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This entry was published on 2021-04-23
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SECTION 422
Statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment
Social Services (SOS) CHAPTER 55, ARTICLE 6, TITLE 6
§ 422. Statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment. 1.
There shall be established in the office of children and family services
a statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment reports
made pursuant to this title.

2. * (a) The central register shall be capable of receiving telephone
calls alleging child abuse or maltreatment and of immediately
identifying prior reports of child abuse or maltreatment and capable of
monitoring the provision of child protective service twenty-four hours a
day, seven days a week. To effectuate this purpose, but subject to the
provisions of the appropriate local plan for the provision of child
protective services, there shall be a single statewide telephone number
that all persons, whether mandated by the law or not, may use to make
telephone calls alleging child abuse or maltreatment and that all
persons so authorized by this title may use for determining the
existence of prior reports in order to evaluate the condition or
circumstances of a child. In addition to the single statewide telephone
number, there shall be a special unlisted express telephone number and a
telephone facsimile number for use only by persons mandated by law to
make telephone calls, or to transmit telephone facsimile information on
a form provided by the commissioner of children and family services,
alleging child abuse or maltreatment, and for use by all persons so
authorized by this title for determining the existence of prior reports
in order to evaluate the condition or circumstances of a child. When any
allegations contained in such telephone calls could reasonably
constitute a report of child abuse or maltreatment, such allegations and
any previous reports to the central registry involving the subject of
such report or children named in such report, including any previous
report containing allegations of child abuse and maltreatment alleged to
have occurred in other counties and districts in New York state shall be
immediately transmitted orally or electronically by the office of
children and family services to the appropriate local child protective
service for investigation. The inability of the person calling the
register to identify the alleged perpetrator shall, in no circumstance,
constitute the sole cause for the register to reject such allegation or
fail to transmit such allegation for investigation. If the records
indicate a previous report concerning a subject of the report, the child
alleged to be abused or maltreated, a sibling, other children in the
household, other persons named in the report or other pertinent
information, the appropriate local child protective service shall be
immediately notified of the fact. If the report involves either (i) an
allegation of an abused child described in paragraph (i), (ii) or (iii)
of subdivision (e) of section one thousand twelve of the family court
act or sexual abuse of a child or the death of a child or (ii) suspected
maltreatment which alleges any physical harm when the report is made by
a person required to report pursuant to section four hundred thirteen of
this title within six months of any other two reports that were
indicated, or may still be pending, involving the same child, sibling,
or other children in the household or the subject of the report, the
office of children and family services shall identify the report as such
and note any prior reports when transmitting the report to the local
child protective services for investigation.

* NB Effective until April 1, 2022

* (a) The central register shall be capable of receiving telephone
calls alleging child abuse or maltreatment and of immediately
identifying prior reports of child abuse or maltreatment and capable of
monitoring the provision of child protective service twenty-four hours a
day, seven days a week. To effectuate this purpose, but subject to the
provisions of the appropriate local plan for the provision of child
protective services, there shall be a single statewide telephone number
that all persons, whether mandated by the law or not, may use to make
telephone calls alleging child abuse or maltreatment and that all
persons so authorized by this title may use for determining the
existence of prior reports in order to evaluate the condition or
circumstances of a child. In addition to the single statewide telephone
number, there shall be a special unlisted express telephone number and a
telephone facsimile number for use only by persons mandated by law to
make telephone calls, or to transmit telephone facsimile information on
a form provided by the commissioner of children and family services,
alleging child abuse or maltreatment, and for use by all persons so
authorized by this title for determining the existence of prior reports
in order to evaluate the condition or circumstances of a child. When any
allegations contained in such telephone calls could reasonably
constitute a report of child abuse or maltreatment, after utilizing
protocols that would reduce implicit bias from the decision-making
process, such allegations and any previous reports to the central
registry involving the subject of such report or children named in such
report, including any previous report containing allegations of child
abuse and maltreatment alleged to have occurred in other counties and
districts in New York state shall be immediately transmitted orally or
electronically by the office of children and family services to the
appropriate local child protective service for investigation. The
inability of the person calling the register to identify the alleged
perpetrator shall, in no circumstance, constitute the sole cause for the
register to reject such allegation or fail to transmit such allegation
for investigation. If the records indicate a previous report concerning
a subject of the report, the child alleged to be abused or maltreated, a
sibling, other children in the household, other persons named in the
report or other pertinent information, the appropriate local child
protective service shall be immediately notified of the fact. If the
report involves either (i) an allegation of an abused child described in
paragraph (i), (ii) or (iii) of subdivision (e) of section one thousand
twelve of the family court act or sexual abuse of a child or the death
of a child or (ii) suspected maltreatment which alleges any physical
harm when the report is made by a person required to report pursuant to
section four hundred thirteen of this title within six months of any
other two reports that were indicated, or may still be pending,
involving the same child, sibling, or other children in the household or
the subject of the report, the office of children and family services
shall identify the report as such and note any prior reports when
transmitting the report to the local child protective services for
investigation.

* NB Effective April 1, 2022

(b) Any telephone call made by a person required to report cases of
suspected child abuse or maltreatment pursuant to section four hundred
thirteen of this chapter containing allegations, which if true would
constitute child abuse or maltreatment shall constitute a report and
shall be immediately transmitted orally or electronically by the
department to the appropriate local child protective service for
investigation.

