FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 25, 2008
STATEMENT BY MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG HAILING PASSAGE OF STATE LEGISLATION LETTING ACS WORKERS PERFORM PROACTIVE CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECKS TO PROTECT CHILDREN
"Again and again, we're seeing the Albany Legislature pass strong, smart legislation this week that naysayers said would never see the light of day. That happened again last night when the State Assembly passed a bill that allows Administration for Children's Services caseworkers to check and compare criminal records of adults in households where credible child abuse allegations have been reported. This is something that our Administration has been strongly advocating for years and most recently as part of the ACS reforms we made through the Mayor's Interagency Task Force on Child Welfare and Safety in the wake of the Nixzmary Brown tragedy. The State Senate passed this legislation earlier this session.
"As I have said before, no one would ever ask a police officer to investigate a crime without being able to see a suspect's history - yet we ask our ACS child protective workers to investigate abuse and neglect without knowing the subject's criminal history or the history of other adults in the home. They're out there with one hand tied behind their backs because, until now, they lacked the ability to run rap sheets on any adult in the house where an allegation had been made. Making a determination about a child's safety is hard enough - but making it without the best and fullest information is just plain dangerous.
"I want to thank Assemblywoman Mayersohn and Senator Robach who have worked long and hard to make this bill a reality, as well as Senator Bruno and Speaker Silver for their leadership in getting this important legislation passed."
Stu Loeser/Farrell Sklerov (212) 788-2958