Senator Joseph Robach today joined with fellow members of the Senate Majority Task Force on Critical Choices to announce that the State Senate will again pass legislation (S. 2978) that would provide child protective services units with access to criminal history reports of adults residing with suspected maltreated children.
This measure, which Senator Robach introduced, died in the State Assembly last year after being approved by the Senate.
Senator Robach said, "This commonsense measure will enhance protections for vulnerable children, while also creating a safer environment for the people charged with conducting these important investigations. The Senate Majority intends to quickly approve this potentially lifesaving bill, and we urge the Assembly Majority to join with us in taking prompt action as well."
Senator Robach’s bill would improve investigations by providing certain child protective services personnel with access to the New York State Police Information Network (NYSPIN) that is currently used by law enforcement officials and district attorneys to review criminal records. Access to criminal history records of persons in a residence will assist CPS workers in making appropriate assessments about the safety of children, and would also reveal persons who have violent criminal histories or who have previously committed crimes against children.
By having this information in advance, CPS workers could make more fully informed decisions to ensure a safer response, while also gaining a fuller understanding of a child's situation.
"In addition to risking their own safety when making unannounced home visits, these workers are required to make assessments about the potential risks faced by children living in the home," Senator Robach said. "Having access to critical criminal background records would help CPS workers make more fully informed and accurate judgments about the safety of these children."For a complete report from the task force, please link to http://www.senate.state.ny.us/sws/Protecting%20Children%20in%20the%20Internet%20Age.pdf