In 2016, the conviction of a county legislator who used his position with a local children’s organization to sexually abuse two boys shook the local community and exposed the various ways NYS law fails to adequately protect children from this kind of abuse. As a freshman State Senator at the time, Senator Sue Serino met with the boys’ parents, heard their gut-wrenching stories first-hand and immediately introduced legislation to prevent other New York families from experiencing the pain and trauma that they have endured.
Under current New York State law, mandated reporters—those who are legally required to report observed or suspected abuse—are only required to do so if it happens at the hands of those with family relationships to the child. If the abuse is committed by someone close to the child, but outside of the family there is no law requiring that the abuse be reported—a fact many parents would be shocked to learn. Senator Serino's bill would change that by expressly requiring that any person 18 years of age or older working directly with children—whether the position is paid or volunteer—be required to report any suspected abuse directly to law enforcement.
Despite this victory in the Senate, the bill failed to pass in the State Assembly. If you believe that this bill should become law, make your voice heard by signing our petition today!