Legislation

Search OpenLegislation Statutes
This entry was published on 2019-12-20
The selection dates indicate all change milestones for the entire volume, not just the location being viewed. Specifying a milestone date will retrieve the most recent version of the location before that date.
SECTION 483-C
Coordinated children's services for children with emotional and/or behavioral disorders
Social Services (SOS) CHAPTER 55, ARTICLE 10-C
§ 483-c. Coordinated children's services for children with emotional
and/or behavioral disorders. 1. Purpose. The purpose of this section
shall be to establish a coordinated system of care for children with
emotional and behavioral disorders, and their families, who require
assistance from multiple agency systems to appropriately maintain such
children with their families, in their communities and in their local
school systems. Such system of care shall provide for the effective
collaboration among state and local health, mental hygiene, education,
juvenile justice, probation of care and other human services agencies
directed at improving outcomes for children with emotional and/or
behavioral disorders and their families leading to full participation in
their communities and schools. This shall include children with
co-occurring disorders. The absence of coordinated care often results in
inappropriate and costly institutional placements and limited
community-based services that support maintaining the child in the
community. Establishing the coordinated children's services initiative
statewide is intended to improve the manner in which services of
multiple systems are delivered and to eliminate barriers to a
coordinated system of care.

2. Definitions. As used in this section:

(a) "Child with an emotional and/or behavioral disorder" shall mean a
person under eighteen years of age, or a person under twenty-one years
of age who has not completed secondary school, who has a mental illness,
as defined in subdivision twenty of section 1.03 of the mental hygiene
law, or is classified as a student with a disability pursuant to article
eighty-nine of the education law or section 504 of the federal
rehabilitation act, or is considered to have a serious emotional or
behavioral problem, as considered by a tier I and/or tier II team
representative pursuant to this section. Such term shall include
children with co-occurring disorders.

(b) "Individualized family support plan" shall mean a plan developed
in conjunction with the family through a strength-based child and family
assessment containing a summary of the strengths, needs and goals of a
child with an emotional and/or behavioral disorder, and the services and
supports agreed to by the child, family and the tier I team
representatives.

(c) "Family" shall mean, when appropriate, a child with an emotional
and/or behavioral disorder, his or her parents or those in parental
relationship to the child, blood relatives and extended family,
including non-relatives identified by the child and/or parents. Nothing
in this section shall be construed to deny the child, his or her parents
or those persons in parental relationship to the child of any rights
they are otherwise entitled to by law.

(d) "County" shall mean a county, except in the case of a county that
is wholly included within a city, such term shall mean such city.

(e) "Family support representative" shall mean a volunteer who is also
a parent or primary caregiver of a child with an emotional and/or
behavioral disorder. The family support representative shall assist
families throughout the process of developing and implementing an
individualized family support plan as defined in this section.

3. Interagency structure. (a) There shall be established a three
tiered interagency structure, as follows:

(i) State tier III team. There is hereby established a state team
designated as the "tier III team", which shall consist of the chair of
the council, the commissioners of children and family services, mental
health, health, education, alcoholism and substance abuse services, and
the office for people with developmental disabilities, and the director
of the office of probation and correctional alternatives, or their
designated representatives, and representatives of families of children
with emotional and/or behavioral disorders. Other representatives may be
added at the discretion of such team.

(ii) County tier II team. A county, or consortium of counties,
choosing to participate in the coordinated children's services
initiative shall establish an interagency team consisting of, but not
limited to, the local commissioners or leadership assigned by the chief
elected official responsible for the local health, mental hygiene,
juvenile justice, probation and other human services systems. The
education system shall be represented by the district superintendent of
the board of cooperative educational services, or his or her designee,
and in the case of the city of New York, by the chancellor of the city
school district of the city of New York, or his or her designee, and
appropriate local school district representatives as determined by the
district superintendent of the board of cooperative educational services
or such chancellor. Such team shall be sensitive to issues of cultural
competence, and shall include representatives of families of children
with an emotional and/or behavioral disorder. Regional state agency
representatives may participate when requested by such team.

