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A10104 Summary:

BILL NOA10104A
 
SAME ASSAME AS S08851-A
 
SPONSORDarling
 
COSPNSR
 
MLTSPNSR
 
Amd 398-a, Soc Serv L
 
Increases salaries for foster care direct care workers; makes an appropriation therefor.
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A10104 Actions:

BILL NOA10104A
 
04/29/2022referred to children and families
05/03/2022amend (t) and recommit to children and families
05/03/2022print number 10104a
05/10/2022reported referred to ways and means
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A10104 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A10104A
 
SPONSOR: Darling
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the social services law, in relation to increasing sala- ries for foster care direct care workers; and making an appropriation therefor   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This purpose of this legislation is to provide salary enhancements for direct care workers employed by voluntary foster care agencies.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 1: Provides legislative intent. Section 2: The social services law is amended by adding a new subdivi- sion (2-c) which would provide payments made by local social service districts to voluntary foster care agencies to increase salaries during the 2022-23, 2023-24, and 2045-25 rate years that will be funded through the foster care block pant Section 3: The sum of seventeen million is appropriated from moneys in the general fund for reimbursements under the foster care block grant to support salaries for direct care staff, caseworkers/case planners, as well as the salaries of these workers' supervisors, working in the foster care programs. Section 4: Establishes the effective date.   JUSTIFICATION: COVID-19 has had a profound impact on the child welfare workforce within the foster care system. Direct care workers have continued to come to work every day throughout the pandemic, care of our most vulnerable children, and are part of our essential workforce. While other essential workers have been recognized or provided enhanced salary payments in other human service programs (i.e., OPWDD, OMH, and OASAS), direct care staff, case workers/case planners and their supervisors have not received the same type of support through the Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS). Moreover, the agencies that employ the foster care workforce have been historically underfunded by the state and as a result the compensation provided to workers does not provide a living wage. Recent surveys conducted by the Council of Family Child Caring Agencies (COFCCA), a network of over 100 voluntary not-for-profit child welfare agencies across the state, found that: *Front line, direct care workers earned an average statewide annual salary of $30,361 or approximately $14.60 per hour; *Annual turnover for direct care workers is 49.4%; *Caseworkers earned an average statewide salary of $40,752 or approxi- mately $19.60 per hour (with a BA); *Caseworkers employed by the state (NYS Grade 21) made more than $24,000 more than caseworkers employed by voluntary foster care agencies; and *As of December 2021, residential foster care had a 20% vacancy rate in positions. Quality in the child welfare workforce is directly tied to the quality of care and overall experience of child and families in the child welfare system. If voluntary foster care agencies cannot recruit staff, service levels are impacted. Staff turnover impacts treatment and causes longer lengths of stay for children in foster care - this is an unac- ceptable outcome for New York's children and families, and it is costly for the state and counties as it extends a child's time in care.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: This is new legislation.   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: Yes   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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