Special Hearings

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The Bureau of Special Hearings of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services provides the forum for citizens to challenge a wide variety of decisions made by local and state social services officials.

Hearings are held in a variety of areas such as

In addition, a significant portion of the past and current hearings' volume involves hearings arising out of the operations of the State Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (“SCR”).

The SCR hearings involve two aspects. First, there are hearing requests to amend, or expunge/seal “indicated” reports of child abuse and maltreatment [Social Services Law § 422(8)]. Second, there are hearings involving the rights of subjects of “indicated” reports seeking employment in the child care field to have a hearing before a prospective employer is provided information as a result of a clearance request” (Social Services Law § 424-a).

Prior to a hearing, a subject of a report has the right to an administrative review conducted by the SCR, which is a review of documentation in the case to determine whether substantial evidence exists to support the investigator’s determination.