New law protects children by helping identify suspected cases of child abuse
Albany, NY - August 12, 2011
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a new law to require directors of summer camps to report known or suspected child abuse to state authorities.
"Those who work with our children at summer camps are well positioned to notice the signs of child abuse," Governor Cuomo said. "By requiring camp directors to report suspected child maltreatment wherever it may occur, we are stepping up our fight against child abuse and protecting children across New York State. I thank Senator Martins and Assemblyman Englebright for their work on this much-needed legislation."
The new law adds camp directors, including those of overnight camps, summer day camps and traveling summer day camps, to the list of persons who are mandated to report known or suspected child abuse or maltreatment to the Statewide Central Register (SCR) maintained by the Office of Children and Family Services. Previously, camp directors were required to report allegations of child abuse only while the child is at the camp. This bill expands the obligation to mandate SCR reports for known or suspected child abuse wherever it may occur and protects camp directors who report suspected maltreatment in good faith from potential civil or criminal liability.
Senator Jack Martins said, "Our children's safety is our top priority and this law will help authorities identify suspected child abuse cases. New York already requires many different professionals to report child abuse, and it makes sense for camp counselors in their position of supervision of our children to be added to that list of mandated reporters. I praise Governor Cuomo for signing this law and his leadership on issues that protect children across New York from harm."
Assemblyman Steve Englebright said, "Child abuse prevention starts with people speaking up when they suspect mistreatment is occurring. This common sense law extends existing requirements to add camp directors to the list of professionals who interact on a regular basis with our children who are mandated to report suspected abuse. I thank Governor Cuomo for signing this bill and together we will continue to fight for the safety of our children."