January 03, 2008

UPDATE: Child Abuse Mandatory Reporting Requirements for School Employees

Download complete Information Bulletin (290k pdf)


NOTE: This bulletin updates and replaces NYSUT Information Bulletin #200703.

Abused and neglected children may be found in any classroom in any school in any community. School personnel are in a unique position to observe children daily over periods of time and may be aware that something is not right with a child long before anyone else notices. Local leaders and members are often faced with questions and problems regarding who must report suspected child abuse to whom and under what circumstances.

This Information Bulletin provides the legal requirements for school employees and includes changes to New York State Social Services Law as amended by Chapter 193 of the Laws of 2007, effective October 2007. Chapter 193 defines the term school official, requires mandated reporters to directly report instances of suspected child abuse to the Central Register and inform the person in charge of the school, prohibits a school from retaliation against an employee for making a referral and from imposing any conditions, including approval or prior notification, upon an employee specifically required by social services law to make direct reports.

There are two ways school employees may be involved in child abuse reporting.

  1. They have a reasonable cause to suspect a child is the victim of abuse or maltreatment by someone in parental relation to the child.  (Covered by Social Services Law)

  2. They witness or receive allegations of child abuse by an employee or volunteer in an educational setting. (Covered by Education Law)

The contents of this Information Bulletin, available in full in the PDF format, include:

  • An Overview of the Social Services Law as Amended October 2007 (Page 2);

  • An Overview of the Education Law (Page 6);

  • Side-by-Side Comparison of Both Laws (Page 11);

  • Advice to Local Leaders (Page 12);

  • Available Resources (Page 13);

  • Social Services Law Article VI, Title VI (Page 14)

  • Education Law Article 23-B (Page 31);

  • Child Abuse in an Educational Setting Report Form (Page 35); and

  • Suspected Child Abuse or Maltreatment - Social Services Report Form) (Page 36)

Download complete Information Bulletin (290k pdf)