Senator Joseph Robach announced today the passage of a bill he sponsored, S4649, that would help improve local child protective services investigations. Specifically, this bill would allow caseworkers access to criminal history reports of those individuals residing with children alleged or suspected to be abused, maltreated, or neglected.
New York State Child Protective Service workers, who do not have arrest authority, are virtually defenseless and at risk when responding to alleged complaints of child abuse. In addition to risking their own safety when making required unannounced home visits, these workers are required to make assessments about the safety and risk to a child victim and other children living in the home.
"It is our responsibility, as legislators, to provide those working to protect our children with every tool available" stated Senator Robach. "This legislation would provide CPS workers access to the same databases used by law enforcement to give them the necessary information to assess their own safety and the risk level of the children involved."
Access to criminal history record checks of persons residing in the residence, or who are named in a report of a child alleged to be abused, will assist CPS workers in making appropriate assessments about the safety of the children, and would reveal persons who have violent criminal histories or who have previously committed crimes against children. By having this information in advance, CPS workers could make appropriate decisions for a safer response and would themselves be less at risk as well as having a fuller understanding of the child's situation.
"I am happy that the Senate recognizes the significance of this legislation which will help those working to protect are children" Senator Robach continued. "I urge the Assembly to act swiftly to ensure that this legislation aimed at protecting are children, and the workers who help them, is passed into law."
The legislation was one of several bills the Senate passed this week, all cosponsored by Senator Robach, that will further protectour children and punish those who abuse them. This bill, along with the others, now await action by the Assembly.