(c) Whenever a telephone call to the statewide central register
described in this section is received by the department, and the
department finds that the person allegedly responsible for abuse or
maltreatment of a child cannot be a subject of a report as defined in
subdivision four of section four hundred twelve of this chapter, but
believes that the alleged acts or circumstances against a child
described in the telephone call may constitute a crime or an immediate
threat to the child's health or safety, the department shall convey by
the most expedient means available the information contained in such
telephone call to the appropriate law enforcement agency, district
attorney or other public official empowered to provide necessary aid or
assistance.

3. The central register shall include but not be limited to the
following information: all the information in the written report; a
record of the final disposition of the report, including services
offered and services accepted; the plan for rehabilitative treatment;
the names and identifying data, dates and circumstances of any person
requesting or receiving information from the register; and any other
information which the commissioner believes might be helpful in the
furtherance of the purposes of this chapter.

4. (A) Reports made pursuant to this title as well as any other
information obtained, reports written or photographs taken concerning
such reports in the possession of the office or local departments shall
be confidential and shall only be made available to:

(a) a physician who has before him or her a child whom he or she
reasonably suspects may be abused or maltreated;

(b) a person authorized to place a child in protective custody when
such person has before him or her a child whom he or she reasonably
suspects may be abused or maltreated and such person requires the
information in the record to determine whether to place the child in
protective custody;

(c) a duly authorized agency having the responsibility for the care or
supervision of a child who is reported to the central register of abuse
and maltreatment;

(d) any person who is the subject of the report or other persons named
in the report;

(e) a court, upon a finding that the information in the record is
necessary for the determination of an issue before the court;

(f) a grand jury, upon a finding that the information in the record is
necessary for the determination of charges before the grand jury;

(g) any appropriate state legislative committee responsible for child
protective legislation;

(h) any person engaged in a bona fide research purpose provided,
however, that no information identifying the subjects of the report or
other persons named in the report shall be made available to the
researcher unless it is absolutely essential to the research purpose and
the department gives prior approval;

(i) a provider agency as defined by subdivision three of section four
hundred twenty-four-a of this chapter, or a licensing agency as defined
by subdivision four of section four hundred twenty-four-a of this
chapter, subject to the provisions of such section;

(j) the justice center for the protection of people with special needs
or a delegate investigatory entity in connection with an investigation
being conducted under article eleven of this chapter;

(k) a probation service conducting an investigation pursuant to
article three or seven or section six hundred fifty-three of the family
court act where there is reason to suspect the child or the child's
sibling may have been abused or maltreated and such child or sibling,
parent, guardian or other person legally responsible for the child is a
person named in an indicated report of child abuse or maltreatment and
that such information is necessary for the making of a determination or
recommendation to the court; or a probation service regarding a person
about whom it is conducting an investigation pursuant to article three
hundred ninety of the criminal procedure law, or a probation service or
the department of corrections and community supervision regarding a
person to whom the service or department is providing supervision
pursuant to article sixty of the penal law or article eight of the
correction law, where the subject of investigation or supervision has
been convicted of a felony under article one hundred twenty, one hundred
twenty-five or one hundred thirty-five of the penal law or any felony or
misdemeanor under article one hundred thirty, two hundred thirty-five,
two hundred forty-five, two hundred sixty or two hundred sixty-three of
the penal law, or has been indicted for any such felony and, as a
result, has been convicted of a crime under the penal law, where the
service or department requests the information upon a certification that
such information is necessary to conduct its investigation, that there
is reasonable cause to believe that the subject of an investigation is
the subject of an indicated report and that there is reasonable cause to
believe that such records are necessary to the investigation by the
probation service or the department, provided, however, that only
indicated reports shall be furnished pursuant to this subdivision;

(l) a criminal justice agency, which for the purposes of this
subdivision shall mean a district attorney, an assistant district
attorney or an investigator employed in the office of a district
attorney; a sworn officer of the division of state police, of the
regional state park police, of a county department of parks, of a city
police department, or of a county, town or village police department or
county sheriff's office or department; or an Indian police officer,
when:

(i) such criminal justice agency requests such information stating
that such information is necessary to conduct a criminal investigation
or criminal prosecution of a person, that there is reasonable cause to
believe that such person is the subject of a report, and that it is
reasonable to believe that due to the nature of the crime under
investigation or prosecution, such person is the subject of a report,
and that it is reasonable to believe that due to that nature of the
crime under investigation or prosecution, such records may be related to
the criminal investigation or prosecution; or

(ii) such criminal justice agency requests such information stating
that: such agency is conducting an investigation of a missing child;
such agency has reason to suspect such child's parent, guardian or other
person legally responsible for such child is or may be the subject of a
report, or, such child or such child's sibling is or may be another
person named in a report of child abuse or maltreatment and that any
such information is or may be needed to further such investigation;

(m) the New York city department of investigation provided however,
that no information identifying the subjects of the report or other
persons named in the report shall be made available to the department of
investigation unless such information is essential to an investigation
within the legal authority of the department of investigation and the
state department of social services gives prior approval;

