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Child Abuse Laws in New York

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Merit Career Development > Child Abuse Prevention Training > Child Abuse Laws in New York


Child Abuse Laws in New York


Definition of Child Abuse and Neglect


To better understand this issue and to view it across states, see the Definitions of Child Abuse and Neglect: Summary of State Laws publication (PDF - 665 KB)


Physical Abuse
Soc. Serv. Law § 371


Abused child means a child less than age 18 whose parent or other person legally responsible for his or her care:

  • Inflicts or allows to be inflicted upon such child physical injury by other than accidental means that causes or creates a substantial risk of death, serious or protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of physical or emotional health, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ
  • Creates or allows to be created a substantial risk of physical injury to such child by other than accidental means that would be likely to cause death, serious or protracted disfigurement, protracted impairment of physical or emotional health, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily organ


Neglect
Soc. Serv. Law § 371


Neglected child means a child less than age 18 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 or her parent or other person legally responsible for his or her care to exercise a minimum degree of care:

  • In supplying the child with adequate food, clothing, shelter, education, or medical or surgical care, although financially able to do so or offered financial or other reasonable means to do so
  • In providing the child with proper supervision or guardianship
  • By unreasonably inflicting or allowing harm to be inflicted, or a substantial risk thereof, including the infliction of excessive corporal punishment
  • By misusing drugs or alcoholic beverages to the extent that he or she loses self-control of his or her actions
  • By any other acts of a similarly serious nature requiring the aid of the court


Sexual Abuse
Soc. Serv. Law § 371


Abused child means a child less than age 18 whose parent or other person legally responsible for his or her care commits, or allows to be committed, an act of sexual abuse against such child, as defined in title H, article 130, of the penal law.


Emotional Abuse
Family Court Act § 1012


Impairment of emotional health and impairment of mental or emotional condition includes a state of substantially diminished psychological or intellectual functioning in relation to, but not limited to, such factors as failure to thrive, control of aggressive or self-destructive impulses, ability to think and reason, acting out, or misbehavior, including incorrigibility, ungovernability, or habitual truancy; provided, however, that such impairment must be clearly attributable to the unwillingness or inability of the respondent to exercise a minimum degree of care toward the child.


Abandonment
Soc. Serv. Law § 384-b


A child is abandoned by his parent if such parent evinces an intent to forego his or her parental rights and obligations as manifested by his or her failure to visit the child and communicate with the child or agency, although able to do so and not prevented or discouraged from doing so by the agency. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, such ability to visit and communicate shall be presumed.


Standards for Reporting
Soc. Serv. Law § 371


A report is required when a child has been subjected to harm or a substantial risk of harm.


Persons Responsible for the Child
Soc. Serv. Law § 371; Family Court Act § 1012


Responsible persons include the child's parent and other persons legally responsible for the child's care.

Person legally responsible includes the child's custodian, guardian, any other person responsible for the child's care at the relevant time. A custodian may include any person continually or at regular intervals found in the same household as the child when the conduct of such person causes or contributes to the abuse or neglect of the child.


Exceptions

No exceptions were specified in the statutes reviewed.


Click here to view information about the penalties for failing to report and false reporting of child abuse in New York


To view child abuse laws for another state, select the state in the drop-down menu.


State/Territory  



NEED MORE INFORMATION ABOUT CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION?

How about the consequences of not reporting? Or, other websites about child abuse? We also offer and online review of key information not contained in state laws, such as recognizing the signs of abuse and how to report it. Learn more about this expert resource.