Bill Text: NY A04994 | 2019-2020 | General Assembly | Amended

Bill Title: Requires certain persons and officials to report child abuse or suspected child abuse to law enforcement authorities.

Spectrum: Bipartisan Bill

Status: (Introduced) 2020-01-08 - referred to children and families [A04994 Detail]

Download: New_York-2019-A04994-Amended.html

                STATE OF NEW YORK


                               2019-2020 Regular Sessions

                   IN ASSEMBLY

                                    February 6, 2019

        Introduced  by  M.  of  A. GALEF, LALOR -- read once and referred to the
          Committee on Children  and  Families  --  committee  discharged,  bill
          amended,  ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit-

        AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to the reporting of
          child abuse

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:

     1    Section  1.  Article 6 of the social services law is amended by adding
     2  a new title 6-B to read as follows:
     3                                  TITLE 6-B
     4                          REPORTS OF CHILD ABUSE TO
     5                               LAW ENFORCEMENT
     6  Section 429-a. Definitions.
     7          429-b.  Persons  and  officials  required  to  report  cases  of
     8                    suspected child abuse to appropriate law enforcement.
     9          429-c. Penalties for failure to report.
    10          429-d. Immunity from liability.
    11    § 429-a. Definitions. For the purposes of this title the term:
    12    1.  "abused  child" shall mean a child under the age of eighteen years
    13  upon whom a person eighteen years of age or older who is not the  parent
    14  or other person legally responsible for such child's care:
    15    (a)  intentionally  or  recklessly  inflicts  physical injury, serious
    16  physical injury or death, or
    17    (b) intentionally or recklessly engages in  conduct  which  creates  a
    18  substantial  risk  of physical injury, serious physical injury or death,
    19  or
    20    (c) commits or attempts to commit against a child the crime of dissem-
    21  inating indecent materials to minors pursuant  to  article  two  hundred
    22  thirty-five of the penal law, or

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 4994--A                          2

     1    (d) engages in any conduct prohibited by article one hundred thirty or
     2  two hundred sixty-three of the penal law;
     3    2. "law enforcement authorities" shall mean a municipal police depart-
     4  ment,  sheriff's department, the division of state police or any officer
     5  thereof or a district attorney or assistant district attorney.  Notwith-
     6  standing  any  other provision of law, law enforcement authorities shall
     7  not include  any  child  protective  service  or  any  society  for  the
     8  prevention  of  cruelty to children as such terms are defined in section
     9  four hundred twenty-three of this article;
    10    3. "organization" shall mean a sole  proprietor,  partnership,  corpo-
    11  ration,  limited liability company, trust, association, financial insti-
    12  tution, governmental entity other than the federal government,  and  any
    13  other  individual  or  group engaged in a trade, occupation, enterprise,
    14  governmental function, charitable function, or similar activity in  this
    15  state whether or not the entity is operated as a nonprofit or for-profit
    16  entity;
    17    4.  "member  of the clergy" shall have the same definition as the term
    18  "clergyman" as set forth in section two of  the  religious  corporations
    19  law  and  shall  also  include  any person responsible for supervising a
    20  member of the clergy of a religious institution or responsible  for  the
    21  administration of a religious institution;
    22    5.  "religious institution" shall mean a religious corporation created
    23  to enable its members to meet for  divine  worship  or  other  religious
    24  observances  or  a congregation, society, or other assemblage of persons
    25  who are accustomed to statedly meet for divine worship  or  other  reli-
    26  gious observances, without having been incorporated for that purpose, as
    27  provided in section two of the religious corporations law.
    28    §  429-b.  Persons and officials required to report cases of suspected
    29  child abuse to appropriate law enforcement. 1. The following persons and
    30  officials are required to report or cause a report  to  be  made  to  an
    31  appropriate  law  enforcement  agency when they have reasonable cause to
    32  suspect in their professional or official capacity that a  child  is  an
    33  abused  child:  any  physician; registered physician assistant; surgeon;
    34  medical examiner; coroner; dentist; dental hygienist; osteopath; optome-
    35  trist; chiropractor; podiatrist; resident; intern; psychologist;  regis-
    36  tered nurse; social worker; emergency medical technician; licensed crea-
    37  tive  arts  therapist;  licensed marriage and family therapist; licensed
    38  mental  health  counselor;  licensed  psychoanalyst;  licensed  behavior
    39  analyst;   certified  behavior  analyst  assistant;  hospital  personnel
    40  engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment of  persons;  a
    41  member of the clergy, a Christian Science practitioner; school official,
    42  which  includes  but  is  not limited to school teacher, school guidance
    43  counselor, school psychologist,  school  social  worker,  school  nurse,
    44  school administrator or other school personnel required to hold a teach-
    45  ing  or administrative license or certificate; full or part-time compen-
    46  sated school employee required to hold a temporary coaching  license  or
    47  professional coaching certificate; social services worker; employee of a
    48  publicly-funded  emergency  shelter for families with children; director
    49  of a children's overnight camp, summer day camp or traveling summer  day
    50  camp,  as  such camps are defined in section thirteen hundred ninety-two
    51  of the public health law; day care center worker; school-age child  care
    52  worker;  provider of family or group family day care; employee or volun-
    53  teer in a residential care  facility  for  children  that  is  licensed,
    54  certified  or operated by the office of children and family services; or
    55  any other child care or foster care worker; mental health  professional;
    56  substance  abuse  counselor;  alcoholism  counselor; all persons creden-

