senate Bill S6563

2011-2012 Legislative Session

Relates to reports of abuse or neglect of children in residential facilities or programs

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Archive: Last Bill Status - Passed Senate


  • 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
May 08, 2012 referred to children and families
delivered to assembly
passed senate
May 02, 2012 advanced to third reading
May 01, 2012 2nd report cal.
Apr 30, 2012 1st report cal.619
Feb 27, 2012 referred to children and families

Votes

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Apr 30, 2012 - Children and Families committee Vote

S6563
5
0
committee
5
Aye
0
Nay
0
Aye with Reservations
1
Absent
0
Excused
0
Abstained
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Children and Families Committee Vote: Apr 30, 2012

absent (1)

Co-Sponsors

S6563 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9545
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Social Services Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §424-c, Soc Serv L; amd §45.07, Ment Hyg L

S6563 - Bill Texts

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Relates to reports of abuse or neglect of children in residential facilities or programs; requires the commissioner of children and family services to give telephone notice and immediately forward a copy of reports which involve suspected physical injury or sexual abuse of a child or the death of a child to the appropriate local law enforcement.

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BILL NUMBER:S6563

TITLE OF BILL:

An act to amend the social services law and the mental hygiene law, in
relation to reports of abuse or neglect in residential facilities or
programs

PURPOSE:

Relates to reports of abuse or neglect of children in residential facil-
ities or programs.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1. Amends section 424-c of the social services law to provide
that the Commissioner of Children and Family Services give telephone
notice and immediately forward a copy of statutorily required reports
detailing delineated acts of sexual of physical abuse of a child to
appropriate law enforcement. Provides a local law enforcement agency may
afford the office of children and family services an opportunity to
conduct any resulting investigation jointly. Provides that law enforce-
ment may request in writing that there be additional reports for speci-
fied allegations. Clarifies that nothing prohibits the office of chil-
dren and family services from consulting with local law enforcement on
any child abuse or maltreatment report.

Section 2. Amends section 45.07 of the mental hygiene law to provide
that the Commission on Quality of Care and Advocacy for Persons with
Disabilities give telephone notice and immediately forward a copy of
statutorily required reports detailing delineated acts of sexual of
physical abuse of a child to appropriate law enforcement. Provides a
local law enforcement agency may afford the office of children and fami-
ly services an opportunity to conduct any resulting investigation joint-
ly. Provides that law enforcement may request in writing that there be
additional reports for specified allegations. Clarifies that nothing
prohibits the office of children and family services from consulting
with local law enforcement on any child abuse or maltreatment report.

Section 3. Effective Date.

JUSTIFICATION:

When children are placed in residential care throughout our state we
entrust the State to safeguard their interests and welfare. Children can
be placed in residential care for a number of reasons, including but not
limited to, placement through the foster care system or as a result of
significant mental health, substance abuse or juvenile delinquency
issues. As such, these children should be considered to be some of our
more vulnerable youth, particularly with respect to their care and
treatment. It is critically important that we ensure that the children

in residential facilities receive the same attention and response to
reports of abuse as those in home settings.

Under current law, when there is a reported case of child abuse and
neglect in the home, local child protective services are required under
Social Services Law § 424(5-a) to immediately forward suspected cases of
physical injury, sexual abuse, or the death of a child to appropriate
law enforcement. These cases are traditionally investigated by multi-
disciplinary teams within participating counties. Multi-disciplinary
teams can include representatives from child protective services, law
enforcement, a district attorney's office, a physician or medical
provider trained in forensic pediatrics, mental health professionals,
victim advocacy personnel and, if one exists, a child advocacy center.
As a result, an alleged case of physical or sexual abuse of a child in
the home is immediately addressed by a comprehensive team of law
enforcement and providers that can appropriately investigate the alleged
case as well as see to the needs of the child.

In contrast, when there is a reported case of child abuse or neglect of
a child in placement it is transmitted from the state registry to "the
agency responsible for investigating the report," rather than a law
enforcement entity. NY. Soc. Serv. Law § 415. The Commissioner of the
Office of Children and Family Services or the Commission on Quality of
Care and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities (CQC), depending on the
institution, is then required, if the complaint falls under their juris-
diction, to commence an internal investigation within twenty-four hours
and determine within sixty days, that among other things, "it appears
likely that a crime may have been committed against the child." NY. Soc.
Serv. Law § 424-C; NY. Ment. Hyg. Law § 45.07. While there are
provisions for immediate notification to a District Attorney regarding
the death of a child in residential placement, or any reports that a
District Attorney has made a prior request for, there are no require-
ments for immediate and direct law enforcement notification as they
relate to specific crimes or injuries to a child in residential care.
This procedure gives the unfortunate impression that agencies that have
complaints in their facilities are then empowered to investigate the
complaint rather than law enforcement. By extension, there is a foresee-
able delay in time that can take place in investigations due to an
absence of notification to law enforcement, thereby compromising the
collection of evidence, the result of an investigation, and the ultimate
quality of care that we demand of our residential facilities.

