Child Abuse Reporting Laws for New York

State and Statute: New York, CLS Soc. Serv. §§ 411 et seq.

What Is Reportable “Abuse”: Physical abuse or maltreatment of a child under the age of 18. [412 and New York, Family Court Act (Chapter 686, Article 10) §§ 1012]

Mandatory Reporters: Includes a Christian Science Practitioner, any school official (including teacher, counselor, psychologist, administrator, and full- or part-time employee who coaches), social services worker, day care center worker, provider of family or group family day care, director of a children’s overnight camp, summer day camp or traveling summer day camp, or any other child care or foster care worker, and mental health professional has “reasonable cause to suspect that a child coming before them in their professional or official capacity is an abused or maltreated child.” [413(1)(a)] Any entity which employs mandated reporters must provide them with written information explain- ing the reporting requirements set by the state. [413(2)]

How and Where to Report: Orally by telephone or by telephone facsimile machine on a form supplied by the commissioner of the office of children and family services to the statewide central register of child abuse and maltreatment unless the appropriate local plan for the provision of child protective services provides that oral reports should be made to the local child protective service, followed by a written report within 48 hours. [415] “Whenever such person is required to report under this title in his or her capacity as a member of the staff of a medical or other public or private institution, school, facility or agency, he or she shall make the report as required by this title and immediately notify the person in charge of such institution, school, facility or agency, or his or her designated agent. Such person in charge, or the designated agent of such person, shall be responsible for all subsequent administration necessitated by the report.” [413(1)(b)]

Timeline to Report: Immediately. [413(1)(b)] and [415]

Clergy Privilege: “Notwithstanding the privileges set forth in article forty-five of the civil practice law and rules, and any other provision of law to the contrary, mandated reporters who make a report which initiates an investigation of an allegation of child abuse or maltreatment are required to comply with all requests for records made by a child protective service relating to such report. … “[415]

Penalty for Knowingly Failing to Report: Class A misdemeanor. [420] School administrators and superintendents also subject to civil fines of not more than $5,000 for failure to submit written report. [New York, Education Law §§ 1129]

Civil Liability for Failure to Report Recognized? Yes. “Any person, official, or institution required by this title to report a case of suspected child abuse or maltreatment who knowingly and willfully fails to do so shall be civilly liable for the damages proximately caused by such failure.” [420(2)]

Immunity for Inaccurate Report: “Any person, official, or institution participating in good faith in … the making of a report … shall have immunity from any liability, civil or criminal, that might otherwise result by reason of such actions. For the purpose of any proceeding, civil or criminal, the good faith of any such person, official, or institution required to report cases of child abuse or maltreatment … shall be presumed, provided such person, official or institution was acting in discharge of their duties and within the scope of their employment, and that such liability did not result from the willful misconduct or gross negligence of such person, official or institution.” [419]

Disclosure of Mandatory Reporter’s Identity: Statutory access to confidential reports must keep reporter’s identity confidential except to persons, officials, and agencies identified by statute, unless reporter consents. Statutory disclosure must keep reporter’s identity confidential. [422 (4)(A) and 422(4)(A)(bb)]

Additional Information for New York:

All information provided here was most recently verified in March of 2023.

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