Brooklyn – On Wednesday, August 12, 2009, Governor David A. Paterson signed into law a bill authored by Senator Velmanette Montgomery and Assemblywoman Joan L. Millman to improve social services provided to children. Specifically, A.7846-B/S.4865-B reforms the family court act and the social services law to remove the special powers that were granted to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (SPCC) in the 1870s. This new law ensures that all child protective services are overseen and regulated by New York State.
Senator Montgomery, who serves as Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Children and Families, said, “We finally have in place a measure of accountability to our children that has been missing for far too long. I appreciate the Governor supporting our work to help protect our young people from abuse and neglect.”
“Working with Senator Montgomery, we have ensured that New York’s most vulnerable children will no longer fall through the cracks,” Millman stated. “The impact of this bill is immeasurable, and though it likely will not receive much fanfare, its impact extends to countless children and families. I thank the Governor for recognizing the merits of this bill and signing it into law.”
Senator Montgomery and Assemblywoman Millman introduced the bill in response to findings by the New York State Commission of Investigation that agents of the SPCC were abusing their authority. Agents of the SPCC have been documented misrepresenting themselves as law enforcement officers, interfering with police investigations and asking school and hospital officials to report instances of child abuse to them instead of to the New York State hotline. Streamlining these services ensures that all cases of child abuse and neglect in the state can be properly documented and addressed.