Brooklyn – State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-C-I, Brooklyn) today is announcing that the New York State Senate has approved legislation he introduced, S. 2163, that will establish a temporary New York State Commission to study child abuse prevention and make recommendations for the implementation of child abuse prevention programs in New York State.
Senator Marty Golden stated, “There is no place in our homes, schools or society for child abuse, and the unfortunate reality is that it is happening all too often in New York. I introduced this legislation approved today because it is time that we take a stand against child abuse and make the prevention of such a priority. We must figure out how to reverse this trend that is damaging many families.”
Child abuse prevention programs address not only child abuse prevention but other aspects of family dynamics that threaten child and family well-being. These threats include preventable health conditions such as low birth weight, infant mortality, drug-addicted babies and more. These programs often provide referrals, education, expertise and stability for at-risk families. Some of the programs offered also focus on training for new parents.
Child abuse and neglect has been rising across New York State and more resources are being expended to treat the consequences including incarceration, court costs, foster care and more. A study by Prevent Child Abuse New York estimated these costs to be approximately $2.4 Billion each year, while the amount spent on primary prevention is than $30 million.
Prevention programs, while proven to be effective, are currently only available to a small number of families at risk of abuse and neglect. Home visitations are only available to about 10% to 14% of eligible families. The temporary Commission would study the availability of successful prevention programs and recommend to the Governor and the State Legislature the most appropriate ways to increase the availability of these services to more at risk families.
Senator Golden continued, “Now that the New York State Senate has approved this bill, I urge my colleagues in the State Assembly to similarly introduce and adopt this legislation. Reports indicate that there are approximately 80,000 children found to be victims of child abuse and maltreated in New York State each year. These numbers require legislative action so that we can prevent the abuse of children and save families in our State.”