemed to have taken effect on the same date as section 1 of chapter 342 of the laws of 2010, took effect; and, effec- tive immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date is authorized and directed to be completed on or before such effec- tive date.

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