(n) chief executive officers of authorized agencies, directors of day
care centers and directors of facilities operated or supervised by the
department of education, the office of children and family services, the
office of mental health or the office for people with developmental
disabilities, in connection with a disciplinary investigation, action,
or administrative or judicial proceeding instituted by any of such
officers or directors against an employee of any such agency, center or
facility who is the subject of an indicated report when the incident of
abuse or maltreatment contained in the report occurred in the agency,
center, facility or program, and the purpose of such proceeding is to
determine whether the employee should be retained or discharged;
provided, however, a person given access to information pursuant to this
subparagraph shall, notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law,
be authorized to redisclose such information only if the purpose of such
redisclosure is to initiate or present evidence in a disciplinary,
administrative or judicial proceeding concerning the continued
employment or the terms of employment of an employee of such agency,
center or facility who has been named as a subject of an indicated
report and, in addition, a person or agency given access to information
pursuant to this subparagraph shall also be given information not
otherwise provided concerning the subject of an indicated report where
the commission of an act or acts by such subject has been determined in
proceedings pursuant to article ten of the family court act to
constitute abuse or neglect;

(o) a provider or coordinator of services to which a child protective
service or social services district has referred a child or a child's
family or to whom the child or the child's family have referred
themselves at the request of the child protective service or social
services district, where said child is reported to the register when the
records, reports or other information are necessary to enable the
provider or coordinator to establish and implement a plan of service for
the child or the child's family, or to monitor the provision and
coordination of services and the circumstances of the child and the
child's family, or to directly provide services; provided, however, that
a provider of services may include appropriate health care or school
district personnel, as such terms shall be defined by the department;
provided however, a provider or coordinator of services given access to
information concerning a child pursuant to this subparagraph (o) shall,
notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law, be authorized to
redisclose such information to other persons or agencies which also
provide services to the child or the child's family only if the
consolidated services plan prepared and approved pursuant to section
thirty-four-a of this chapter describes the agreement that has been or
will be reached between the provider or coordinator of service and the
local district. An agreement entered into pursuant to this subparagraph
shall include the specific agencies and categories of individuals to
whom redisclosure by the provider or coordinator of services is
authorized. Persons or agencies given access to information pursuant to
this subparagraph may exchange such information in order to facilitate
the provision or coordination of services to the child or the child's
family;

(p) a disinterested person making an investigation pursuant to section
one hundred sixteen of the domestic relations law, provided that such
disinterested person shall only make this information available to the
judge before whom the adoption proceeding is pending;

(s) a child protective service of another state when such service
certifies that the records and reports are necessary in order to conduct
a child abuse or maltreatment investigation within its jurisdiction of
the subject of the report and shall be used only for purposes of
conducting such investigation and will not be redisclosed to any other
person or agency;

(t) an attorney for a child, appointed pursuant to the provisions of
section one thousand sixteen of the family court act, at any time such
appointment is in effect, in relation to any report in which the
respondent in the proceeding in which the attorney for a child has been
appointed is the subject or another person named in the report, pursuant
to sections one thousand thirty-nine-a and one thousand fifty-two-a of
the family court act;

(u) a child care resource and referral program subject to the
provisions of subdivision six of section four hundred twenty-four-a of
this title;

(v)(i) officers and employees of the state comptroller or of the city
comptroller of the city of New York, or of the county officer designated
by law or charter to perform the auditing function in any county not
wholly contained within a city, for purposes of a duly authorized
performance audit, provided that such comptroller shall have certified
to the keeper of such records that he or she has instituted procedures
developed in consultation with the department to limit access to
client-identifiable information to persons requiring such information
for purposes of the audit and that appropriate controls and prohibitions
are imposed on the dissemination of client-identifiable information
contained in the conduct of the audit. Information pertaining to the
substance or content of any psychological, psychiatric, therapeutic,
clinical or medical reports, evaluations or like materials or
information pertaining to such child or the child's family shall not be
made available to such officers and employees unless disclosure of such
information is absolutely essential to the specific audit activity and
the department gives prior written approval.

(ii) any failure to maintain the confidentiality of
client-identifiable information shall subject such comptroller or
officer to denial of any further access to records until such time as
the audit agency has reviewed its procedures concerning controls and
prohibitions imposed on the dissemination of such information and has
taken all reasonable and appropriate steps to eliminate such lapses in
maintaining confidentiality to the satisfaction of the office of
children and family services. The office of children and family services
shall establish the grounds for denial of access to records contained
under this section and shall recommend as necessary a plan of
remediation to the audit agency. Except as provided in this section,
nothing in this subparagraph shall be construed as limiting the powers
of such comptroller or officer to access records which he or she is
otherwise authorized to audit or obtain under any other applicable
provision of law. Any person given access to information pursuant to
this subparagraph who releases data or information to persons or
agencies not authorized to receive such information shall be guilty of a
class A misdemeanor;

(w) members of a local or regional fatality review team approved by
the office of children and family services in accordance with section
four hundred twenty-two-b of this title;

(x) members of a local or regional multidisciplinary investigative
team as established pursuant to subdivision six of section four hundred
twenty-three of this title;

(y) members of a citizen review panel as established pursuant to
section three hundred seventy-one-b of this article; provided, however,
members of a citizen review panel shall not disclose to any person or
government official any identifying information which the panel has been
provided and shall not make public other information unless otherwise
authorized by statute;

