senate Bill S6615

2013-2014 Legislative Session

Expands the duties of the office of children and family services concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender runaway and homeless youth

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Archive: Last Bill Status - In Committee


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor

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Assembly Actions - Lowercase
Senate Actions - UPPERCASE
Feb 13, 2014 referred to children and families

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S6615 - Bill Details

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A9804
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Executive Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §532-e, Exec L

S6615 - Bill Texts

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Expands the duties of the office of children and family services concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender runaway and homeless youth.

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BILL NUMBER:S6615

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to
expanding the duties of the office of children and family services
concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender runaway and
homeless youth

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

Requires that all employees of programs and organizations' providing
care to runaway and/or homeless youth complete training providing
instruction in issues pertaining to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender youth.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1. Section 532-e of the executive law is amended by adding a
new subdivision 7, requiring all employees of approved programs
providing care to runaway and/or homeless youth to complete training
as set forth in regulations promulgated by OCFS. The training must
place particular emphasis on appropriate terminology, particular
challenges for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, ways to
address homophobia from other youth at the shelter, confidentiality,
and how to properly address the families of lesbian, gay, bisexual,
and transgender youth.

Section 2 is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

The enactment of this bill would ensure that all employees of approved
programs providing care to homeless youth in New York State would
receive adequate and comprehensive training to allow them to be more
sensitive to issues specifically affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender runaway and/or homeless youth.

According to the Center for American Progress, between 20-40% of
runaway and/or homeless youth in the United States are LGBT, as
compared to only 5- 10% of the overall youth population. Often, LGBT
youth find themselves homeless because their parents do not accept
their sexual or gender. orientation and throw them out of the house.
This rejection from their. families leads LGBT runaway and/or homeless
youth to experience increased social and personal problems, including
dramatically increased rates of alcohol abuse and suicide attempts.
LGBT youth are also much more likely to drop out of school due to
discrimination. 86% of LGBT youth report being verbally bullied and
harassed at school due to their sexual orientation. The average age
that a lesbian or gay youth becomes homeless in New York is 14.4 years
old, while the average age a transgender youth becomes homeless in New
York is 13.5 years old.

Runaway and/or homeless LGBT youth are also disproportionately likely
to suffer physical and mental abuse. 58% of runaway and/or homeless
LGBT youth report being assaulted, compared to 33% of heterosexual
runaway and/or homeless youth. 44% of runaway and/or homeless LGBT
youth have been asked to exchange sex for money, food, drugs, shelter,


or clothes, as compared to only 26% of heterosexual runaway/homeless
youth.

New York facilities providing care to homeless youth must do a better
job accounting for the needs and issues of a critical segment of the
runaway and/or homeless population. This bill would require all
employees of approved programs providing care to runaway and/or
homeless youth to complete training with instruction on the needs and
issues of this community, with particular. emphasis on the correct
terminology to use when talking about gender and sexual identity;
addressing homophobia and transphobia from other youth in shelters;
and how to deal with the families of LGBT youths.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the
date upon which it shall have become a law.

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                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  6615

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            February 13, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. HOYLMAN, LATIMER -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to  the  Committee  on  Children  and
  Families

AN  ACT  to amend the executive law, in relation to expanding the duties
  of the office of children and family services concerning lesbian, gay,
  bisexual, and transgender runaway and homeless youth

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Section 532-e of the executive law, as amended by chapter
182 of the laws of 2002, are amended to read as follows:
  S 532-e. Powers and duties  of  the  office  of  children  and  family
services.  The  office  of children and family services shall:  [(a)] 1.
visit, inspect and make periodic reports on the operation  and  adequacy
of approved runaway programs and transitional independent living support
programs;
  [(b)]  2.  certify  residential  facilities  providing care to runaway
and/or homeless youth, provided, however, that no certification shall be
issued or renewed until it can be demonstrated that a  program  operated
pursuant  to  this  article  has  consistent with appropriate collective
bargaining agreements and applicable provisions  of  the  civil  service
law,  developed and implemented a procedure for reviewing and evaluating
the backgrounds of and the information supplied by any  person  applying
to  be an employee, volunteer or consultant, which shall include but not
be limited to the following requirements: that the applicants set  forth
his  or  her  employment history, provide personal and employment refer-
ences and sign a sworn statement indicating whether  the  applicant,  to
the  best of his or her knowledge, has ever been convicted of a crime in
this state or any other jurisdiction;
  [(c)] 3. maintain a register of  approved  runaway  programs,  transi-
tional  independent  living  support  programs  and runaway and homeless
youth service coordinators;
  [(d)] 4. submit to the  governor  and  legislature  an  annual  report
detailing the numbers and characteristics of runaway and otherwise home-
less youth throughout the state and their problems and service needs;

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD13793-01-4

S. 6615                             2

  [(e)]  5.  develop  and  promulgate  in consultation with county youth
bureaus and organizations or programs which  have  had  past  experience
dealing  with  runaway  and  homeless  youth, regulations concerning the
coordination and integration  of  services  available  for  runaway  and
otherwise homeless youth and prohibiting the disclosure or transferal of
any  records  containing  the  identity  of  individual  youth receiving
services pursuant to this section, without the written  consent  of  the
youth; [and]
  [(f)]  6.  develop and promulgate regulations in consultation with the
office of temporary and disability assistance concerning  the  provision
of services by transitional independent living support programs consist-
ent with the provisions of this article[.];
  [(g)] 7.  REQUIRE ALL EMPLOYEES OF APPROVED PROGRAMS PROVIDING CARE TO
RUNAWAY AND/OR HOMELESS YOUTH TO COMPLETE TRAINING AS SET FORTH IN REGU-
LATIONS  PROMULGATED  BY  THE  OFFICE.  SUCH  TRAINING SHALL REQUIRE ALL
EMPLOYEES OF SUCH RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES TO RECEIVE INSTRUCTION AS SPEC-
IFIED BY THE OFFICE IN THE REGULATIONS AND SHALL, AT A MINIMUM,  INCLUDE
INSTRUCTION  IN  ISSUES PERTAINING TO LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANS-
GENDER YOUTH WITH PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON:
  (A) APPROPRIATE TERMINOLOGY;
  (B) PARTICULAR CHALLENGES FOR LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND  TRANSGENDER
RUNAWAY  AND  HOMELESS  YOUTH, INCLUDING WHY LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND
TRANSGENDER YOUTH ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY HOMELESS;
  (C) HOW TO ADDRESS HOMOPHOBIA OR TRANSPHOBIA FROM OTHER YOUTH  AT  THE
SHELTER;
  (D) CONFIDENTIALITY IN THE CASES OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANS-
GENDER YOUTH; AND
  (E)  HOW TO ADDRESS THE FAMILIES OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANS-
GENDER YOUTH; AND
  8. in conjunction with the  commissioner  of  education,  develop  and
annually  review  a  plan to ensure coordination and access to education
for homeless children, in accordance  with  the  provisions  of  section
thirty-two  hundred nine of the education law, and monitor compliance of
residential programs for runaway and homeless youth with such plan.
  S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next  succeed-
ing the date upon which it shall have become a law.

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