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Child welfare services community demonstration projects
Social Services (SOS) CHAPTER 55, ARTICLE 6, TITLE 2
§ 398-d. Child welfare services community demonstration projects. 1.
The legislature finds that the centralized delivery of child protective
services, preventive services, adoption services and foster care
services in a social service district with a population of more than two
million hinders their effective delivery and adds unnecessary costs.
Numerous studies have recommended that such services serve small areas,
be located in such areas, and be integrated. Such relocation will: give
caseworkers greater knowledge of their assigned community, the residents
of that community and the availability of community-based services;
increase the availability of caseworkers; reduce travel time for
caseworkers; enable children in foster care to remain in their own
communities and schools and maintain their friendships; enable children
in foster care to have greater visitation with their parents; provide
for more effective delivery of preventive services; and expedite
adoptions and otherwise reduce the amount of time children spend in
foster care.

The relocation of child welfare service delivery to the community
sites will strengthen efforts to provide a wide range of community-based
early intervention programs including, but not limited to, school-based
health clinics and community schools, thereby ensuring the continued
development of a critical mass of community services.

2. No later than March first, nineteen hundred ninety-six, a social
service district with a population in excess of two million shall
implement at least three demonstration projects for a period of at least
two years to provide child welfare services on a community level to
improve the delivery of child welfare services, increase adoptions and
reduce the rate of foster care placements. These projects shall be
located in and serve community school districts which have high rates
of: children at risk of becoming a part of the foster care system,
poverty, households on public assistance, juvenile delinquency, and
unemployment. Such projects shall provide foster care, preventive,
adoption and child protective services as required by this article.

3. In proposed demonstration areas, child welfare services must be
coordinated with community schools, school health clinics, and other
relevant programs to provide and administer the most efficient services.
In one demonstration area, the district shall use a caseworker to client
ratio equal to the preferred national average of one to fourteen.

4. A report evaluating such projects shall be presented no later than
June first, nineteen hundred ninety-eight, to the governor, the
department and the respective chairpersons of the assembly children and
families committee, the senate children and families committee, the
assembly ways and means committee, and the senate finance committee.
Such report shall include:

(a) the number of children and families who received preventive
services, child protective services and foster care, (b) the number of
delinquent and incarcerated youth in the demonstration projects, (c) the
length of an average foster care placement, (d) the number of completed
adoptions for youth residing within the demonstration area, including
their age, gender, race, ethnicity and religion, (e) the gross
expenditures for foster care, compared to the gross expenditures for
child protective, preventive and adoption services, (f) changes in the
quality and quantity of time spent by caseworkers with clients, (g)
staffing ratios of foster care, preventive and child protective
services, (h) the perspective (attitude, viewpoint, outlook) of
caseworkers serving and clients served in the demonstration project, and
(i) recommendations for expansion of community-based provisions for
child welfare services. For purposes of the report, the data described
above should be compared to the extent possible with non-demonstration