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New York State Laws and Announcements View Federal Laws and Announcements


Laws Governing Child Abuse and Neglect in NYS
There are two bodies of law in New York State that deal with child abuse and maltreatment in a familial context.


The Social Services Law (SSL)
Title Six of Article Six of the Social Services Law defines child abuse and maltreatment, outlines the roles and responsibilities of the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) and Local Departments of Social Services (LDSS) regarding investigations, outcomes and records related to such.


Definition of an abused child
An abused child is a child less than eighteen years of age whose parent or other person legally responsible for his care:
  • inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon the child serious physical injury, or

  • creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of physical injury, or

  • commits sexual abuse against the child or allows sexual abuse to be committed.


Definition of a maltreated child
A maltreated child is a child under eighteen years of age whose physical, mental or emotional condition has been impaired or is in imminent danger of becoming impaired as a result of the failure of his parent or other person legally responsible for his care to exercise a minimum degree of care:

  • in supplying the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, medical or surgical care, though financially able to do so or offered financial or other reasonable means to do so; or

  • in providing the child with proper supervision or guardianship; or

  • by unreasonably inflicting, or allowing to be inflicted, harm or a substantial risk thereof, including the infliction of excessive corporal punishment; or

  • by misusing a drug or drugs; or

  • by misusing alcoholic beverages to the extent that he loses self-control of his actions; or

  • by any other acts of a similarly serious nature requiring the aid of the Family Court; or

  • by abandoning the child.


The Family Court Act (FCA)
Public health law examines the authority of the government at various jurisdictional levels to improve the health of the general population within societal limits and norms.

Article 10 of the Family Court Act further defines child abuse, maltreatment and other key terms commonly used in investigations and reports.

In 2016 the New York State Legislature passed a bill that was signed into law regarding the identification and assessment of human trafficking victims. The law requires that facilities establish and implement written policies and procedures and provide ongoing training for all facility personnel. This law went into effect November 4, 2017.

The addition of section 2805-Y addresses two subjects:

  1. Every subject facility shall provide for the identification, assessment, and appropriate treatment or referral of persons suspected as human trafficking victims. This includes the requirement that facilities establish and implement written policies and procedures and provide ongoing training for all facility personnel.

  2. In the case of persons under eighteen years old, the reporting of such persons as an abused or maltreated child is required under title six of article six of the social services law.

    • Mandated reporters are required to report suspected child abuse or maltreatment when, in their professional capacity, they are presented with reasonable cause to suspect child abuse or maltreatment.
    • If a minor victim discloses involvement in human trafficking, regardless of the caregiver being a perpetrator, the SCR should be called as a first step (1-800-635-1522).

Read Legislation 2805-Y.
Identification and assessment of human trafficking victims (2 pages PDF)








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SUNY Upstate Medical University
Syracuse, New York
www.CHAMPprogram.com
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