senate Bill S6048

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Enacts provisions relating to the reporting of child abuse

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


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

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Actions

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jun 21, 2012 committed to rules
May 23, 2012 advanced to third reading
May 22, 2012 2nd report cal.
May 21, 2012 1st report cal.850
Jan 04, 2012 referred to children and families

Votes

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May 21, 2012 - Children and Families committee Vote

S6048
6
0
committee
6
Aye
0
Nay
0
Aye with Reservations
0
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
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Children and Families Committee Vote: May 21, 2012

S6048 - Bill Details

Current Committee:
Law Section:
Social Services Law
Laws Affected:
Add Art 6 Title 6-B ยงยง429-a - 429-c, Soc Serv L

S6048 - Bill Texts

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Enacts provisions relating to the reporting of child abuse; requires immediate reporting of certain actions by certain persons and officials; failure to report is a class A misdemeanor.

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BILL NUMBER:S6048

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the social services
law, in relation to the reporting of child abuse

PURPOSE:
The bill adds a new definition of abused child, to include children
who have allegedly been criminally abused by a person who holds or is
perceived to hold a position of authority. These allegations shall be
reported to law enforcement for investigation.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Sections 1 amends Article 6 of the Social Services Law by adding a new
Article 6-B to expand the mandated reporting of allegations of abuse
against children;

Section 429(a) of Title 6-B requires persons and officials required
to report cases of suspected child abuse to the appropriate law
enforcement agency when the age difference between the child victim
and alleged abuser meets certain criteria or the form of abuse
contains specific enumerated factors. Additionally, the bill
enumerates elements of abuse to be reported to law enforcement when a
child is abused by an adult who supervises or has a position of
authority, or is perceived by such child to hold authority.

Paragraph (b) sets forth enumerated conduct defined as child abuse
under this Article;

Paragraph (c), defines "law enforcement authority";

Subdivision 2 provides the procedure to be followed when a report to
law enforcement is required;

Section 429-b provides that failure to report under Title 6-B shall be
a class A misdemeanor;

Section 429-c provides that persons who make allegations in good faith
shall have immunity from civil and criminal liability;

Section 2 directs the Commissioner of the Office of Children and
Family Services to revise the current form used to report suspected
child abuse or maltreatment to make it appropriate for reporting to
law enforcement agencies.

Section 3 provides that this act shall take effect 60 days after
becoming law.

EXISTING LAW:
Mandated reporters are required to report suspected child abuse or
maltreatment when, in their official or professional role, they are
presented with a reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or
maltreatment.

JUSTIFICATION:


Recent headlines have drawn attention to the growing concern of
under-reporting of child abuse throughout our nation and the tragic
consequences that result. According to recent statistics, one of
every four girls and one in six boys will be sexually abused before
they turn 18;
20 percent of child sexual abuse victims are under the age of 8; and
90 percent of all child victims of sexual abuse are abused by someone
they know and trust.
New York has set up a system for specified mandated individuals to
report suspected child abuse or maltreatment. This system, however,
is constrained by the Family Court Act which defines an abused child
as "a childless than eighteen years of age whose parent or other
person legally responsible for his care" commits certain delineated
acts. As a result of this language, mandated reporters are only
required to report suspected instances of child abuse in a domestic
setting.
This bill will amend the mandatory reporting section of the Social
Services Law to construct a system for these individuals to use for
reporting suspected abuse by a person in a position of authority or
perceived authority to appropriate law enforcement. This reporting
will identify more unreported/under-reported cases in our communities
and establish another investigative tool for law enforcement.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:
None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
This act shall take effect 60 days after becoming law.

