Senator Martins' Bill Protecting Children Signed Into Law

Jack M. Martins

July 12, 2011

A bill introduced by Senator Jack M. Martins that requires camp operators to report suspected child abuse or maltreatment has been signed into law by the Governor.

The previous law stated that camp directors are only required to report abuse or maltreatment to the Department of Health when the abuse or maltreatment occurs at the camp. The camp director is not obligated to report abuse or maltreatment that occurs outside the camp. Should they choose to contact the proper authorities, the camp director could have been subject to civil liability such as slander and defamation.

With the new law, camp directors, as mandated reporters, will safeguard children and will be afforded the protections to guarantee they will not hesitate to report suspected abuse or maltreatment. The new law encompasses children’s overnight camps, summer day camps or traveling summer day camps.

“This new law will add a further protection to our children as it essentially gives camp directors the tool necessary to report suspected cases of abuse. When it comes to our children, nobody should look the other way,” said Senator Martins. “Camp directors work with hundreds of children each year. Their first interest is in the safety and well-being of their campers and if they suspect child abuse or maltreatment, they will report their suspicions. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for signing this important measure.”