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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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A10104 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                        10104--A
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                     April 29, 2022
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by M. of A. DARLING -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Children and Families -- committee  discharged,  bill  amended,
          ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
 
        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

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section  1.  Legislative  findings.  The  Legislature  finds  that the
     2  COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the child  welfare  work-
     3  force  within the foster care system. Direct care workers have continued
     4  to come to work every day throughout the pandemic,  care  for  our  most
     5  vulnerable  children,  and  are  part of our essential workforce.  While
     6  other essential workers have been recognized or provided enhanced salary
     7  payments, direct care workers in the  child  welfare  system  have  not.
     8  Moreover,  the  agencies that employ the foster care workforce have been
     9  historically underfunded and as a result the  compensation  provided  to
    10  workers does not provide a living wage.
    11    Therefore,  the  Legislature proposes salaries for direct care workers
    12  be increased starting with the 2022-2023 rate year and continued for the
    13  following two years. This investment will  help  stabilize  the  current
    14  turnover  and  vacancy rates within the direct care workforce which will
    15  have a positive and beneficial impact on children  in  the  foster  care
    16  system.
    17    §  2.  Section 398-a of the social services law is amended by adding a
    18  new subdivision 2-d to read as follows:
    19    (2-d) Payments made directly by social service districts to  voluntary
    20  foster  care  agencies  to increase employee salaries during each of the
    21  two thousand twenty-two--two thousand twenty-three, two  thousand  twen-
    22  ty-three--two  thousand  twenty-four,  and two thousand twenty-four--two
    23  thousand twenty-five rate years shall be supported by increased  funding
    24  available  through  the  foster care block grant. Such payments shall be
    25  used to increase the salaries of foster care agency  employees,  includ-
    26  ing,  but not limited to, direct care staff, caseworkers, and case plan-
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD15499-02-2

        A. 10104--A                         2
 
     1  ners, as well as the salaries of such workers'  supervisors  working  in
     2  such foster care agencies.
     3    §  3.  The  sum of seventeen million dollars ($17,000,000), or so much
     4  thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated to the state  insur-
     5  ance fund out of any moneys in the state treasury in the general fund to
     6  the credit of the state purpose account, not otherwise appropriated, and
     7  made  immediately available for the purposes of increases in salaries of
     8  foster care agency employees, including, but not limited to, direct care
     9  staff, caseworkers, and case planners, as well as the salaries  of  such
    10  workers'  supervisors  working in such foster care agencies. Such moneys
    11  shall be payable on the audit and warrant of the comptroller on vouchers
    12  certified or approved by the department of social services in the manner
    13  prescribed by law.
    14    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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