        A. 4994--A                          3

     1  tialed by the office of alcoholism and substance abuse services; employ-
     2  ees, who are expected to have regular and substantial contact with chil-
     3  dren, of a health home or health home care management agency contracting
     4  with a health home as designated by the department of health and author-
     5  ized  under  section  three hundred sixty-five-l of this chapter or such
     6  employees who provide home and community based services under  a  demon-
     7  stration  program  pursuant  to  section  eleven  hundred fifteen of the
     8  federal social security  act  who  are  expected  to  have  regular  and
     9  substantial  contact  with  children;  peace  officer;  police  officer;
    10  district attorney or assistant district attorney; investigator  employed
    11  in the office of a district attorney; other law enforcement official; or
    12  any  person  eighteen  years  of age or older, through his or her affil-
    13  iation, or in his or her official, professional, or supervisory  capaci-
    14  ty,  either paid or unpaid, with an organization that provides services,
    15  programming or supervision to a person less than eighteen years of age.
    16    2. Reports of suspected child abuse shall be made immediately by tele-
    17  phone or by telephone facsimile on a form supplied by  the  commissioner
    18  of  the  office  of  children  and family services to an appropriate law
    19  enforcement agency. Such telephone reports shall be followed by a report
    20  in  writing  within  twenty-four  hours  after  such  oral  report.  The
    21  provisions  of  article  twenty-three-B of the education law shall apply
    22  when allegations of abuse or maltreatment by an  employee  or  volunteer
    23  under  such  article are made in an educational setting. Nothing in this
    24  subdivision shall require a person or official required to report  cases
    25  of  suspected  child abuse to additionally notify the statewide register
    26  of child abuse and maltreatment unless the relationship of the victim to
    27  the alleged perpetrator is in doubt. Notwithstanding any other provision
    28  of law, law enforcement agency shall not include  any  child  protective
    29  service or any society for the prevention of cruelty to children as such
    30  terms are defined in section four hundred twenty-three of this article.
    31    3.  Persons  and officials required to report cases of suspected child
    32  abuse to appropriate law enforcement agencies are required to complete a
    33  training program in the identification and  reporting  of  child  abuse.
    34  Such  program  shall  be  approved  by the office of children and family
    35  services. The commissioner shall provide  public  notice  that  mandated
    36  reporting training materials and information have been updated and shall
    37  prescribe  a  period  of  compliance  for  mandated reporters to receive
    38  updated training information, including but  not  limited  to,  training
    39  distributed by the office on its public website.
    40    §  429-c.  Penalties  for failure to report. 1. Any person required by
    41  this title to report a case of suspected child abuse who willfully fails
    42  to do so shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
    43    2. Any person required by this title to report  a  case  of  suspected
    44  child  abuse who knowingly and willfully fails to do so shall be civilly
    45  liable for the damages proximately caused by such failure.
    46    § 429-d. Immunity from liability. 1. Any  person  who  in  good  faith
    47  makes  a report of allegations of child abuse as required by this title,
    48  including those who in good faith make a report to the wrong  recipient,
    49  shall have immunity from criminal liability which might otherwise result
    50  by reason of such actions.
    51    2. Any person who reasonably and in good faith makes a report of alle-
    52  gations  of  child  abuse as required by this title, shall have immunity
    53  from civil liability which might otherwise  result  by  reason  of  such
    54  actions.
    55    §  2. This act shall take effect one year after it shall have become a
    56  law.