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NEW YORK CHILD ABUSE AND NEGLECT – PART 6: MANDATORY REPORTERS

In an effort to identify those children who might be the victim of abuse or neglect in New York, certain individuals who are in a position to observe signs of abuse and/or neglect are required by law to make a report when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child coming before them in their professional or official capacity is abused or maltreated. These individuals are referred to as “mandatory reporters”. (See Soc Ser. Law § 413).

Almost all reports of abuse or maltreatment are made by “mandatory reporters”. The list of mandatory reporters is quite long and includes physicians, dentists, nurses, social workers, school officials, substance abuse counselors, police officers, and assistant district attorneys. When one of these mandatory reporters has reasonable cause to believe your child has been abused or maltreated, they are required by law to report such suspected abuse or maltreatment in accordance with Soc. Ser. Law § 413(1)(b) & (c).

Employers of mandatory reporters must provide new hires with written information explaining their mandatory reporting requirements. (See Soc Ser. Law § 413(2)). Any state or local agency that licenses or issues certificates to day care facilities shall provide the licensee with written information regarding mandatory reporting requirements. (See Soc Ser. Law § 413(3)). Finally, any agency, employer or other organization that employs mandatory reporters who travel, in the normal course of their duties, to where children reside must provide those mandatory reporters with information or how to recognize an unlawful methamphetamine laboratory. (See Soc Ser. Law § 413(4)). As a result of mandatory reporting laws, most reports of child abuse, neglect and/or maltreatment are made by school employees or doctors who observe signs of abuse, neglect and/or maltreatment.

If you are the subject of a Child Protective Services, Administration for Children’s Services or a police investigation, contact Tilem & Campbell toll free at 1-877-377-8666 or visit www.tilemandcampbell.com for more information. You do have rights and you should know them.