Senator Pam Helming (R-54th District) helped pass two critical public protection measures to help save the lives of abused children. The bills would require follicle testing of young children for drugs if their guardian is arrested on serious drug charges, and restrict high caseloads from jeopardizing the investigation of child abuse or maltreatment.
“These are important measures that will help to better protect New York’s infants and young children from abuse and neglect,” said Senator Helming. “It is incumbent upon us as lawmakers to do all that we can to ensure the safety and well-being of our most vulnerable populations.”
- Bill S137, known as Kayleigh Mae’s Law, is named after a 13-month-old child in Washington County who tragically died after being given bottles laced with heroin and cocaine by her parents who allegedly wanted to stop her crying.
- Bill S3146, establishes a statewide standard of no more than 15 cases per month per full-time child protective caseworker.
“The recent deaths of several children from throughout our state highlights the need to place a limit on the number of cases assigned to a child protective service investigator,” said Senator Helming. “New York State’s caseworkers are charged with protecting our children and when they are overburdened, they cannot be as effective as we need them to be. This legislation and Kayleigh Mae’s Law will go a long way to keep our children safe and save lives.”
The bills have been sent to the Assembly for consideration. It’s unclear which of these measures the Assembly will consider, or if either will be considered at any point during this legislative session.