(z) an entity with appropriate legal authority in another state to
license, certify or otherwise approve prospective foster parents,
prospective adoptive parents, prospective relative guardians,
prospective successor guardians or child care program where disclosure
of information regarding such prospective foster or prospective adoptive
parents or prospective relative or prospective successor guardians and
other persons over the age of eighteen residing in the home of such
persons or where child care is provided, as required under either title
IV-E of the federal social security act or the federal child care and
development block grant act (section nine thousand eight hundred
fifty-eight, et seq. of title forty-two of the United States Code); and

(aa) a social services official who is investigating whether an adult
is in need of protective services in accordance with the provisions of
section four hundred seventy-three of this chapter, when such official
has reasonable cause to believe such adult may be in need of protective
services due to the conduct of an individual or individuals who had
access to such adult when such adult was a child and that such reports
and information are needed to further the present investigation.

(bb) an entity with appropriate legal authority in another state to
license, certify or otherwise approve residential programs for foster
children where disclosure of information regarding any prospective or
current employee of such program is required by paragraph twenty of
subdivision (a) of section six hundred seventy-one of title forty-two of
the United States code.

After a child, other than a child in residential care, who is reported
to the central register of abuse or maltreatment reaches the age of
eighteen years, access to a child's record under subparagraphs (a) and
(b) of this paragraph shall be permitted only if a sibling or off-spring
of such child is before such person and is a suspected victim of child
abuse or maltreatment. In addition, a person or official required to
make a report of suspected child abuse or maltreatment pursuant to
section four hundred thirteen of this chapter shall receive, upon
request, the findings of an investigation made pursuant to this title.
However, no information may be released unless the person or official's
identity is confirmed by the office. If the request for such information
is made prior to the completion of an investigation of a report, the
released information shall be limited to whether the report is
"indicated", "unfounded" or "under investigation", whichever the case
may be. If the request for such information is made after the completion
of an investigation of a report, the released information shall be
limited to whether the report is "indicated" or "unfounded", whichever
the case may be. A person given access to the names or other information
identifying the subjects of the report, or other persons named in the
report, except the subject of the report or other persons named in the
report, shall not divulge or make public such identifying information
unless he or she is a district attorney or other law enforcement
official and the purpose is to initiate court action or the disclosure
is necessary in connection with the investigation or prosecution of the
subject of the report for a crime alleged to have been committed by the
subject against another person named in the report. Nothing in this
section shall be construed to permit any release, disclosure or
identification of the names or identifying descriptions of persons who
have reported suspected child abuse or maltreatment to the statewide
central register or the agency, institution, organization, program or
other entity where such persons are employed or the agency, institution,
organization or program with which they are associated without such
persons' written permission except to persons, officials, and agencies
enumerated in subparagraphs (e), (f), (h), (j), (l), (m) and (v) of this
paragraph.

To the extent that persons or agencies are given access to information
pursuant to subparagraphs (a), (b), (c), (j), (k), (l), (m), (o) and (q)
of this paragraph, such persons or agencies may give and receive such
information to each other in order to facilitate an investigation
conducted by such persons or agencies.

(B) Notwithstanding any inconsistent provision of law to the contrary,
a city or county social services commissioner may withhold, in whole or
in part, the release of any information which he or she is authorized to
make available to persons or agencies identified in subparagraphs (a),
(k), (l), (m), (n), (o), (p) and (q) of paragraph (A) of this
subdivision if such commissioner determines that such information is not
related to the purposes for which such information is requested or when
such disclosure will be detrimental to the child named in the report.

(C) A city or county social services commissioner who denies access by
persons or agencies identified in subparagraphs (a), (k), (l), (m), (n),
(o), (p) and (q) of paragraph (A) of this subdivision to records,
reports or other information or parts thereof maintained by such
commissioner in accordance with this title shall, within ten days from
the date of receipt of the request fully explain in writing to the
person requesting the records, reports or other information the reasons
for the denial.

(D) A person or agency identified in subparagraphs (a), (k), (l), (m),
(n), (o), (p) and (q) of paragraph (A) of this subdivision who is denied
access to records, reports or other information or parts thereof
maintained by a local department pursuant to this title may bring a
proceeding for review of such denial pursuant to article seventy-eight
of the civil practice law and rules.

5. (a) * Unless an investigation of a report conducted pursuant to
this title determines that there is some credible evidence of the
alleged abuse or maltreatment, all information identifying the subjects
of the report and other persons named in the report shall be legally
sealed forthwith by the central register and any local child protective
services or the state agency which investigated the report. Such
unfounded reports may only be unsealed and made available:

* NB Effective until January 1, 2022

* Unless an investigation of a report conducted pursuant to this title
that is commenced on or before December thirty-first, two thousand
twenty-one determines that there is some credible evidence of the
alleged abuse or maltreatment or unless an investigation of a report
conducted pursuant to this title that is commenced on or after January
first, two thousand twenty-two determines that there is a fair
preponderance of the evidence that the alleged abuse or maltreatment
occurred, all information identifying the subjects of the report and
other persons named in the report shall be legally sealed forthwith by
the central register and any local child protective services which
investigated the report. Such unfounded reports may only be unsealed and
made available:

* NB Effective January 1, 2022

(i) to the office of children and family services for the purpose of
supervising a social services district;

