Senate Passes Monroe County Child Abuse Prevention Bill

Joseph E. Robach

June 20, 2007

Provides $500,000 to Monroe County Nonprofits to Help Families in Need

The Senate unanimously passed a new initiative yesterday sponsored by Senator Joseph Robach designed to help prevent child abuse and neglect in the home through the visitation by trained child care experts to families at risk of abuse and neglect. The bill (S.4908-C) provides $500,000 to non-profits in Monroe County to operate child abuse prevention home visiting programs.

Research in the last decade has discovered what works to prevent child maltreatment—home visits made by trained professionals to families at risk of abuse and neglect. New York State has a screening process that uses a number of variables including Medicaid births, infant mortality and teen pregnancy rates to identify areas in which child maltreatment is likely to occur.

"Since parts of Monroe County were recently identified as having a significant proportion of risk factors for child abuse and neglect, one of my priorities this session was to better protect our children from maltreatment. Home visiting programs are designed to better prepare young and inexperienced parents, many of whom may be at risk of abusing their children, for the responsibilities they face" said Senator Robach.

"In New York State, more than 75,000 children each year are found to be abused or neglected, often by the people charged with caring for them. It is not enough to simply raise the penalties, or remove children from their homes. We need to prevent these cases from occurring in the first place."

The bill now awaits action in the Assembly.