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

                                  6048

                            I N  S E N A T E

                               (PREFILED)

                             January 4, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  SALAND -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families

AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to the reporting of
  child abuse

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Article 6 of the social services law is amended by adding
a new title 6-B to read as follows:
                                TITLE 6-B
                        REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE TO
                             LAW ENFORCEMENT
SECTION 429-A. PERSONS  AND  OFFICIALS  REQUIRED  TO  REPORT  CASES   OF
                 SUSPECTED  CHILD  ABUSE  TO APPROPRIATE LAW ENFORCEMENT
                 AGENCY.
        429-B. PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO REPORT.
        429-C. IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY.
  S 429-A. PERSONS AND OFFICIALS REQUIRED TO REPORT CASES  OF  SUSPECTED
CHILD  ABUSE TO APPROPRIATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY. 1. (A) THOSE PERSONS
AND OFFICIALS SET FORTH IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION FOUR HUNDRED THIR-
TEEN OF THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE REQUIRED TO REPORT OR CAUSE A REPORT TO BE
MADE TO AN APPROPRIATE LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY WHEN THEY HAVE  REASONABLE
CAUSE  TO SUSPECT IN THEIR PROFESSIONAL OR OFFICIAL CAPACITY THAT: (I) A
PERSON BEING NINETEEN YEARS OLD OR MORE HAS ENGAGED IN CONDUCT SET FORTH
IN PARAGRAPH (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION WITH A PERSON  LESS  THAN  FOURTEEN
YEARS  OLD;  OR  (II)  A  PERSON  BEING TWENTY-ONE YEARS OLD OR MORE HAS
ENGAGED IN CONDUCT SET FORTH IN PARAGRAPH (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION WITH A
PERSON LESS THAN SEVENTEEN YEARS OLD AND  THE  PERSON  BEING  TWENTY-ONE
YEARS  OLD  OR  MORE  HAS AUTHORITY, PERCEIVED AUTHORITY, SUPERVISORY OR
DISCIPLINARY POWER OVER THE PERSON LESS  THAN  SEVENTEEN  YEARS  OLD  BY
VIRTUE  OF  HIS  OR  HER LEGAL, PROFESSIONAL, OCCUPATIONAL OR VOCATIONAL
STATUS; OR (III) A PERSON HAS ENGAGED IN CONDUCT SET FORTH IN  PARAGRAPH
(B)  OF THIS SUBDIVISION WITH A PERSON UNDER TWENTY-ONE YEARS OF AGE WHO
HAS A HANDICAPPING CONDITION, AS DEFINED IN SECTION  FORTY-FOUR  HUNDRED