(ii) to the office of children and family services and local or
regional fatality review team members for the purpose of preparing a
fatality report pursuant to section twenty or four hundred twenty-two-b
of this chapter;

(iii) to a local child protective service, the office of children and
family services, or all members of a local or regional multidisciplinary
investigative team or the justice center for the protection of people
with special needs when investigating a subsequent report of suspected
abuse, neglect or maltreatment involving a subject of the unfounded
report, a child named in the unfounded report, or a child's sibling
named in the unfounded report pursuant to this article or article eleven
of this chapter;

(iv) to the subject of the report; and

(v) to a district attorney, an assistant district attorney, an
investigator employed in the office of a district attorney, or to a
sworn officer of the division of state police, of a city, county, town
or village police department or of a county sheriff's office when such
official verifies that the report is necessary to conduct an active
investigation or prosecution of a violation of subdivision four of
section 240.50 of the penal law.

(b) Persons given access to unfounded reports pursuant to subparagraph
(v) of paragraph (a) of this subdivision shall not redisclose such
reports except as necessary to conduct such appropriate investigation or
prosecution and shall request of the court that any copies of such
reports produced in any court proceeding be redacted to remove the names
of the subjects and other persons named in the reports or that the court
issue an order protecting the names of the subjects and other persons
named in the reports from public disclosure. The local child protective
service or state agency shall not indicate the subsequent report solely
based upon the existence of the prior unfounded report or reports.
Notwithstanding section four hundred fifteen of this title, section one
thousand forty-six of the family court act, or, except as set forth
herein, any other provision of law to the contrary, an unfounded report
shall not be admissible in any judicial or administrative proceeding or
action; provided, however, an unfounded report may be introduced into
evidence: (i) by the subject of the report where such subject is a
respondent in a proceeding under article ten of the family court act or
is a plaintiff or petitioner in a civil action or proceeding alleging
the false reporting of child abuse or maltreatment; or (ii) in a
criminal court for the purpose of prosecuting a violation of subdivision
four of section 240.50 of the penal law. Legally sealed unfounded
reports shall be expunged ten years after the receipt of the report.

* (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the office of
children and family services may, in its discretion, grant a request to
expunge an unfounded report where: (i) the source of the report was
convicted of a violation of subdivision three of section 240.55 of the
penal law in regard to such report; or (ii) the subject of the report
presents clear and convincing evidence that affirmatively refutes the
allegation of abuse or maltreatment; provided however, that the absence
of credible evidence supporting the allegation of abuse or maltreatment
shall not be the sole basis to expunge the report. Nothing in this
paragraph shall require the office of children and family services to
hold an administrative hearing in deciding whether to expunge a report.
Such office shall make its determination upon reviewing the written
evidence submitted by the subject of the report and any records or
information obtained from the state or local agency which investigated
the allegations of abuse or maltreatment.

* NB Effective until January 1, 2022

* (c) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the office of
children and family services may, in its discretion, grant a request to
expunge an unfounded report where: (i) the source of the report was
convicted of a violation of subdivision three of section 240.55 of the
penal law in regard to such report; or (ii) the subject of the report
presents clear and convincing evidence that affirmatively refutes the
allegation of abuse or maltreatment; provided however, that the absence
of a fair preponderance of the evidence supporting the allegation of
abuse or maltreatment shall not be the sole basis to expunge the report.
Nothing in this paragraph shall require the office of children and
family services to hold an administrative hearing in deciding whether to
expunge a report. Such office shall make its determination upon
reviewing the written evidence submitted by the subject of the report
and any records or information obtained from the state or local agency
which investigated the allegations of abuse or maltreatment.

* NB Effective January 1, 2022

5-a. Upon notification from a local social services district, that a
report is part of the family assessment and services track pursuant to
subparagraph (i) of paragraph (c) of subdivision four of section four
hundred twenty-seven-a of this title, the central register shall
forthwith identify the report as an assessment track case and legally
seal such report. Access to reports assigned to, and records created
under the family assessment and services track and information
concerning such reports and records is governed by paragraph (d) of
subdivision five of section four hundred twenty-seven-a of this title.

6. In all other cases, the record of the report to the statewide
central register shall be expunged ten years after the eighteenth
birthday of the youngest child named in the report. In the case of a
child in residential care the record of the report to the statewide
central register shall be expunged ten years after the reported child's
eighteenth birthday. In any case and at any time, the commissioner of
the office of children and family services may amend any record upon
good cause shown and notice to the subjects of the report and other
persons named in the report. Provided however, any report indicated for
maltreatment based solely on the purchase, possession or consumption of
cannabis, without a showing that the child's physical, mental or
emotional condition was impaired or was in imminent danger of becoming
impaired in accordance with the definition of child maltreatment as
provided for in section four hundred twelve of this title is established
by a fair preponderance of the evidence shall immediately be sealed upon
a request pursuant to subdivision eight of this section or section four
hundred twenty-four-a of this title.

7. At any time, a subject of a report and other persons named in the
report may receive, upon request, a copy of all information contained in
the central register; provided, however, that the commissioner is
authorized to prohibit the release of data that would identify the
person who made the report or who cooperated in a subsequent
investigation or the agency, institution, organization, program or other
entity where such person is employed or with which he is associated,
which he reasonably finds will be detrimental to the safety or interests
of such person.

