Protect kids, respect parents: Review and update the process for registering people accused of endangering children

Originally published in New York Daily News on August 25, 2019.

The New York State central register, holding hundreds of thousands of names of people reported for mistreating children, is a well-intended list, meant to help fulfill one of New York’s highest responsibilities: keeping all its children safe.

But it is too easy to get onto, and too difficult to get off of, even when mistreatment allegations prove unfounded.

Nearly 50,000 people are added to the database each year. They generally land there not after formal civil or criminal adjudication but after a social worker and supervisor determine there’s some “credible evidence” abuse or neglect actually happened.

That’s a threshold lower than the one for proving charges in a family, much less criminal, court.

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Note from Senator Montgomery:

Thank you to the New York Daily News for spotlighting this important issue and for their support of my SCR legislation.