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This entry was published on 2021-04-23
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SECTION 34-A
Services planning requirements
Social Services (SOS) CHAPTER 55, ARTICLE 2
§ 34-a. Services planning requirements. 1. (a) Each social services
district shall prepare a multi-year consolidated services plan
encompassing adult services and family and children's services, which
shall include diversion services provided pursuant to section seven
hundred thirty-five of the family court act.

(b) Commencing with the years following preparation of the multi-year
consolidated services plan, each local district shall also be required
to prepare an annual implementation report.

2. (a) The commissioner shall have authority to promulgate regulations
specifying the contents of both the multi-year services plan and the
annual implementation reports, provided however that such regulations
shall not be inconsistent with the standards of review by the
commissioner of such plan and reports specified in subdivision four of
this section.

(b) The regulations promulgated pursuant to paragraph (a) of this
subdivision shall require the multi-year services plan and where
appropriate the annual implementation reports, to include a summary of
the understanding between the local social services district and the
district attorney's office, which outlines the cooperative procedures to
be followed by both parties in investigating incidents of child abuse
and maltreatment, consistent with their respective obligations for the
investigation or prosecution of such incidents, as otherwise required by
law.

3. (a) There shall be a public hearing on the multi-year services plan
or each annual implementation report. Commencing in nineteen hundred
eighty-two, such public hearing shall be held only after fifteen days
notice is provided in a newspaper of general circulation within the
county. Such notice shall specifically identify the times of the public
hearing in which the child protective services and other services
components of the multi-year services plan or annual implementation
reports are to be considered.

(b) Commencing in nineteen hundred eighty-two, after such hearing, the
multi-year services plan or the annual implementation reports shall be
submitted for approval to the chief executive officer of the county or
to the legislative body in those counties without a chief executive
officer. Full approval of the multi-year services plan or of the annual
implementation report by the chief executive officer or legislative body
shall be required before submission of such plan or report to the
commissioner.

(c) Commencing in nineteen hundred eighty-two, the multi-year services
plan or the annual implementation reports shall not be forwarded to the
commissioner until at least fifteen days have passed from the date of
the public hearing thereon.

4. (a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subdivision, the
commissioner shall review both the multi-year services plan and the
annual implementation reports submitted by the social services district,
using standards consistent with the provisions of sections one hundred
thirty-one-1, four hundred nine-d and four hundred twenty-three of this
chapter, and shall notify such district, in writing, of approval of such
plan or reports in whole or in part; provided, however, that for any
portions not approved, the commissioner shall in writing to the district
specify the portions not approved, the reasons for such determination,
the actions required for resubmittal of such portions, and the time
period of resubmittal; and provided further, that disapproval of a
portion of such plan or report shall not render the entire plan or
report invalid. No portion of the multi-year services plan or of the
annual implementation reports shall be finally disapproved until the
district has had at least one opportunity for resubmittal. Upon
resubmittal, or if no resubmittal is made within the time specified, the
commissioner may grant further extensions to the district to allow it to
resubmit any unapproved portions, or may finally disapprove such
portions. Any social services district aggrieved by a final disapproval
of the commissioner under this section shall have the right to a fair
hearing in accordance with the appropriate provisions of this chapter.
An adverse fair hearing decision shall be reviewable pursuant to article
seventy-eight of the civil practice law and rules. State reimbursement
may be withheld for all or a portion of a local district's activities,
if the multi-year services plan, annual implementation report, or
portions of either are disapproved.

(b) The commissioner of the office of children and family services
shall review and approve or disapprove the diversion services portion of
the plan jointly with the director of the office of probation and
correctional alternatives or any other successor agency or entity. The
requirements for the portion of the plan and report regarding the
provision of diversion services shall be jointly established by the
commissioner of the office of children and family services and the
director of the office of probation and correctional alternatives or any
other successor agency or entity. The multi-year services plan and where
appropriate the annual implementation reports shall be based upon a
written understanding between the local social services district and the
probation department which outlines the cooperative procedures to be
followed by both parties regarding diversion services pursuant to
section seven hundred thirty-five of the family court act, consistent
with their respective obligations as otherwise required by law.

