Senator Bonacic Announces Passage of Senate Bill 2016: Child Abuse Calls From Mandated Reporters Must Be Investigated

John J. Bonacic

June 11, 2014

Senator Bonacic today announces that legislation he introduced, Senate Bill 2016, requiring that certain mandated reporters who phone in child abuse or maltreatment reports to the statewide child abuse hotline be immediately referred to local child abuse investigators, has passed in the New York State Senate. 

“The need for this bill stems from a 1998 incident where a child was murdered by his mother and others responsible for his care,” said Senator Bonacic.  “Area newspaper reports indicated that a call had been made to a child abuse hotline by a professional, but the description did not rise to what was perceived to be ‘abuse,’ and the call was never transmitted to local child protective services.  Had that been transmitted, this child may be alive today.  I know this bill will serve as the voice of our most vulnerable children, and it will save lives,” adding, “This is the 6th time that this bill has passed the Senate, but has yet to receive a vote in the Assembly.”

Mandated reporters include physicians, registered nurses or registered physician's assistant, social workers, psychologists, or law enforcement officials, and such telephone calls shall not be screened by the hotline but shall be immediately transmitted to the appropriate child protective service for investigation.  

The bill also provides for the child protective service of each county to establish procedures for communication and cooperation with local hospitals and law enforcement to better protect the interests of at risk children and to better provide essential services to their families.

The bill now moves to the Assembly for a vote again this year.