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New York Child Abuse Laws

New York child abuse laws fall within the Penal Code, as they do in other states. The crime is broadly defined to include any type of cruelty inflicted on a child, such as mental abuse, physical abuse, sexual assault or exploitation, and neglect. Charges for physical child abuse often include assault and battery. Child abuse laws also include provisions requiring certain adults with access to children (such as teachers and doctors) to report signs of abuse.

What Agency Handles Child Abuse Allegations and Investigations In New York State?

The New York State Office of Children and Family Services is required to investigate child abuse and maltreatment reports, to protect children (under 18 years old) from further abuse or maltreatment, and to provide rehabilitative services to children, parents, and other family members involved.

Who Is Considered a Mandated Reporter Of Child Abuse?

The following groups of persons are mandated to make a child abuse report:

  • Medical and hospital personnel;
  • School officials;
  • Social service workers;
  • Child care workers;
  • Residential care workers and volunteers;
  • Law enforcement personnel.

Here is a general overview of New York child abuse laws, mandatory reporting requirements, and penalties for failure to report. See Details on State Child Abuse Laws for more general information.

Code Section Soc. Services. §411-428
What Constitutes Abuse Injury by other than accidental means causing death, disfigurement, impairment of physical or emotional health; deliberate indifference causing such injury; creating substantial risk of such injury; sexual abuse, permitting sexual criminal behavior
Mandatory Reporting Required By Physician, coroner, dentist, chiropractor, psychologist, nurse, school official, hospital personnel, social services worker, day care center worker, mental health professional, Christian Science practitioner, substance abuse/alcoholism counselor, peace officer, police officer, district attorney, residential care facility worker, foster care worker, optometrist, podiatrist, EMT; any person may report
Basis of Report of Abuse/neglect Reasonable cause to suspect that a child is abused or maltreated or knows from personal knowledge of parent or guardian, facts, conditions, or circumstances which, if correct, would render the child abused or maltreated
To Whom Reported Statewide central register of child abuse or local child protective services
Penalty for Failure to Report or False Reporting Class A misdemeanor and civil liability

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a New York criminal attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Charged With Child Abuse? Make Sure You Have Legal Help 

Child abuse is a very serious crime, and juries aren't typically very sympathetic toward those who are accused. If you or someone you know has been charged with child abuse in New York, you will want the best representation possible -- especially because the penalties can be steep. Talk to a New York criminal defense attorney today to learn more.

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