senate Bill S4081

Amended

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

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 07 / Mar / 2013
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 13 / Jun / 2013
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 13 / Jun / 2013
    • PRINT NUMBER 4081A
  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES
  • 18 / Jun / 2013
    • PRINT NUMBER 4081B
  • 20 / Jun / 2013
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Summary

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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Bill Details

Versions:
S4081
S4081A
S4081B
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Senate Children And Families
Law Section:
Family Court Act
Laws Affected:
Amd §§1017, 1055 & 1089, rpld §1055 sub(b) ¶(i) sub¶ (E), Fam Ct Act; amd §358-a, Soc Serv L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S4081

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 trend at 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. 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]

FOOTNOTES:


{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/programs/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
10-0CFS-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.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  4081

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              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

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  OF  ANY INDICATED REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT
WHERE THE CHILD OR ANOTHER CHILD IN THE SAME HOME IS THE SUBJECT  WITHIN

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03045-01-3

S. 4081                             2

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  MAY  BE TRANSMITTED IN WRITING, BY ELECTRONIC 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 OF 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 MAY
BE  TRANSMITTED  IN WRITING, BY ELECTRONIC 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 OF 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-

S. 4081                             3

DENTIALITY 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
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 OF 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 MAY  BE  TRANSMITTED  IN
WRITING,  BY  ELECTRONIC  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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