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This entry was published on 2014-09-22
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Short title; legislative findings; purpose
Social Services (SOS) CHAPTER 55, ARTICLE 6, TITLE 4-B
§ 409-i. Short title; legislative findings; purpose. 1. This title
shall be known and may be cited and referred to as the "teenage services

2. The legislature finds that the rising incidence of adolescent
pregnancy and teenage parenthood is the subject of a widespread and
growing concern. As a result of early pregnancy, the attainment of
needed education and job skills is often curtailed. Coupled with the
added responsibilities accompanying parenthood, these young families are
often locked into long term public dependency. Studies have confirmed
that up to sixty percent of the current aid to families with dependent
children cases in New York state are headed by mothers who were
teenagers when they gave birth to their first child. In fact, the
predominant cause of welfare dependency in New York state may well be
due to the result of teenage pregnancy and adolescent motherhood. The
objective of this title is to increase the potential of these youths to
become financially independent by helping the teenager to complete her
education, and receive sufficient manpower skills for participation in
the labor market.

The department of social services is not only statutorily required to
provide financial support to these dependent teenagers and their
children, but also has equal responsibility to provide personal
counselling and support services needed to strengthen family life and
provide opportunities for economic independence. In order to facilitate
accessibility to the full range of needed services, case management
responsibilities should be assigned to appropriate local social services
staff or to authorized agencies outside of the department. Any
reluctance or refusal on the part of the teenager to participate in a
program of services shall not carry any threat of fiscal sanctions as
regards public assistance benefits. In the event that a teenager refuses
to participate, it shall be the responsibility of the local social
services district to make continued and repeated efforts to engage the
teenager in a counselling relationship which has as its result a
mutually agreed upon service plan which meets the objectives of this

Therefore, this title provides for the establishment of a service case
management system in order to strengthen the service role of the
department of social services. Local social services districts shall be
required to separate public assistance cases involving pregnant
adolescents and teenage mothers under eighteen years of age, and assign
ongoing case management services for such caseloads to appropriate staff
responsible for service delivery. By defining such specialized
caseloads, personal counselling and provision of needed community-based
support services will be facilitated. Such case management activities
shall also include the follow-up and evaluation of services rendered.

The enactment of the provisions of this title shall maximize the
effectiveness, efficiency and accountability of support services
provided on behalf of pregnant adolescents and teenage parents under
eighteen years of age, thereby reducing the long-term dependency needs
of this youthful population.