senate Bill S7731

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Grants local social services districts access to criminal history information when acting within the scope of their duties under the social services law or the family court act

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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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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Jun 03, 2014 referred to finance

S7731 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9992
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §835, Exec L; amd §§398 & 424, Soc Serv L

S7731 - Bill Texts

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Grants local social services districts access to criminal history information when acting within the scope of their duties under the social services law or the family court act.

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BILL NUMBER:S7731

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law and the social
services law, in relation to access to court databases for local
social services districts

PURPOSE: The purpose of this bill is to grant expanded access to the
criminal history database maintained by the Department of Criminal
Justice Services to local services districts that pursue child
protective matters in Family Court.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill amends the Executive Law in order to
grant expanded access to the criminal history database maintained by
the Department of Criminal Justice Services to local social services
districts, which, among other responsibilities, are tasked with
pursuing child protective matters in Family Court. The bill further
amends the Social Services Law to mandate that local social services
districts conduct criminal background checks, including any arrest
history, on any person aged eighteen years or over who resides or is
proposed to reside directly with a child or in the same home as a
child who is subject of a child protective proceeding.

JUSTIFICATION: To ensure the safety and well-being of children, local
social services districts rely on criminal background information
throughout the course of a child protective investigation in a variety
of instances, including when evaluating the appropriateness of any
proposed custodian or residential placement for the child. This
information assists local social services district caseworkers,
attorneys, and others to make informed recommendations and decisions
critical to a child's welfare.

Under current law, local social services districts only have access to
information regarding criminal convictions during the investigation of
the Statewide Central Register (SCR) report and only for people named
in SCR reports or living with the child. Local social services
districts do not have access to other important information, such as
pending criminal matters involving potential custodians or SCR
subjects. Gaining access to a more complete criminal history that
includes pending criminal matters and arrest information will allow
child protective caseworkers and others to better assess risks to a
child and to make appropriate recommendations.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: None.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.

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
________________________________________________________________________

                                  7731

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              June 3, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  FELDER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance

AN ACT to amend the executive  law  and  the  social  services  law,  in
  relation  to  access  to  court  databases  for  local social services
  districts

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

  Section 1. Subdivision 9 of section 835 of the executive law, as sepa-
rately amended by chapters 14 and 155 of the laws of 2012, is amended to
read as follows:
  9.  "Qualified agencies" means courts in the unified court system, the
administrative board of the judicial conference, probation  departments,
sheriffs'  offices, district attorneys' offices, the state department of
corrections and community supervision, the department of  correction  of
any  municipality,  the financial frauds and consumer protection unit of
the state department of financial services, the office  of  professional
medical  conduct  of  the state department of health for the purposes of
section two hundred thirty of the public health law, the [child  protec-
tive services unit of a] local social services district when [conducting
an  investigation  pursuant  to  subdivision six of section four hundred
twenty-four of the social services law] ACTING WITHIN THE SCOPE  OF  ITS
DUTIES  PURSUANT TO THE SOCIAL SERVICES LAW OR THE FAMILY COURT ACT, the
office of Medicaid inspector general, the temporary state commission  of
investigation,  police  forces and departments having responsibility for
enforcement of the general criminal laws  of  the  state,  the  Onondaga
County  Center  for  Forensic Sciences Laboratory when acting within the
scope of its  law  enforcement  duties  and  the  division  of  forensic
services  of  the  Nassau  county  medical examiner's office when acting
within the scope of its law enforcement duties.
  S 2. Subdivision 6 of section  398  of  the  social  services  law  is
amended by adding a new paragraph (q) to read as follows:
  (Q)  INVESTIGATE  THE CRIMINAL BACKGROUND OF ANY PERSON OF OR OVER THE
AGE OF EIGHTEEN WHO RESIDES OR IS PROPOSED TO RESIDE WITH OR IN THE SAME
HOME AS A CHILD WHO IS THE SUBJECT OF A  COURT  PROCEEDING  PURSUANT  TO

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD15448-01-4

S. 7731                             2

ARTICLE  THREE, SIX, SEVEN, TEN, TEN-A OR TEN-C OF THE FAMILY COURT ACT.
FOR THE PURPOSE OF THESE INVESTIGATIONS, AND SUBJECT TO  THE  RULES  AND
REGULATIONS  OF  THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES, LOCAL SOCIAL
SERVICES  DISTRICTS  MAY, ACTING THROUGH PERSONS SPECIFICALLY DESIGNATED
BY THE COMMISSIONER OF THE LOCAL SOCIAL SERVICES  DISTRICT,  ACCESS  AND
RECEIVE  RECORDS MAINTAINED BY THE DIVISION OF CRIMINAL JUSTICE SERVICES
PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION SIX OF SECTION EIGHT HUNDRED THIRTY-SEVEN OF THE
EXECUTIVE LAW.
  S 3. Paragraph (b) of subdivision 6  of  section  424  of  the  social
services  law, as amended by chapter 602 of the laws of 2008, is amended
to read as follows:
  (b) subject to rules and  regulations  of  the  division  of  criminal
justice  services, a manager of the child protective services unit, or a
person with law enforcement background who is specifically designated by
the commissioner of the local social services district for this purpose,
shall have access  to  [conviction]  records  maintained  by  state  law
enforcement  agencies  pertaining to persons of or over the age of eigh-
teen years who (1) are currently residing in the residence of any  child
who  is  alleged  to  be  or  suspected  of being abused, maltreated, or
neglected or WHO IS PROPOSED TO LIVE WITH SUCH CHILD, OR (2)  are  named
in  any  report  of  suspected  or alleged child abuse, maltreatment, or
neglect; provided that nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to
contradict or modify section one thousand forty-six of the family  court
act.  Any  criminal  history record provided by the division of criminal
justice services,  and  any  summary  of  the  criminal  history  record
provided  by  the  office  of  children and family services to the child
protective services unit of a local social services district pursuant to
this subdivision, shall be kept  confidential  and  shall  not  be  made
available  for public inspection.  Child protective services units shall
not indicate a report solely based upon the existence  of  a  conviction
record;
  S 4. This act shall take effect immediately.

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