Who are Mandated Reporters?

Mandated Reporters are (1) Custodians and (2) Human Service Professionals.

1.      Custodians:
Custodians are individuals who are employed by, or volunteer at, state operated, licensed or certified facilities or agencies under the Justice Center’s jurisdiction. Consultants, volunteers or contractors of organizations or companies that contract with facilities and agencies under the Justice Center’s jurisdiction are also considered to be custodians if they have regular and substantial contact with a service recipient.
2.      Human Service Professionals 

Medical/Clinical Professionals

Physician
Resident
Intern
Registered Physician Assistant
Surgeon
Podiatrist
Chiropractor
Osteopath
Optometrist
Medical Examiner
Coroner
Dentist
Dental Hygienist
Registered Nurse
Licensed Practical Nurse
Nurse Practitioner
Mental Health Professional
Psychologist
Licensed Psychoanalyst
Social Worker
Christian Science Practitioner
Emergency Medical Technician
Person Credentialed by OASAS
Hospital Personnel Engaged in the Admission, Examination, Care or Treatment
Licensed Creative Arts Therapist
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Licensed Behavior Analyst and Certified Behavior Analyst
Licensed Speech/Language Pathologist or Audiologist
Licensed Physical Therapist
Licensed Occupational Therapist

 

Education Professionals

School Teacher
School Guidance Counselor
School Psychologist
School Social Worker
School Nurse
Social Services Worker
School Administrator
Other School Personnel Required to Hold a Teaching or Administrative License or Certificate
Full or part-time compensated school employee required to hold a temporary coaching license or professional coaching certificate
Any other Child Care or Foster Care Worker

 

Law Enforcement Personnel

Peace Officer
Police Officer
District Attorney or Assistant District Attorney
Investigator employed in the office of a district attorney
Any other Law Enforcement Official

What are the obligations of a Mandated Reporter?

Effective June 30, 2013, Mandated Reporters have a legal duty to:

  • Call the VPCR Hotline at 1-855-373-2122 if they have reasonable cause to suspect abuse or neglect of a Vulnerable Person, including a child receiving residential services in a facility or provider listed below. Mandated Reporters may also submit reports by completing the web form available on the Justice Center website.
  • Call the Statewide Center Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment if they have reasonable cause to suspect abuse or maltreatment of children in family and foster homes, and day care settings. Suspicion of child abuse or neglect in a day care setting, foster care, or within a family home must continue to be reported to the Statewide Center Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment at 1-800-635-1522.
Under what circumstances must a Mandated Reporter make a report?

Mandated Reporters, who have reasonable cause to suspect that a reportable incident has occurred, must report it to the VPCR immediately upon discovery.
Discovery Occurs When:

A mandated reporter witnesses a suspected reportable incident; or another person, including a service recipient or family member, provides the mandated reporter with reasonable cause to suspect that a service recipient has been subjected to a reportable incident. 

Reasonable Cause to Suspect
Based on all the evidence, facts and circumstances known or readily available to you, it is rational to think that the service recipient was subjected to a reportable incident.  When deciding whether there is reasonable cause to suspect that a  reportable incident occurred, you should consider your own observations, trainings, experiences and common sense in assessing the reliability of information presented to you, as well as assessing whether the service recipient suffered an injury and, if so, whether you believe the explanation of how the injury occurred.

If you are unsure whether you have a reasonable cause to suspect that a service recipient was subjected to a reportable incident, we encourage you to report the incident to the Justice Center.  You could also consult with your supervisor, quality assurance staff or other appropriate staff.  Remember, however, each mandated reporter has a personal obligation to report a suspected reportable incident individually to the Justice Center. 

When must a Mandated Reporter contact a law enforcement agency?

Possible crimes should be immediately reported to law enforcement. When a report is received by the VPCR, staff can consult with supervisors to decide if local police should be contacted, if a call has not already been made.

What constitutes a significant incident?

New York law also recognizes that Vulnerable Persons can be harmed or put at risk in many types of circumstances, including: 

The use of restraint when it is avoidable, involves a banned technique, or is used by inadequately trained staff;

  • Unauthorized seclusion or time-out;
  • Harmful interactions between Vulnerable Persons that could reasonably have been prevented; and    
  • Administration of a medication contrary to a medical order resulting in an adverse impact. 
  • Any other conduct identified in regulations of the State Oversight Agency, according to guidelines or standards established by the Justice Center.
What constitutes abuse or neglect?

The law makes clear that the protection of Vulnerable Persons is one of a Custodian’s most fundamental job duties. New York law defines Abuse, Neglect of Vulnerable Persons in broad terms, including both actual harm and the risk of harm: 

Terms

Examples of Custodian Behaviors

Physical Abuse

Intentional contact (hitting, kicking, shoving, etc.) corporal punishment, injury which cannot be explained and is suspicious due to extent or location, the number of injuries at one time, or the frequency over time

Psychological  Abuse

Taunting, name calling, using threatening words or gestures

 

Sexual Abuse

Inappropriate touching, indecent exposure, sexual assault, taking or distributing sexually explicit pictures, voyeurism or other sexual exploitation. All sexual contact between a Custodian and a service recipient is sexual abuse, unless the Custodian is also a person receiving services

 

Neglect

Failure to provide  supervision, or adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care; or access to an educational entitlement

 

Deliberate misuse of restraint or seclusion

Use of these interventions with excessive force, as a punishment or for the convenience of staff

 

Controlled Substances

Using, administering or providing any controlled substance contrary to law 

 

Aversive conditioning

Unpleasant physical stimulus used to modify behavior without person-specific legal authorization  

 

Obstruction

Interfering with the discovery, reporting or investigation of abuse / neglect, falsifying records or intentionally making false statements

 

 
What happens when the VPCR Hotline receives a report?

A trained call center representative will first determine if an emergency response is necessary and/or if the person receiving services faces imminent danger.  If it is an emergency situation, the representative will instruct the caller to phone 9-1-1 immediately, if this has not yet occurred.  A Justice Center supervisor will also contact the appropriate agency supervisor to inform him/her of the report.

When a caller makes a report, the call center representative carefully enters all details of the incident into an automated case management system.  Serious abuse and neglect cases will be investigated by the Justice Center, with lesser offenses generally delegated to the appropriate state agency for investigation.  If criminal conduct may be involved, the Justice Center’s Special Prosecutor/Inspector General will investigate and prosecute offenders when the evidence warrants such action.

What protections and liabilities do Mandated Reporters have?

The law provides protections against the disclosure of the reporter’s identity, with limited exceptions. As a mandated reporter, your identity is confidential and may not be publicly disclosed.  You may ask that your identity not be disclosed but it may be necessary to disclose your identity to the person investigating the reported incident in order to ensure that an incident is thoroughly investigated. The Justice Center makes every reasonable effort to protect the identity of mandated reporters, especially when a reporter is alleging that he or she is the victim of retaliation for making a report.