Members of various professions, such as medicine, teaching, and social
work to name a few, are obligated to report suspected child abuse or child
neglect to state authorities. These professionals are called “mandated
reporters.” The purpose is for these professionals, who may be in
contact with abused children, who may have earned the trust and respect
of abuse children, and who may be in the best position to identify abused
children through their close interactions with children, should be obligated
to protect the child’s best interest and report abuse to the state.
Experienced Newburgh attorneys are familiar with and understand how to use the New York mandated reporter
statute. This statute is found within
Section 413 of the New York Social Services Law. It states in part that mandated reporters must:
“report or cause a report to be made in accordance with this title
when they have a reasonable cause to suspect that a child coming before
them in their professional or official capacity is an abused or maltreated
child, or when they have reasonable cause to suspect that a child is an
abused or maltreated child where the parent, guardian, custodian or other
person legally responsible for such child comes before them in their professional
or official capacity and states from personal knowledge facts, conditions
or circumstances which, if correct, would render the child an abused or
Physicians, chiropractors, surgeons, psychologists, dentists, social workers,
teachers, school administrators, hospital personnel who treat patients,
day care workers, police officers, district attorneys, assistant district
attorneys, are just some of the mandated reporters. Only when these persons
gain knowledge of suspected abuse or neglect while acting under their
professional capacity do they have the responsibility to report suspected
abuse or neglect.
By way of example, say a child patient tells her doctor that she is being
sexually abused by a relative. The doctor must report the allegation because
the doctor became aware of the abuse while working under his or her capacity
as a physician. On the other hand, if the doctor was at a store and overheard
a young teen telling another teen about being abused, that doctor is not
obligated to report the abuse.
“Reasonable cause” is quite broad and simply means that based
on the professional’s training, experience, and contact with the
child, the professional believes that the person legally responsible for
the child is responsible for harming the child or for placing the child
at risk of imminent harm.
A “personal legally responsible” for the child is a parent,
legal guardian, caretaker, or any other person who, over the age of 18
years, has the responsibility to care for the child. Legal responsibility
does not apply to all persons who may have a relationship with the child.
For example, the college student next door who babysits a first grade
student for an hour after school might not be a mandated reporter.
Any person obligated by law to report suspected child abuse and/or child
neglect who fails to make such a report may face criminal charges.
Section 420 of the New York Social Services Law makes such failure to report a class A misdemeanor. The same section also
creates civil liability if the failure to report causes additional harm
to a child.
Our child abuse attorneys at
Mainetti, Mainetti, and O’Connor, P.C. have over 100 years of combined experience working with victims of personal
injury accidents throughout New York. We understand how to effectively
represent clients who have been injured in serious personal injury accidents,
particularly throughout the Mid-Hudson Valley region in Kingston, Poughkeepsie,
and Newburgh where we have offices. Hear
what our clients are saying about us here and learn about just some of our
successful results here. If you or a loved one has been injured in a personal injury accident,
please do not hesitate to contact us by calling 845-340-HURT (4878) or
toll free at 866-440-4452, or by using the
convenient contact form here.