This memorandum is not intended to provide individualized legal advice. New York's child abuse reporting law mandates certain professionals to file a report when they either have reasonable cause to suspect or become aware of abuse or maltreatment (neglect) committed by a "parent, guardian, custodian or other person legally responsible" (hereinafter referred to as "parent or caregiver") for a child's care.1 Abuse or maltreatment means that the parent or caregiver directly harms the child or acts in a way that allows the child to be physically or emotionally harmed or sexually abused.2 Under New York law, a child abuse report is only required if the abuse is committed by a parent or caregiver, because they are the only ones that can be ‘the subject of a report."3 Therefore, the Statewide Central Register should only commence an investigation in a case involving suspected child abuse or maltreatment against a parent or caregiver, and not in a case involving a person who is clearly not considered a person legally responsible for the child's care,4 even if that person harmed a child.5 Harms committed by strangers or peers are therefore not mandated reports, unless a parent has allowed a third party to harm the child.
Emergency Medical Services (EMS)providers are often presented with patients who are considered by law to be minors.
The issue of providing care and/or the patient's right to refuse care becomes a complex circumstance EMS providers must address.
This is a change from previous law, which called for a medical staff member to first report to a designated agent for the agency or institution, who then was responsible for making the report.10 3. Act § 1012 at 314 (1999) ("‘Allowing' a child to be abused includes taking no appropriate protective (or preventive) action after being warned of the danger to a child").
When must a mandatory reporter make a child abuse report?
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This list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) describes when to make a report to the Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (the reporting hotline for child abuse and neglect) based on a minor's sexual activity.
This FAQ explains that according to New York courts and guidance from the Office of Child & Family Services ("OCFS"), parental knowledge of a minor's voluntary sexual activity does not necessarily give rise to reasonable suspicion of abuse or neglect and should not be reported to the Statewide Central Register, absent other indications of abuse or neglect.
In the prehospital situation the issue at hand is not usually providing care but rather the failure to treat.
A minor, in New York State, is defined as a person who is under eighteen (18) years of age.
Should a mandatory reporter file a child abuse report if he or she learns that a minor is engaged in a sexual relationship with a parent, guardian or person legally responsible -even if the minor says that it is consensual? A minor engaging in a sexual relationship with a parent, guardian or person legally responsible for their care -even if the minor considers the relationship consensual-is a proper basis for a child abuse report.14 5. 2007) (finding that a report against a half-brother was not legally justified as a report of child abuse or maltreatment because the half brother "could not be the subject of a report") 300 Fed. 4 Teachers and other school employees are not considered persons "legally responsible" under New York child abuse laws.