NEW YORK, NY—On May 22, 2023, Children’s Rights submitted a letter to New York State Assemblywoman Latrice M. Walker and Senator Jabari Brisport in support of the Family Miranda Rights Act (A1980/S901). The bill is named after a landmark Supreme Court decision that has helped to ensure that people understand their rights when faced with a criminal investigation and are treated fairly. But while Miranda warnings are ingrained in our criminal legal system, they don’t extend to the child welfare – or family regulation – system. This bill would change that by requiring Child Protective Services to disclose rights to parents when a CPS investigation begins, including a parent’s right to refuse to allow entry into their home without a warrant, or grant permission for a caseworker to speak with or examine their children.
Each year, over 165,000 New York families are subjected to invasive, stressful child protective investigations without being advised of their basic rights. This practice is unfair, deceptive, and harmful to families, especially families of color. If the Family Miranda Rights Act becomes law, it will not only protect the rights of parents – it will also help to ensure that more children in New York State are spared the trauma and harms of unnecessary removal, and remain with their families.
Children’s Rights is a national advocacy organization dedicated to improving the lives of children living in or impacted by America’s child welfare, juvenile legal, education, and healthcare systems. We use civil rights impact litigation, advocacy and policy expertise, and public education to hold governments accountable for keeping kids safe and healthy. Our work centers on creating lasting systemic change that will advance the rights of children for generations.
For more information, please visit childrensrights.org.