Relates to improvements in the state central register of child abuse and maltreatment.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to improvements in the state central register of child abuse and maltreatment
To require the state central register of child abuse and maltreatment be modernized to provide for the receipt of allegations of child abuse and maltreatment through modern electronic means.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS OF BILL:
Section 1 of the bill amends section 422 of the Social Services Law is amended to require the statewide central register to: (1) Receive allegations of child abuse and maltreatment by Internet reporting in addition to the traditional telephone reporting method;(2) Receive photographs in electronic format and include such photographs in the official report; (3)Establish an internet address to receive allegations of child abuse or maltreatment in addition to the statewide telephone number.
Section 2: Effective date.
The technology of the statewide central register ("SCR") has fallen far behind technology now commonly in use by the public. These modernizations will allow for more rapid, complete and accurate communication to the SCR of allegations and the progress of investigations. These tools are increasingly expected by the public.
This bill will require the SCR to allow citizens to upload images of abused or neglected children showing their injuries, their living conditions and other circumstances relevant to prosecute or exonerate the subject of a report.
Those who make allegations of abuse or neglect and those who investigate a report should find it as easy as uploading a photograph to a social media website when they act to protect children.
This is one in a series of measures being introduced at the request of the Erie County Executive upon the recommendation of the county's Commissioner of Social Services to improve the provision of child protective services to New York's children and families.
To be determined.
This act shall take effect on January 1, 2016.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 7126 A. 9438 S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y April 30, 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 improvements in the state central register of child abuse and maltreatment THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 2 and 3 of section 422 of the social services law, subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 717 of the laws of 1986, para- graph (a) of subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 574 of the laws of 2008 and subdivision 3 as added by chapter 1039 of the laws of 1973, are amended to read as follows: 2. (a) The central register shall be capable of receiving telephone calls AND ELECTRONIC REPORTS alleging child abuse or maltreatment and of immediately identifying prior reports of child abuse or maltreatment and capable of monitoring the provision of child protective service twenty- four hours a day, seven days a week. To effectuate this purpose, but subject to the provisions of the appropriate local plan for the provision of child protective services, there shall be a single state- wide telephone number AND INTERNET ADDRESS that all persons, whether mandated by the law or not, may use to make telephone calls OR SEND ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS alleging child abuse or maltreatment and that all persons so authorized by this title may use for determining the existence of prior reports in order to evaluate the condition or circum- stances of a child. In addition to the single statewide telephone number AND INTERNET ADDRESS, there shall be a special unlisted express tele- phone number and a telephone facsimile number AND INTERNET ADDRESS for use only by persons mandated by law to make telephone calls, or to tran- smit telephone facsimile OR ELECTRONIC information on a form provided by the commissioner, alleging child abuse or maltreatment, and for use by all persons so authorized by this title for determining the existence of prior reports in order to evaluate the condition or circumstances of a child. THE WEBPAGE CREATED TO ACCEPT ELECTRONIC REPORTS SHALL BE CAPA- BLE OF RECEIVING DIGITAL IMAGES AND ELECTRONIC DOCUMENTS IN COMMON FILEEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14761-01-4 S. 7126 2 A. 9438
FORMATS. When any allegations contained in such telephone calls OR ELEC- TRONIC REPORT could reasonably constitute a report of child abuse or maltreatment, such allegations shall be immediately transmitted orally or electronically by the office of children and family services to the appropriate local child protective service for investigation. The inability of the person calling the register OR MAKING THE ALLEGATION ONLINE to identify the alleged perpetrator shall, in no circumstance, constitute the sole cause for the register to reject such allegation or fail to transmit such allegation for investigation. If the records indi- cate a previous report concerning a subject of the report, the child alleged to be abused or maltreated, a sibling, other children in the household, other persons named in the report or other pertinent informa- tion, the appropriate local child protective service shall be immediate- ly notified of the fact, except as provided in subdivision eleven of this section. If the report involves either (i) an allegation of an abused child described in paragraph (i), (ii) or (iii) of subdivision (e) of section one thousand twelve of the family court act or sexual abuse of a child or the death of a child or (ii) suspected maltreatment which alleges any physical harm when the report is made by a person required to report pursuant to section four hundred thirteen of this title within six months of any other two reports that were indicated, or may still be pending, involving the same child, sibling, or other chil- dren in the household or the subject of the report, the office of chil- dren and family services shall identify the report as such and note any prior reports when transmitting the report to the local child protective services for investigation. (b) Any telephone call OR ELECTRONIC REPORT made by a person required to report cases of suspected child abuse or maltreatment pursuant to section four hundred thirteen of this
[chapter]TITLE containing allega- tions, which if true would constitute child abuse or maltreatment shall constitute a report and shall be immediately transmitted orally or elec- tronically by the [department]OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES to the appropriate local child protective service for investigation. (c) Whenever a telephone call OR ELECTRONIC REPORT to the statewide central register described in this section is received by the [depart- ment]OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, and the [department]OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES finds that the person allegedly responsible for abuse or maltreatment of a child cannot be a subject of a report as defined in subdivision four of section four hundred twelve of this [chapter]TITLE, but believes that the alleged acts or circum- stances against a child described in the telephone call OR ELECTRONIC REPORT may constitute a crime or an immediate threat to the child's health or safety, the [department]OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES, shall convey by the most expedient means available the infor- mation contained in such telephone call OR ELECTRONIC REPORT to the appropriate law enforcement agency, district attorney or other public official empowered to provide necessary aid or assistance. 3. The central register shall include but not be limited to the following information: all the information in the written AND ELECTRONIC report; a record of the final disposition of the report, including services offered and services accepted; the plan for rehabilitative treatment; the names and identifying data, dates and circumstances of any person requesting or receiving information from the register; and any other information which the commissioner believes might be helpful in the furtherance of the purposes of this chapter. S 2. This act shall take effect January 1, 2016.