senate Bill S4081B

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

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A2599B
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:S4081B

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 empha-
size that a child's safety is paramount, making it vital that the Court
and the parties be informed promptly of all events affecting child safe-
ty, especially indicated reports of abuse or maltreatment.

As important, the Federal ASFA measures success in terms of outcomes,
Le., 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 Chil-
dren 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 moni-
toring, 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 neces-
sary to ensure that information regarding the most compelling of circum-
stances 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.
It contains an important proviso that such reports notify the recipients
that the information shall be kept confidential, shall be used only in
connection with the child protective, foster care or related proceedings
under the Family Court Act and may not be redisclosed except as neces-
sary for such proceeding or proceedings and as authorized by law.
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 chil-
dren's attorneys of changes in placement. First, by explicitly authoriz-
ing 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 appli-
cation 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 chil-
dren 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 eligi-
bility 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.
Sections one, three, four and five would take effect on the 120th day
after it shall have become a law provided, however, that section 2 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, 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.

2013 Legislative History: Senate 4081-A (Sen. Felder) (Children & Fami-
lies) Assembly 2599-A (M. of A. Paulin, et al) (Codes)

2011-12 Legislative History: Senate 5456 (Sen. Savino) (Rules) Assembly
7598 (M. of A. Paulin, et al) (Passed)

{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/ch/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--B

                       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  --  committee
  discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
  to  said  committee  --  committee  discharged,  bill amended, ordered
  reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee

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 OR CARE 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.   THE SOCIAL SERVICES  OFFICIAL  OR  AUTHORIZED
AGENCY  SHALL  ALSO SUBMIT A REPORT TO THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE PARTIES AND
THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD OR INCLUDE IN  THE  REPORT  OF  A  CHANGE  IN
PLACEMENT  ANY INDICATED REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT WHERE THE
CHILD OR ANOTHER CHILD IN THE SAME HOME IS THE SUBJECT WITHIN FIVE  DAYS

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD03045-06-3

S. 4081--B                          2

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 REGARDING INDICATED
REPORTS  OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDI-
VISION SHALL INCLUDE A STATEMENT ADVISING RECIPIENTS THAT  THE  INFORMA-
TION  IN SUCH REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT SHALL BE KEPT CONFI-
DENTIAL, SHALL BE USED ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH A PROCEEDING  UNDER  THIS
ARTICLE OR RELATED PROCEEDINGS UNDER THIS ACT AND MAY NOT BE REDISCLOSED
EXCEPT AS NECESSARY FOR SUCH PROCEEDING OR PROCEEDINGS AND AS AUTHORIZED
BY LAW.  REPORTS UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE TRANSMITTED, INCLUDING, BUT
NOT  LIMITED TO, 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 OR CARE 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  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.  THE SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY SHALL ALSO
SUBMIT  A  REPORT  TO THE ATTORNEYS FOR THE PARTIES AND THE ATTORNEY FOR
THE CHILD OR INCLUDE IN THE REPORT OF A CHANGE IN  PLACEMENT  ANY  INDI-
CATED  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 REGARDING INDICATED REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE OR
MALTREATMENT  PROVIDED  PURSUANT  TO  THIS  SUBDIVISION  SHALL INCLUDE A
STATEMENT ADVISING RECIPIENTS THAT THE INFORMATION  IN  SUCH  REPORT  OF
CHILD  ABUSE  OR  MALTREATMENT SHALL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL, SHALL BE USED
ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH A  PROCEEDING  UNDER  THIS  ARTICLE  OR  RELATED
PROCEEDINGS  UNDER  THIS ACT AND MAY NOT BE REDISCLOSED EXCEPT AS NECES-
SARY FOR SUCH PROCEEDING  OR  PROCEEDINGS  AND  AS  AUTHORIZED  BY  LAW.
REPORTS  UNDER  THIS  PARAGRAPH  MAY  BE TRANSMITTED, INCLUDING, BUT NOT
LIMITED TO, 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

S. 4081--B                          3

BASIS IS REQUIRED, THE REPORT SHALL BE TRANSMITTED  NO  LATER  THAN  THE
NEXT  BUSINESS  DAY  AFTER  SUCH CHANGE IN PLACEMENT HAS BEEN MADE.  THE
SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY SHALL ALSO SUBMIT A REPORT
TO  THE  ATTORNEYS  FOR  THE  PARTIES  AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD OR
INCLUDE IN THE REPORT OF A CHANGE IN PLACEMENT 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 SHALL NOT BE SENT TO ATTORNEYS FOR
BIRTH  PARENTS  WHOSE  PARENTAL  RIGHTS HAVE BEEN TERMINATED OR WHO HAVE
SURRENDERED THEIR  CHILD  OR  CHILDREN.    REPORTS  REGARDING  INDICATED
REPORTS  OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT PROVIDED PURSUANT TO THIS SUBDI-
VISION SHALL INCLUDE A STATEMENT ADVISING RECIPIENTS THAT  THE  INFORMA-
TION  IN SUCH REPORT OF CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT SHALL BE KEPT CONFI-
DENTIAL, SHALL BE USED ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH A PROCEEDING  UNDER  THIS
ARTICLE OR RELATED PROCEEDINGS UNDER THIS ACT AND MAY NOT BE REDISCLOSED
EXCEPT AS NECESSARY FOR SUCH PROCEEDING OR PROCEEDINGS AND AS AUTHORIZED
BY LAW.  REPORTS UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE TRANSMITTED, INCLUDING, BUT
NOT  LIMITED TO, 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 OR CARE OF
THE CHILD SHALL 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.    THE
SOCIAL SERVICES OFFICIAL OR AUTHORIZED AGENCY SHALL ALSO SUBMIT A REPORT
TO  THE  ATTORNEYS  FOR  THE  PARTIES  AND THE ATTORNEY FOR THE CHILD OR
INCLUDE IN THE REPORT OF A CHANGE IN PLACEMENT 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  REGARDING  INDICATED  REPORTS  OF  CHILD  ABUSE  OR
MALTREATMENT PROVIDED PURSUANT  TO  THIS  SUBDIVISION  SHALL  INCLUDE  A
STATEMENT  ADVISING  RECIPIENTS  THAT  THE INFORMATION IN SUCH REPORT OF
CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT SHALL BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL,  SHALL  BE  USED
ONLY  IN  CONNECTION  WITH  A  PROCEEDING  UNDER THIS SECTION OR RELATED
PROCEEDINGS UNDER THE FAMILY COURT ACT AND MAY NOT BE REDISCLOSED EXCEPT
AS NECESSARY FOR SUCH PROCEEDING OR PROCEEDINGS  AND  AS  AUTHORIZED  BY
LAW.    REPORTS  UNDER THIS PARAGRAPH MAY BE TRANSMITTED, INCLUDING, BUT
NOT LIMITED TO, 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  one
hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, howev-
er, 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

S. 4081--B                          4

effect; and,  effective  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 effective date.

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