Relates to the interviewing of children in the presence of the subject of the report.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to the interviewing of children in the presence of other persons
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to prevent children from being interviewed by Child Protective Services workers, in the presence of others.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Amends social services law, in relation to the interviewing of children in the presence of the subject of the report.
JUSTIFICATION: Interviewing a child, who is sustaining abuse, in front of their parent or guardian who is also the subject of the report of abuse or maltreatment, may substantially inhibit them from speaking out against a perpetrator for fear of retribution. Unfortunately, in the majority of cases of founded reports of child abuse, a parent or guardian, rather than a stranger, is at fault.
When a child is interviewed in front of their alleged abuser, especially if that alleged abuser is a parent or guardian, they may be coached to say something, or may not feel as if they can speak openly or honestly, out of fear for their own safety. Amending the social services law to state that children, in Child Protective Services investigations, may not be interviewed in the presence of another individual, who has been named in the report of suspected abuse or neglect, will help enable a Child Protective Services worker to fully carry out their job, and will garner a more meaningful interview.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 6341--A A. 8427--A S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y January 15, 2014 ___________IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sens. KENNEDY, BRESLIN, DILAN, ESPAILLAT, LATIMER -- 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 IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. PEOPLES-STOKES -- read once and referred 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 social services law, in relation to the interviewing of children in the presence of other persons THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 6 of section 424 of the social services law, as amended by chapter 602 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows: (a) upon receipt of such report, commence or cause the appropriate society for the prevention of cruelty to children to commence, within twenty-four hours, an appropriate investigation which shall include an evaluation of the environment of the child named in the report and any other children in the same home and a determination of the risk to such children if they continue to remain in the existing home environment, as well as a determination of the nature, extent and cause of any condition enumerated in such report and the name, age and condition of other chil- dren in the home, and, after seeing to the safety of the child or chil- dren, forthwith notify the subjects of the report and other persons named in the report in writing of the existence of the report and their respective rights pursuant to this title in regard to amendment. NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, THE SUBJECT CHILD OF SUCH A REPORT SHALL NOT BE INTERVIEWED IN THE PRESENCE OF THE SUBJECT OF THE REPORT. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13151-03-4