8. (a) (i) At any time subsequent to the completion of the
investigation but in no event later than ninety days after the subject
of the report is notified that the report is indicated the subject may
request the commissioner to amend the record of the report. If the
commissioner does not amend the report in accordance with such request
within ninety days of receiving the request, the subject shall have the
right to a fair hearing, held in accordance with paragraph (b) of this
subdivision, to determine whether the record of the report in the
central register should be amended on the grounds that it is inaccurate
or it is being maintained in a manner inconsistent with this title.

* (ii) Upon receipt of a request to amend the record of a child abuse
and maltreatment report the office of children and family services shall
immediately send a written request to the child protective service or
the state agency which was responsible for investigating the allegations
of abuse or maltreatment for all records, reports and other information
maintained by the service or state agency pertaining to such indicated
report. The service or state agency shall as expeditiously as possible
but within no more than twenty working days of receiving such request,
forward all records, reports and other information it maintains on such
indicated report to the office of children and family services. The
office of children and family services shall as expeditiously as
possible but within no more than fifteen working days of receiving such
materials from the child protective service or state agency, review all
such materials in its possession concerning the indicated report and
determine, after affording such service or state agency a reasonable
opportunity to present its views, whether there is a fair preponderance
of the evidence to find that the subject committed the act or acts of
child abuse or maltreatment giving rise to the indicated report and
whether, based on guidelines developed by the office of children and
family services pursuant to subdivision five of section four hundred
twenty-four-a of this title, such act or acts could be relevant and
reasonably related to employment of the subject of the report by a
provider agency, as defined by subdivision three of section four hundred
twenty-four-a of this title, or relevant and reasonably related to the
subject of the report being allowed to have regular and substantial
contact with children who are cared for by a provider agency, or
relevant and reasonably related to the approval or disapproval of an
application submitted by the subject of the report to a licensing
agency, as defined by subdivision four of section four hundred
twenty-four-a of this title.

* NB Effective until January 1, 2022

* (ii) Upon receipt of a request to amend the record of a child abuse
and maltreatment report the office of children and family services shall
immediately send a written request to the child protective service which
was responsible for investigating the allegations of abuse or
maltreatment for all records, reports and other information maintained
by the service pertaining to such indicated report. Where a proceeding
pursuant to article ten of the family court act based on the same
allegations that were indicated is pending, the request to amend shall
be stayed until the disposition of such family court proceeding. The
service shall as expeditiously as possible but within no more than
twenty working days of receiving such request, forward all records,
reports and other information it maintains on such indicated report to
the office of children and family services, including a copy of any
petition or court order based on the allegations that were indicated.
Unless such request to amend has been stayed, the office of children and
family services shall as expeditiously as possible but within no more
than fifteen working days of receiving such materials from the child
protective service or state agency, review all such materials in its
possession concerning the indicated report and determine, after
affording such service a reasonable opportunity to present its views,
whether there is a fair preponderance of the evidence to find that the
subject committed the act or acts of child abuse or maltreatment giving
rise to the indicated report and whether, based on guidelines developed
by the office of children and family services pursuant to subdivision
five of section four hundred twenty-four-a of this title, such act or
acts could be relevant and reasonably related to employment of the
subject of the report by a provider agency, as defined by subdivision
three of section four hundred twenty-four-a of this title, or relevant
and reasonably related to the subject of the report being allowed to
have regular and substantial contact with children who are cared for by
a provider agency, or relevant and reasonably related to the approval or
disapproval of an application submitted by the subject of the report to
a licensing agency, as defined by subdivision four of section four
hundred twenty-four-a of this title.

* NB Effective January 1, 2022

* (iii) If it is determined at the review held pursuant to this
paragraph (a) that there is no credible evidence in the record to find
that the subject committed an act or acts of child abuse or
maltreatment, the department shall amend the record to indicate that the
report is "unfounded" and notify the subject forthwith.

* NB Effective until January 1, 2022

* (iii) If it is determined at the review held pursuant to this
paragraph that there is not a fair preponderance of the evidence in the
record to find that the subject committed an act or acts of child abuse
or maltreatment, the office of children and family services shall amend
the record to indicate that the report is "unfounded" and notify the
subject forthwith.

* NB Effective January 1, 2022

* (iv) If it is determined at the review held pursuant to this
paragraph (a) that there is some credible evidence in the record to find
that the subject committed such act or acts but that such act or acts
could not be relevant and reasonably related to the employment of the
subject by a provider agency or to the subject being allowed to have
regular and substantial contact with children who are cared for by a
provider agency or the approval or disapproval of an application which
could be submitted by the subject to a licensing agency, the department
shall be precluded from informing a provider or licensing agency which
makes an inquiry to the department pursuant to the provisions of section
four hundred twenty-four-a of this title concerning the subject that the
person about whom the inquiry is made is the subject of an indicated
report of child abuse or maltreatment. The department shall notify
forthwith the subject of the report of such determinations and that a
fair hearing has been scheduled pursuant to paragraph (b) of this
subdivision. The sole issue at such hearing shall be whether the subject
has been shown by some credible evidence to have committed the act or
acts of child abuse or maltreatment giving rise to the indicated report.