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01824-06-1

S. 6048                             2

ONE  OF THE EDUCATION LAW AND WHO IS ENTITLED TO RESIDENTIAL CARE DUE TO
SUCH HANDICAPPING CONDITION.
  (B)  THE  FOLLOWING CONDUCT, IF COMMITTED BY A PERSON DEFINED IN PARA-
GRAPH (A) OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL, FOR THE PURPOSES OF  THIS  SECTION,
CONSTITUTE "CHILD ABUSE" AND SHALL REQUIRE A REPORT:
  (I)  INTENTIONALLY  OR  RECKLESSLY INFLICTING PHYSICAL INJURY, SERIOUS
PHYSICAL INJURY OR DEATH, OR
  (II) INTENTIONALLY OR RECKLESSLY ENGAGING IN CONDUCT WHICH  CREATES  A
SUBSTANTIAL  RISK  OF  SUCH  PHYSICAL INJURY, SERIOUS PHYSICAL INJURY OR
DEATH, OR
  (III) COMMITTING OR ATTEMPTING TO COMMIT AGAINST A CHILD THE CRIME  OF
DISSEMINATING  INDECENT  MATERIALS  TO  MINORS  PURSUANT  TO ARTICLE TWO
HUNDRED THIRTY-FIVE OF THE PENAL LAW, OR
  (IV) ENGAGING IN ANY CONDUCT PROHIBITED BY ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED  THIRTY
OR TWO HUNDRED SIXTY-THREE OF THE PENAL LAW.
  (C) FOR THE PURPOSES OF THIS SECTION THE TERM "LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHOR-
ITIES"  SHALL  MEAN A MUNICIPAL POLICE DEPARTMENT, SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT,
THE DIVISION OF STATE POLICE OR ANY OFFICER THEREOF OR A DISTRICT ATTOR-
NEY OR ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY.  NOTWITHSTANDING ANY OTHER PROVISION
OF LAW, LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES SHALL NOT INCLUDE ANY CHILD  PROTEC-
TIVE SERVICE OR ANY SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO CHILDREN AS
SUCH  TERMS  ARE  DEFINED  IN  SECTION FOUR HUNDRED TWENTY-THREE OF THIS
ARTICLE.
  2. REPORTS OF SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE SHALL BE MADE IMMEDIATELY BY TELE-
PHONE OR BY TELEPHONE FACSIMILE ON A FORM SUPPLIED BY  THE  COMMISSIONER
OF  THE  OFFICE  OF  CHILDREN  AND FAMILY SERVICES TO AN APPROPRIATE LAW
ENFORCEMENT AGENCY.   SUCH TELEPHONE REPORTS  SHALL  BE  FOLLOWED  BY  A
REPORT  IN WRITING WITHIN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS AFTER SUCH ORAL REPORT.  THE
PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE TWENTY-THREE-B OF THE EDUCATION  LAW  SHALL  APPLY
WHEN  ALLEGATIONS  OF  ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT BY AN EMPLOYEE OR VOLUNTEER
UNDER SUCH ARTICLE ARE MADE IN AN EDUCATIONAL SETTING.  NOTHING IN  THIS
SUBDIVISION  SHALL REQUIRE A PERSON OR OFFICIAL REQUIRED TO REPORT CASES
OF SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE TO ADDITIONALLY NOTIFY THE  STATEWIDE  REGISTER
OF CHILD ABUSE AND MALTREATMENT UNLESS THE RELATIONSHIP OF THE VICTIM TO
THE  ALLEGED  PERPETRATOR  IS  IN  DOUBT.    NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY  OTHER
PROVISION OF LAW, LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY SHALL  NOT  INCLUDE  ANY  CHILD
PROTECTIVE SERVICE OR ANY SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO CHIL-
DREN  AS  SUCH TERMS ARE DEFINED IN SECTION FOUR HUNDRED TWENTY-THREE OF
THIS ARTICLE.
  S 429-B. PENALTIES FOR FAILURE TO REPORT.  1.  ANY PERSON REQUIRED  BY
THIS TITLE TO REPORT A CASE OF SUSPECTED CHILD ABUSE WHO WILLFULLY FAILS
TO DO SO SHALL BE GUILTY OF A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR.
  2.    ANY  PERSON REQUIRED BY THIS TITLE TO REPORT A CASE OF SUSPECTED
CHILD ABUSE WHO KNOWINGLY AND WILLFULLY FAILS TO DO SO SHALL BE  CIVILLY
LIABLE FOR THE DAMAGES PROXIMATELY CAUSED BY SUCH FAILURE.
  S  429-C.  IMMUNITY  FROM LIABILITY.   1. ANY PERSON WHO IN GOOD FAITH
MAKES A REPORT OF ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE AS REQUIRED BY THIS  TITLE,
INCLUDING  THOSE WHO IN GOOD FAITH MAKE A REPORT TO THE WRONG RECIPIENT,
SHALL HAVE IMMUNITY FROM CRIMINAL LIABILITY WHICH MIGHT OTHERWISE RESULT
BY REASON OF SUCH ACTIONS.
  2. ANY PERSON WHO REASONABLY AND IN GOOD FAITH MAKES A REPORT OF ALLE-
GATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE AS REQUIRED BY THIS TITLE,  SHALL  HAVE  IMMUNITY
FROM  CIVIL  LIABILITY  WHICH  MIGHT  OTHERWISE RESULT BY REASON OF SUCH
ACTIONS.
  S 2. The commissioner of the office of children  and  family  services
shall  review  the  reporting  form used to report suspected child abuse

S. 6048                             3

pursuant to section 429-a of the social services law and, if  necessary,
shall  revise  such  form  to  make  it appropriate for reporting to law
enforcement agencies.
  S  3.  This  act  shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall
have become a law.

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