Bill S6563-2011

Relates to reports of abuse or neglect of children in residential facilities or programs

Relates to reports of abuse or neglect of children in residential facilities or programs; requires the commissioner of children and family services to give telephone notice and immediately forward a copy of reports which involve suspected physical injury or sexual abuse of a child or the death of a child to the appropriate local law enforcement.

Details

Actions

  • May 8, 2012: referred to children and families
  • May 8, 2012: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • May 8, 2012: PASSED SENATE
  • May 2, 2012: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • May 1, 2012: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Apr 30, 2012: 1ST REPORT CAL.619
  • Feb 27, 2012: REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Meetings

Calendars

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Children and Families - Apr 30, 2012
Ayes (5): Johnson, Saland, Young, Savino, Montgomery
Absent (1): Duane

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6563

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the social services law and the mental hygiene law, in relation to reports of abuse or neglect in residential facilities or programs

PURPOSE:

Relates to reports of abuse or neglect of children in residential facilities or programs.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1. Amends section 424-c of the social services law to provide that the Commissioner of Children and Family Services give telephone notice and immediately forward a copy of statutorily required reports detailing delineated acts of sexual of physical abuse of a child to appropriate law enforcement. Provides a local law enforcement agency may afford the office of children and family services an opportunity to conduct any resulting investigation jointly. Provides that law enforcement may request in writing that there be additional reports for specified allegations. Clarifies that nothing prohibits the office of children and family services from consulting with local law enforcement on any child abuse or maltreatment report.

Section 2. Amends section 45.07 of the mental hygiene law to provide that the Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities give telephone notice and immediately forward a copy of statutorily required reports detailing delineated acts of sexual of physical abuse of a child to appropriate law enforcement. Provides a local law enforcement agency may afford the office of children and family services an opportunity to conduct any resulting investigation jointly. Provides that law enforcement may request in writing that there be additional reports for specified allegations. Clarifies that nothing prohibits the office of children and family services from consulting with local law enforcement on any child abuse or maltreatment report.

Section 3. Effective Date.

JUSTIFICATION:

When children are placed in residential care throughout our state we entrust the State to safeguard their interests and welfare. Children can be placed in residential care for a number of reasons, including but not limited to, placement through the foster care system or as a result of significant mental health, substance abuse or juvenile delinquency issues. As such, these children should be considered to be some of our more vulnerable youth, particularly with respect to their care and treatment. It is critically important that we ensure that the children

in residential facilities receive the same attention and response to reports of abuse as those in home settings.

Under current law, when there is a reported case of child abuse and neglect in the home, local child protective services are required under Social Services Law § 424(5-a) to immediately forward suspected cases of physical injury, sexual abuse, or the death of a child to appropriate law enforcement. These cases are traditionally investigated by multidisciplinary teams within participating counties. Multi-disciplinary teams can include representatives from child protective services, law enforcement, a district attorney's office, a physician or medical provider trained in forensic pediatrics, mental health professionals, victim advocacy personnel and, if one exists, a child advocacy center. As a result, an alleged case of physical or sexual abuse of a child in the home is immediately addressed by a comprehensive team of law enforcement and providers that can appropriately investigate the alleged case as well as see to the needs of the child.

In contrast, when there is a reported case of child abuse or neglect of a child in placement it is transmitted from the state registry to "the agency responsible for investigating the report," rather than a law enforcement entity. NY. Soc. Serv. Law § 415. The Commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services or the Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (CQC), depending on the institution, is then required, if the complaint falls under their jurisdiction, to commence an internal investigation within twenty-four hours and determine within sixty days, that among other things, "it appears likely that a crime may have been committed against the child." NY. Soc. Serv. Law § 424-C; NY. Ment. Hyg. Law § 45.07. While there are provisions for immediate notification to a District Attorney regarding the death of a child in residential placement, or any reports that a District Attorney has made a prior request for, there are no requirements for immediate and direct law enforcement notification as they relate to specific crimes or injuries to a child in residential care. This procedure gives the unfortunate impression that agencies that have complaints in their facilities are then empowered to investigate the complaint rather than law enforcement. By extension, there is a foreseeable delay in time that can take place in investigations due to an absence of notification to law enforcement, thereby compromising the collection of evidence, the result of an investigation, and the ultimate quality of care that we demand of our residential facilities.

This legislation will amend the relevant duties of the Commissioner of the Office of Children and Family Services and the board of CQC to provide that upon receipt of a complaint alleging physical injury or sexual abuse to a child in residential facility, they must immediately forward such a report to appropriate law enforcement. It is the intent that this provision will minor the protections we afford to victims of alleged abuse and neglect in home settings. The Office of Children and Family Services will not be prohibited by the legislation from assisting in the investigation, nor will it abrogate their duty to conduct an internal investigation as required by Social Services Law, however, it

will clarify that in cases alleging serious crimes, an immediate investigation will be conducted by independent law enforcement entities.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6563 IN SENATE February 27, 2012 ___________
Introduced by Sens. SALAND, McDONALD, SAVINO -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families AN ACT to amend the social services law and the mental hygiene law, in relation to reports of abuse or neglect in residential facilities or programs THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 6, 7 and 8 of section 424-c of the social services law are renumbered subdivisions 7, 8 and 9 and a new subdivi- sion 6 is added to read as follows: 6. GIVE TELEPHONE NOTICE AND FORWARD IMMEDIATELY A COPY OF REPORTS MADE PURSUANT TO SECTION FOUR HUNDRED TWELVE-A OF THIS TITLE WHICH INVOLVE AN ABUSED CHILD IN RESIDENTIAL CARE AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (B), (C) OR (D) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION FOUR HUNDRED TWELVE-A OF THIS TITLE TO THE APPROPRIATE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT. A LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY MAY AFFORD THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES AN OPPORTU- NITY TO CONDUCT ANY RESULTING INVESTIGATION JOINTLY. THE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY MAY REQUEST IN WRITING ADDITIONAL REPORTS, AND SHALL SPECIFY THE KINDS OF ALLEGATIONS FOR WHICH NOTICE AND COPIES OF REPORTS SHALL BE REQUIRED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDIVISION. NOTHING WITHIN THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL PROHIBIT THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES FROM CONSULTING WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ON ANY CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT REPORT; S 2. Subparagraphs f, g and h of paragraph 2 of subdivision (c) of section 45.07 of the mental hygiene law are relettered subparagraphs g, h and i and a new subparagraph f is added to read as follows: F. GIVE TELEPHONE NOTICE AND FORWARD IMMEDIATELY A COPY OF REPORTS MADE PURSUANT TO SECTION FOUR HUNDRED TWELVE-A OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW WHICH INVOLVE AN ABUSED CHILD IN RESIDENTIAL CARE AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (B), (C) OR (D) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION FOUR HUNDRED TWELVE-A OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW TO THE APPROPRIATE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT. A LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY MAY AFFORD THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES AN OPPORTUNITY TO CONDUCT ANY RESULTING
INVESTIGATION JOINTLY. THE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY MAY REQUEST IN WRITING ADDITIONAL REPORTS, AND SHALL SPECIFY THE KINDS OF ALLEGATIONS FOR WHICH NOTICE AND COPIES OF REPORTS SHALL BE REQUIRED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBPARAGRAPH. NOTHING WITHIN THIS SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL PROHIBIT THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES FROM CONSULTING WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ON ANY CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT REPORT; S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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