* NB Effective until January 1, 2022

* (iv) If it is determined at the review held pursuant to this
paragraph that there is a fair preponderance of the evidence in the
record to find that the subject committed such act or acts but that such
act or acts could not be relevant and reasonably related to the
employment of the subject by a provider agency or to the subject being
allowed to have regular and substantial contact with children who are
cared for by a provider agency or the approval or disapproval of an
application which could be submitted by the subject to a licensing
agency, the office of children and family services shall be precluded
from informing a provider or licensing agency which makes an inquiry to
such office pursuant to the provisions of section four hundred
twenty-four-a of this title concerning the subject that the person about
whom the inquiry is made is the subject of an indicated report of child
abuse or maltreatment. The office of children and family services shall
notify forthwith the subject of the report of such determinations and
that a fair hearing has been scheduled pursuant to paragraph (b) of this
subdivision. The sole issue at such hearing shall be whether the subject
has been shown by a fair preponderance of the evidence to have committed
the act or acts of child abuse or maltreatment giving rise to the
indicated report.

* NB Effective January 1, 2022

* (v) If it is determined at the review held pursuant to this
paragraph (a) that there is some credible evidence in the record to
prove that the subject committed an act or acts of child abuse or
maltreatment and that such act or acts could be relevant and reasonably
related to the employment of the subject by a provider agency or to the
subject being allowed to have regular and substantial contact with
children cared for by a provider agency or the approval or disapproval
of an application which could be submitted by the subject to a licensing
agency, the department shall notify forthwith the subject of the report
of such determinations and that a fair hearing has been scheduled
pursuant to paragraph (b) of this subdivision.

* NB Effective until January 1, 2022

* (v) If it is determined at the review held pursuant to this
paragraph that there is a fair preponderance of the evidence in the
record to prove that the subject committed an act or acts of child abuse
or maltreatment and that such act or acts could be relevant and
reasonably related to the employment of the subject by a provider agency
or to the subject being allowed to have regular and substantial contact
with children cared for by a provider agency or the approval or
disapproval of an application which could be submitted by the subject to
a licensing agency, the office of children and family services shall
notify forthwith the subject of the report of such determinations and
that a fair hearing has been scheduled pursuant to paragraph (b) of this
subdivision.

* NB Effective January 1, 2022

(b) (i) If the department, within ninety days of receiving a request
from the subject that the record of a report be amended, does not amend
the record in accordance with such request, the department shall
schedule a fair hearing and shall provide notice of the scheduled
hearing date to the subject, the statewide central register and, as
appropriate, to the child protective service or the state agency which
investigated the report.

* (ii) The burden of proof in such a hearing shall be on the child
protective service or the state agency which investigated the report, as
the case may be. In such a hearing, the fact that there is a family
court finding of abuse or neglect against the subject in regard to an
allegation contained in the report shall create an irrebuttable
presumption that said allegation is substantiated by some credible
evidence.

* NB Effective until January 1, 2022

* (ii) The burden of proof in such a hearing shall be on the child
protective service which investigated the report. In such a hearing,
where a family court proceeding pursuant to article ten of the family
court act has occurred and where the petition for such proceeding
alleges that a respondent in that proceeding committed abuse or neglect
against the subject child in regard to an allegation contained in a
report indicated pursuant to this section: (A) where the court finds
that such respondent did commit abuse or neglect there shall be an
irrebuttable presumption in a fair hearing held pursuant to this
subdivision that said allegation is substantiated by a fair
preponderance of the evidence as to that respondent on that allegation;
and (B) where such child protective service withdraws such petition with
prejudice, where the family court dismisses such petition, or where the
family court finds on the merits in favor of the respondent, there shall
be an irrebuttable presumption in a fair hearing held pursuant to this
subdivision that said allegation as to that respondent has not been
proven by a fair preponderance of the evidence.

* NB Effective January 1, 2022

(c) * (i) If it is determined at the fair hearing that there is no
credible evidence in the record to find that the subject committed an
act or acts of child abuse or maltreatment, the department shall amend
the record to reflect that such a finding was made at the administrative
hearing, order any child protective service or state agency which
investigated the report to similarly amend its records of the report,
and shall notify the subject forthwith of the determination.

* NB Effective until January 1, 2022

* (i) If it is determined at the fair hearing that there is not a fair
preponderance of the evidence in the record to find that the subject
committed an act or acts of child abuse or maltreatment, the office of
children and family services shall amend the record to reflect that such
a finding was made at the administrative hearing, order any child
protective service which investigated the report to similarly amend its
records of the report, and shall notify the subject forthwith of the
determination.

* NB Effective January 1, 2022

* (ii) Upon a determination made at a fair hearing held on or after
January first, nineteen hundred eighty-six scheduled pursuant to the
provisions of subparagraph (v) of paragraph (a) of this subdivision that
the subject has been shown by a fair preponderance of the evidence to
have committed the act or acts of child abuse or maltreatment giving
rise to the indicated report, the hearing officer shall determine, based
on guidelines developed by the office of children and family services
pursuant to subdivision five of section four hundred twenty-four-a of
this title, whether such act or acts are relevant and reasonably related
to employment of the subject by a provider agency, as defined by
subdivision three of section four hundred twenty-four-a of this title,
or relevant and reasonably related to the subject being allowed to have
regular and substantial contact with children who are cared for by a
provider agency or relevant and reasonably related to the approval or
disapproval of an application submitted by the subject to a licensing
agency, as defined by subdivision four of section four hundred
twenty-four-a of this title.

