Assists mandated reporters of child abuse or maltreatment to maintain the child's safety.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to assisting mandated reporters of child abuse or maltreatment to maintain the child's safety
To require a county department of child protective services to provide mandated reporters, who have made a report, with the necessary information for the purpose of assisting the mandated reporter in his or her professional and official role in maintaining the child's safety.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1: amends paragraph A of subdivision 4 of section 422 of the social services law. The provision requires a county department of child protective services to provide certain information, within thirty days after receipt of a report of suspected child abuse or maltreatment from a mandated reporter, for the purpose of assisting in his or hex professional and official role in maintaining the child's safety.
In 2C13, Erie County was rocked by the tragic death of five-year-old Bain Brooks at the hands of his mother's live-in boyfriend. Less than one year earlier, ten-year-old Abdifatah Nohamud was brutally murdered by his stepfather. Both cases had been handled by county child protective services (CPS), and at least one report to the State Office of Child and Family Services (OCFS) had been made in both cases by those who sought to protect the children and were mandated by law to report such abuse.
While school officials and medical professionals are tasked with the protection of our children, and required by state law to report incidences of maltreatment or abuse, these professionals are often not given the means to ensure the state and county have taken the appropriate actions to keen children safe.
Physicians in Western New York have described cases in which there was no coordination between Child Protective workers and the medical professionals who reported an incident of abuse. This absence of communication presents a serious problem when the medical professional is determining who to send the child home with after a medical appointment or hospitalization. Better coordination between the county department and those charged with the protection of our children, will allow physicians, teachers and other mandated reporters to better fulfill their obligations to protect the safety and well-being of children under their care.
For example, under this legislation, CPS workers will be required to update a physician, teacher or other mandated reporter on the status of a child's case within 30 days of that physician's initial report of suspected abuse or maltreatment. This legislation will encourage
information-sharing and compel Child Protective Services to conduct deeper, more thorough investigations.
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 6344 A. 8430 S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y January 15, 2014 ___________IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sen. KENNEDY -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by M. of A. PEOPLES-STOKES -- read once and referred to the Committee on Children and Families AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to assisting mandated reporters of child abuse or maltreatment to maintain the child's safety THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The second undesignated paragraph of paragraph (A) of subdivision 4 of section 422 of the social services law, as amended by section 6 of part D of chapter 501 of the laws of 2012, is amended to read as follows: After a child, other than a child in residential care, who is reported to the central register of abuse or maltreatment reaches the age of eighteen years, access to a child's record under subparagraphs (a) and (b) of this paragraph shall be permitted only if a sibling or off-spring of such child is before such person and is a suspected victim of child abuse or maltreatment. In addition, a person or official required to make a report of suspected child abuse or maltreatment pursuant to section four hundred thirteen of this chapter shall receive, upon request, the findings of an investigation made pursuant to this title. However, no information may be released unless the person or official's identity is confirmed by the office.
[If the request for such informa- tion is made prior to the completion of an investigation of a report, the released information shall be limited to whether the report is "indicated", "unfounded" or "under investigation", whichever the case may be.]NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION OF LAW, WITHIN THIRTY CALENDAR DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF A REPORT OF SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT FROM A PERSON OR OFFICIAL REQUIRED TO MAKE SUCH A REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION FOUR HUNDRED THIRTEEN OF THIS TITLE, A COUNTY DEPARTMENT SHALL PROVIDE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO THE MANDATEDEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD13220-01-3 S. 6344 2 A. 8430
REPORTER FOR THE PURPOSE OF ASSISTING THE MANDATED REPORTER IN HIS OR HER PROFESSIONAL AND OFFICIAL ROLE IN MAINTAINING THE CHILD'S SAFETY: (I) THE NAME OF THE CHILD AND THE DATE IN WHICH THE REPORT WAS MADE; (II) WHETHER THE REFERRAL WAS ACCEPTED FOR ASSESSMENT; (III) WHETHER THE REFERRAL WAS CLOSED WITHOUT SERVICES; (IV) WHETHER THE ASSESSMENT RESULTED IN SERVICES RELATED TO THE SAFETY OF THE CHILD; AND (V) THE NAME AND CONTACT INFORMATION FOR THE COUNTY CASEWORKER RESPONSIBLE FOR INVESTIGATING THE REFERRAL. If the request for such information is made after the completion of an investigation of a report, the released information shall be limited to whether the report is "indicated" or "unfounded", whichever the case may be. A person given access to the names or other information identifying the subjects of the report, or other persons named in the report, except the subject of the report or other persons named in the report, shall not divulge or make public such identifying information unless he or she is a district attorney or other law enforcement official and the purpose is to initiate court action or the disclosure is necessary in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the subject of the report for a crime alleged to have been committed by the subject against another person named in the report. Nothing in this section shall be construed to permit any release, disclosure or identification of the names or identifying descriptions of persons who have reported suspected child abuse or maltreatment to the statewide central register or the agency, institu- tion, organization, program or other entity where such persons are employed or the agency, institution, organization or program with which they are associated without such persons' written permission except to persons, officials, and agencies enumerated in subparagraphs (e), (f), (h), (j), (l), (m) and (v) of this paragraph. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.