Mandated Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse or Neglect
All teachers, nurses, and administrators who work in public schools are mandated reporters, which means that they are required by law to report suspected cases of child abuse or neglect to Child Protective Services. Recent changes to legislation (§A3053-A) have amended the mandated reporting requirements, which took effect on October 1, 2007.
Under the previous provisions of the mandated reporting law, school personnel who, in the course of performing their professional responsibilities, had reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect were required by law to inform a school official, who would then contact the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Registry. Under the amended mandated reporting law, “school official” has been specifically defined to include “teachers, guidance counselors, psychologists, social workers, school nurses, and any other school personnel required to hold teaching or administrative license or certification.”As a result of this change, individual staff members who are mandated reporters and who have reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or neglect must be the person who directly contacts the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Registry to report the suspected abuse or neglect. After making the report to the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Registry, staff members must then inform the building principal, who is responsible for all subsequent administration necessitated by the report.
The amended mandated reporting law further provides that (1) school districts shall not take any retaliatory personnel action in response to a report being made to the Child Protective Services registry, and (2) school districts shall not impose any conditions, including prior approval or prior notification, upon a staff member who is required to report cases of suspected abuse or neglect.
In the event of suspected child abuse or neglect, staff members who are mandated reporters must contact the New York State Child Abuse and Maltreatment Registry at 1-800-342-3720 or 1-800-635-1522.
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