Upon a determination made at a fair hearing that the act or acts of
abuse or maltreatment are relevant and reasonably related to employment
of the subject by a provider agency or the subject being allowed to have
regular and substantial contact with children who are cared for by a
provider agency or the approval or denial of an application submitted by
the subject to a licensing agency, the department shall notify the
subject forthwith. The department shall inform a provider or licensing
agency which makes an inquiry to the department pursuant to the
provisions of section four hundred twenty-four-a of this title
concerning the subject that the person about whom the inquiry is made is
the subject of an indicated child abuse or maltreatment report.

The failure to determine at the fair hearing that the act or acts of
abuse and maltreatment are relevant and reasonably related to the
employment of the subject by a provider agency or to the subject being
allowed to have regular and substantial contact with children who are
cared for by a provider agency or the approval or denial of an
application submitted by the subject to a licensing agency shall
preclude the department from informing a provider or licensing agency
which makes an inquiry to the department pursuant to the provisions of
section four hundred twenty-four-a of this title concerning the subject
that the person about whom the inquiry is made is the subject of an
indicated child abuse or maltreatment report.

* NB Effective until January 1, 2022

* (ii) Upon a determination made at a fair hearing scheduled pursuant
to the provisions of subparagraph (v) of paragraph (a) of this
subdivision that the subject has been shown by a fair preponderance of
the evidence to have committed the act or acts of child abuse or
maltreatment giving rise to the indicated report, the hearing officer
shall determine, based on guidelines developed by the office of children
and family services pursuant to subdivision five of section four hundred
twenty-four-a of this title, whether such act or acts are relevant and
reasonably related to employment of the subject by a provider agency, as
defined by subdivision three of section four hundred twenty-four-a of
this title, or relevant and reasonably related to the subject being
allowed to have regular and substantial contact with children who are
cared for by a provider agency or relevant and reasonably related to the
approval or disapproval of an application submitted by the subject to a
licensing agency, as defined by subdivision four of section four hundred
twenty-four-a of this title.

Upon a determination made at a fair hearing that the act or acts of
abuse or maltreatment are relevant and reasonably related to employment
of the subject by a provider agency or the subject being allowed to have
regular and substantial contact with children who are cared for by a
provider agency or the approval or denial of an application submitted by
the subject to a licensing agency, the office of children and family
services shall notify the subject forthwith. The office of children and
family services shall inform a provider or licensing agency which makes
an inquiry to such office pursuant to the provisions of section four
hundred twenty-four-a of this title concerning the subject that the
person about whom the inquiry is made is the subject of an indicated
child abuse or maltreatment report.

The failure to determine at the fair hearing that the act or acts of
abuse and maltreatment are relevant and reasonably related to the
employment of the subject by a provider agency or to the subject being
allowed to have regular and substantial contact with children who are
cared for by a provider agency or the approval or denial of an
application submitted by the subject to a licensing agency shall
preclude the office of children and family services from informing a
provider or licensing agency which makes an inquiry to such office
pursuant to the provisions of section four hundred twenty-four-a of this
title concerning the subject that the person about whom the inquiry is
made is the subject of an indicated child abuse or maltreatment report.

* NB Effective January 1, 2022

(d) The commissioner or his or her designated agent is hereby
authorized and empowered to make any appropriate order respecting the
amendment of a record to make it accurate or consistent with the
requirements of this title.

* (e) Should the department grant the request of the subject of the
report pursuant to this subdivision either through an administrative
review or fair hearing to amend an indicated report to an unfounded
report. Such report shall be legally sealed and shall be released and
expunged in accordance with the standards set forth in subdivision five
of this section.

* NB Effective until January 1, 2022

* (e) Should the office of children and family services grant the
request of the subject of the report pursuant to this subdivision either
through an administrative review or fair hearing to amend an indicated
report to an unfounded report, such report shall be legally sealed and
shall be released and expunged in accordance with the standards set
forth in subdivision five of this section.

* NB Effective January 1, 2022

9. Written notice of any expungement or amendment of any record, made
pursuant to the provisions of this title, shall be served forthwith upon
each subject of such record, other persons named in the report, the
commissioner, and, as appropriate, the applicable local child protective
service, the justice center for the protection of people with special
needs, department of education, office of mental health, office for
people with developmental disabilities, the local social services
commissioner or school district placing the child, any attorney for the
child appointed to represent the child whose appointment has been
continued by a family court judge during the term of a child's
placement, and the director or operator of a residential care facility
or program. The local child protective service or the state agency which
investigated the report, upon receipt of such notice, shall take the
appropriate similar action in regard to its child abuse and maltreatment
register and records and inform, for the same purpose, any other agency
which received such record.

12. Any person who willfully permits and any person who encourages the
release of any data and information contained in the central register to
persons or agencies not permitted by this title shall be guilty of a
class A misdemeanor.

13. There shall be a single statewide telephone number for use by all
persons seeking general information about child abuse, maltreatment or
welfare other than for the purpose of making a report of child abuse or
maltreatment.

14. The office shall refer suspected cases of falsely reporting child
abuse and maltreatment in violation of subdivision four of section
240.50 of the penal law to the appropriate law enforcement agency or
district attorney.