Cuomo Signs Child Abuse Bill

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has signed legislation to better protect children by adding school coaches to the field of professionals required to report suspected abuse to authorities.

The bill, Senate Bill 4751B and Assembly bill 421C, will also require coaches who currently hold or apply for a temporary coaching license or professional coaching certificate to complete two hours of training regarding the identification and reporting of child abuse and maltreatment.

“This legislation is another step forward in New York’s fight against child abuse,” Cuomo said. “With the proper training, and the clear mandate to report suspected instances of abuse, school coaches will play a crucial role in keeping our children safe and out of harm’s way.”

The law had previously been unclear on whether individuals in these positions must report suspected cases of abuse. This legislation clarifies that coaches who are paid employees of a school district have a duty to report suspected abuse. As with all mandated reporters, coaches will be protected from civil liability resulting from reports that are proven unfounded.

The commissioner of education will prescribe regulations for this new training. Documentation of the completed coursework will be required to obtain and hold a temporary coaching license or professional coaching certificate, effective July 1, 2015.