NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A6662B
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the social services law, in relation to establishing the
"child abuse reporting expansion act"
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:
This bill adds clergy members to the list of mandated reporters of
suspected child abuse and maltreatment.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 states that this act shall be known as the "child abuse
reporting expansion (CARE) act".
Section 2 amends section 413 of the social services law to add clergy
members as mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and maltreatment.
Section 3 amends section 413 of the social services law to clarify
matters relating to certain privileges.
Section 4 provides the effective date.
DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE):
The amended version adds a new section 3.
New York's recently enacted Child Victims Act allows child victims of
sexual abuse, who were previously time-barred by the statute of limita-
tions, the opportunity to file lawsuits concerning their abuse up to age
55. While this is an important step in ensuring prior victims of child
sexual abuse are made whole, it is also imperative that we close the
loopholes in our law that permitted such abuse to exist undetected for
decades. One way to do that is to ensure that clergy members be added to
the list of mandatory reporters of child abuse and maltreatment. Clergy
members are not included in the otherwise extensive list of profes-
sionals required to report suspected cases of child abuse.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS:
None to the State.
This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2019-2020 Regular Sessions
March 14, 2019
Introduced by M. of A. WALLACE, SIMOTAS, D'URSO, BURKE, SIMON, STIRPE,
BUTTENSCHON, JAFFEE -- read once and referred to the Committee on
Children and Families -- recommitted to the Committee on Children and
Families in accordance with Assembly Rule 3, sec. 2 -- committee
discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted
to said committee -- reported and referred to the Committee on Codes
-- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended
and recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to establishing the
"child abuse reporting expansion act"
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "child
2 abuse reporting expansion act".
3 § 2. Paragraph (a) of subdivision 1 of section 413 of the social
4 services law, as amended by section 7 of part C of chapter 57 of the
5 laws of 2018, is amended to read as follows:
6 (a) The following persons and officials are required to report or
7 cause a report to be made in accordance with this title when they have
8 reasonable cause to suspect that a child coming before them in their
9 professional or official capacity is an abused or maltreated child, or
10 when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an abused or
11 maltreated child where the parent, guardian, custodian [or], other
12 person legally responsible for such child comes before them in their
13 professional or official capacity and states from personal knowledge
14 facts, conditions or circumstances which, if correct, would render the
15 child an abused or maltreated child: any physician; registered physician
16 assistant; surgeon; medical examiner; coroner; dentist; dental hygien-
17 ist; osteopath; optometrist; chiropractor; podiatrist; resident; intern;
18 psychologist; registered nurse; social worker; emergency medical techni-
19 cian; licensed creative arts therapist; licensed marriage and family
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 6662--B 2
1 therapist; licensed mental health counselor; licensed psychoanalyst;
2 licensed behavior analyst; certified behavior analyst assistant; hospi-
3 tal personnel engaged in the admission, examination, care or treatment
4 of persons; a Christian Science practitioner; clergy member or other
5 minister of any religion; school official, which includes but is not
6 limited to school teacher, school guidance counselor, school psychol-
7 ogist, school social worker, school nurse, school administrator or other
8 school personnel required to hold a teaching or administrative license
9 or certificate; full or part-time compensated school employee required
10 to hold a temporary coaching license or professional coaching certif-
11 icate; social services worker; employee of a publicly-funded emergency
12 shelter for families with children; director of a children's overnight
13 camp, summer day camp or traveling summer day camp, as such camps are
14 defined in section thirteen hundred ninety-two of the public health law;
15 day care center worker; school-age child care worker; provider of family
16 or group family day care; employee or volunteer in a residential care
17 facility for children that is licensed, certified or operated by the
18 office of children and family services; or any other child care or
19 foster care worker; mental health professional; substance abuse counse-
20 lor; alcoholism counselor; all persons credentialed by the office of
21 alcoholism and substance abuse services; employees, who are expected to
22 have regular and substantial contact with children, of a health home or
23 health home care management agency contracting with a health home as
24 designated by the department of health and authorized under section
25 three hundred sixty-five-l of this chapter or such employees who provide
26 home and community based services under a demonstration program pursuant
27 to section eleven hundred fifteen of the federal social security act who
28 are expected to have regular and substantial contact with children;
29 peace officer; police officer; district attorney or assistant district
30 attorney; investigator employed in the office of a district attorney; or
31 other law enforcement official.
32 § 3. Subdivision 1 of section 413 of the social services law is
33 amended by adding five new paragraphs (e), (f), (g), (h) and (i) to read
34 as follows:
35 (e) Unless the person confessing or confiding waives the privilege, a
36 member of the clergy, or other minister of any religion or duly accred-
37 ited Christian Science practitioner, shall not be required to make a
38 report as required by paragraph (a) of this subdivision if the
39 confession or confidence was made to him or her in his or her profes-
40 sional character as spiritual advisor.
41 (f) When a member of the clergy has reasonable cause to suspect that a
42 child is an abused or maltreated child based upon any information
43 received other than through a confession or confidence made pursuant to
44 paragraph (e) of this subdivision, then such member of the clergy shall
45 promptly make a report as required by paragraph (a) of this subdivision
46 notwithstanding the fact that he or she may have also received a report
47 of abuse or maltreatment through a confession or confidence made pursu-
48 ant to paragraph (e) of this subdivision.
49 (g) The provisions of paragraph (e) of this subdivision shall not be
50 deemed to exempt a member of the clergy from any other requirements of
51 law to prevent the perpetrator from committing additional acts of abuse.
52 (h) For the purposes of this subdivision the term "member of the cler-
53 gy" shall have the same definition as the term "clergyman" as set forth
54 in section two of the religious corporations law and shall also include
55 any person responsible for supervising a member of the clergy of a reli-
A. 6662--B 3
1 gious institution or responsible for the administration of a religious
3 (i) For the purposes of this subdivision the term "religious institu-
4 tion" shall mean a religious corporation created to enable its members
5 to meet for divine worship or other religious observances or a congre-
6 gation, society, or other assemblage of persons who are accustomed to
7 statedly meet for divine worship or other religious observances, without
8 having been incorporated for that purpose, as provided in section two of
9 the religious corporations law.
10 § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.