This legislation will amend the relevant duties of the Commissioner of
the Office of Children and Family Services and the board of CQC to
provide that upon receipt of a complaint alleging physical injury or
sexual abuse to a child in residential facility, they must immediately
forward such a report to appropriate law enforcement. It is the intent
that this provision will minor the protections we afford to victims of
alleged abuse and neglect in home settings. The Office of Children and
Family Services will not be prohibited by the legislation from assisting
in the investigation, nor will it abrogate their duty to conduct an
internal investigation as required by Social Services Law, however, it

will clarify that in cases alleging serious crimes, an immediate inves-
tigation will be conducted by independent law enforcement entities.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.

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

                                  6563

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 27, 2012
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sens. SALAND, McDONALD, SAVINO -- 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 and the mental hygiene  law,  in
  relation  to  reports of abuse or neglect in residential facilities or
  programs

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

  Section  1.    Subdivisions  6, 7 and 8 of section 424-c of the social
services law are renumbered subdivisions 7, 8 and 9 and a  new  subdivi-
sion 6 is added to read as follows:
  6.  GIVE  TELEPHONE  NOTICE  AND FORWARD IMMEDIATELY A COPY OF REPORTS
MADE PURSUANT TO SECTION FOUR  HUNDRED  TWELVE-A  OF  THIS  TITLE  WHICH
INVOLVE AN ABUSED CHILD IN RESIDENTIAL CARE AS DEFINED IN PARAGRAPH (B),
(C)  OR  (D) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION FOUR HUNDRED TWELVE-A OF THIS
TITLE TO THE APPROPRIATE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT.  A LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT
AGENCY MAY AFFORD THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES AN OPPORTU-
NITY TO CONDUCT ANY RESULTING INVESTIGATION  JOINTLY.    THE  LOCAL  LAW
ENFORCEMENT  AGENCY MAY REQUEST IN WRITING ADDITIONAL REPORTS, AND SHALL
SPECIFY THE KINDS OF ALLEGATIONS FOR WHICH NOTICE AND COPIES OF  REPORTS
SHALL  BE  REQUIRED  PURSUANT  TO  THIS SUBDIVISION. NOTHING WITHIN THIS
SUBDIVISION SHALL PROHIBIT THE OFFICE OF CHILDREN  AND  FAMILY  SERVICES
FROM  CONSULTING  WITH  LOCAL  LAW  ENFORCEMENT  ON  ANY  CHILD ABUSE OR
MALTREATMENT REPORT;
  S 2. Subparagraphs f, g and h of paragraph 2  of  subdivision  (c)  of
section  45.07 of the mental hygiene law are relettered subparagraphs g,
h and i and a new subparagraph f is added to read as follows:
  F. GIVE TELEPHONE NOTICE AND FORWARD IMMEDIATELY  A  COPY  OF  REPORTS
MADE  PURSUANT  TO  SECTION FOUR HUNDRED TWELVE-A OF THE SOCIAL SERVICES
LAW WHICH INVOLVE AN ABUSED CHILD IN  RESIDENTIAL  CARE  AS  DEFINED  IN
PARAGRAPH  (B),  (C)  OR  (D) OF SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION FOUR HUNDRED
TWELVE-A OF THE  SOCIAL  SERVICES  LAW  TO  THE  APPROPRIATE  LOCAL  LAW
ENFORCEMENT.    A  LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY MAY AFFORD THE OFFICE OF
CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES AN OPPORTUNITY  TO  CONDUCT  ANY  RESULTING

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13885-05-2

S. 6563                             2

INVESTIGATION  JOINTLY.  THE LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY MAY REQUEST IN
WRITING ADDITIONAL REPORTS, AND SHALL SPECIFY THE KINDS  OF  ALLEGATIONS
FOR  WHICH  NOTICE  AND  COPIES OF REPORTS SHALL BE REQUIRED PURSUANT TO
THIS  SUBPARAGRAPH.  NOTHING WITHIN THIS SUBPARAGRAPH SHALL PROHIBIT THE
OFFICE OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES FROM CONSULTING  WITH  LOCAL  LAW
ENFORCEMENT ON ANY CHILD ABUSE OR MALTREATMENT REPORT;
  S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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