5. The commissioner shall promulgate regulations concerning the time
by which:

(a) each local social services district shall submit its multi-year
services plan and annual implementation report;

(b) the commissioner shall, in writing, notify a local district of
approval or disapproval of all or parts of such district's multi-year
services plan or annual implementation reports; and

(c) each local social services district shall submit a revised version
of its multi-year services plan or annual implementation report, or
parts thereof.

6. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the office of
children and family services shall plan for the statewide
implementation, by the thirty-first day of December, two thousand eight,
of the use by counties of a child and family services plan that combines
the multi-year consolidated services plan required by this section and
the comprehensive plan required by section four hundred twenty of the
executive law into a single plan.

(b) All counties shall implement a county child and family services
plan prior to or by the two thousand eight plan year in accordance with
a schedule developed by the office of children and family services and
shall continue to implement such a plan thereafter. With the approval of
such office, a county may implement such a plan before the date required
by such schedule.

(c) The office of children and family services may waive any
regulatory requirements relating to the content and timing of multi-year
consolidated services plans and annual implementation reports that may
impede the ability of a county to implement a county child and family
services plan.

(d) Nothing in this subdivision shall be deemed to affect county
planning requirements under the mental hygiene law.

7. (a) From monies appropriated to the office of children and family
services for the family and children's services foster care and adoption
program, the office shall give assistance to local social services
districts to enable them to collect statistics and to describe the steps
being taken regarding: the number of families needing preventive
services as provided for in title four of article six of this chapter
for which services are provided; the effectiveness of specific
preventive services in preventing unnecessary foster care placements and
reducing the length of stay in foster care; the efforts made to prevent
unnecessary placements; the use of the least restrictive settings and
the proximity of foster care placements to the child's home; the use of
kinship placements; the placement of siblings with one another at
initial placement or as soon thereafter as possible; the number of
transfers of children in foster care placements and the reasons for
those transfers; the number of families reunited in fulfillment of the
child's service goal plan and the length of placement prior to
reunification; the number of children prepared for independent living;
the number of children with adoption as a service plan goal; the number
of children freed for adoption and the length of time taken to secure
terminations of parental rights; the number of children placed in
pre-adoptive homes and the number of adoptions completed and the length
of time taken to complete them.

(b) Such data submitted to the office of children and family services
shall be aggregated and submitted with a narrative report on these
children's services, to the governor and the majority leader of the
senate and the speaker of the assembly on or before July first, two
thousand five and semiannually thereafter.

8. The commissioner of the office of children and family services
shall, in conjunction with the commissioner of education, develop model
practices and procedures for local social services districts and school
districts regarding the reporting and investigation of educational
neglect. Such model practices and procedures shall be available to
social services districts and school districts and shall be posted on
the office of children and family services website and the state
department of education website by September first, two thousand seven.
Each social services district shall, in conjunction with local school
districts within its district, submit written policies and procedures
regarding the reporting of educational neglect by each school district
within such social services district and the investigation of
educational neglect allegations by child protective services. Such
policies and procedures shall be submitted to the office of children and
family services for review by January first, two thousand eight and the
office shall approve or disapprove such local policies and procedures,
based upon the model practices and procedures established in conjunction
with the state department of education, within sixty days of submission.

9. (a) If a social services district proposes an amendment to the
child care portion of its child and family services plan that reduces
eligibility or increases the family share percentage for child care
services such district must: (i) no later than the first day the public
notice appears in a newspaper pursuant to subdivision three of this
section or the regulations of the office of children and family
services, as applicable, prominently post on the district's website a
notice of the proposed amendment describing the categories of families
whose cases will be impacted; and (ii) at the time the public notice is
submitted to the newspaper for publication in accordance with
subdivision three of this section or the regulations of the office of
children and family services, as applicable, provide a copy of such
notice to the office of children and family services.

(b) If a social services district implements its process for closing
child care cases, as set forth in its approved child and family services
plan, due to the district determining that it cannot maintain its
current caseload because all of the available funds are projected to be
needed for open cases, the district must: (i) no later than the day the
social services district begins to send individual notices to impacted
families in accordance with subdivision eight of section four hundred
ten-w of this chapter, prominently post a notice on their website that
states that such district is implementing the child care case closing
process set forth in its approved child and family services plan and
that describes the categories of families whose cases will be closed;
and (ii) immediately provide a copy of such notice to the office of
children and family services.

(c) The office of children and family services shall prominently post
notices received pursuant to paragraphs (a) or (b) of this subdivision
on its website.