(iii) Family-based tier I team. Tier II teams, in cooperation with a
child with an emotional and/or behavioral disorder and his or her
family, shall establish interagency teams to work with such child and
family to develop an individualized, strength-based family support plan
and coordinate interagency services agreed to in such plan. Such teams
shall include such child and family and, based on the needs of the child
and family, should also include a family support representative,
representatives from the mental hygiene, education, juvenile justice,
probation, health, and other county child and family services systems.

(b) Roles and responsibilities of teams. (i) The state tier III team
shall coordinate statewide implementation of the coordinated children's
services initiative. Such team shall:

(A) coordinate planning across the health, mental hygiene, education,
juvenile justice, probation and human services systems;

(B) address barriers to the effective delivery of local interagency
services;

(C) coordinate the provision of technical assistance and training for
the effective implementation of the coordinated children's services
initiative;

(D) develop an appropriate reporting mechanism to track the outcomes
being achieved. Such mechanism shall be developed in concert with
participating counties; and

(E) report results and recommendations for change to the governor,
legislature and state board of regents, as appropriate.

(ii) The tier II teams shall coordinate the coordinated children's
services initiative at the local level. Such team shall:

(A) coordinate cross-systems training and provide linkages to other
county and school district planning for children;

(B) address local/regional barriers to the coordination of services;

(C) report on state level barriers to the effective delivery of
coordinated services and recommended changes to the state tier III team;

(D) report on outcomes using the mechanism developed by the state tier
III team;

(E) implement the goals and principles of the coordinated children's
services initiative; and

(F) make monies available consistent with subdivision five of this
section.

(iii) Each tier I team shall work collaboratively with the family to
develop an individualized family support plan that is:

(A) family-focused and family driven;

(B) built on child and family strengths; and

(C) comprehensive, including appropriate services and supports from
appropriate systems and natural supports from the community.

4. Goals and principles of operation. (a) Goals. The coordinated
children's services initiative shall enable children with emotional
and/or behavioral disorders, whenever appropriate for the child and
family to:

(i) reside with their families;

(ii) live and participate successfully in their communities;

(iii) attend and be successful in their local school systems; and

(iv) grow towards becoming independent, contributing members of the
community.

(b) Principles of operation. The tier III and II teams shall provide a
system for serving children with emotional and/or behavioral disorders
that is:

(i) community-based, allowing children and families to receive
services close to their home;

(ii) culturally competent;

(iii) individualized and strengths-based in approach;

(iv) family friendly, involving the family as full and active partners
at every level of decision making, including policy development,
planning, treatment and service delivery;

(v) comprehensive, involving all appropriate parties, including but
not limited to the family, child, natural supports, provider agencies
and other necessary community services;

(vi) funded through multiple systems with flexible funding mechanisms
that support creative approaches;

(vii) unconditionally committed to the success of each child; and

(viii) accountable with respect to use of agreed on and measured
outcomes.

5. Funding. Counties and school districts, including boards of
cooperative educational services as requested by component school
districts, choosing to participate in the coordinated children's
services initiative, unless expressly prohibited by law, shall have the
authority to:

(a) combine state and federal resources of the participating county
and educational agencies to provide services to groups or individual
children and their families necessary to maintain children with
emotional and/or behavioral disorders in their homes, communities and
schools, and support families in achieving this goal, as long as the use
of the funds is consistent with the purposes for which they were
appropriated; and

(b) apply flexibility in use of funds, pursuant to an individualized
family-support plan, or for collaborative programs, an agreement among
the county, city and school districts or the board of cooperative
educational services, monies combined pursuant to paragraph (a) of this
subdivision may be used to allow flexibility in determining and applying
interventions that will address the unique needs of the family. The tier
III team shall develop guidelines for the flexible use of funds in
implementing an individualized family support plan.

6. Administration and reports. The council shall be responsible for
the administration of the provisions of this section.

(a) The tier III team shall submit a report to the council detailing
the effectiveness in reaching the goals and objectives of the program
established by this section. Such report shall include recommendations,
based on the experience gained pursuant to the provisions of this
article, for modifying statewide policies, regulations or statutes. The
council shall forward such report to the governor, the legislature and
the state board of regents on or before the first day of July of each
year, including the recommendations of the tier III members regarding
the feasibility and implications of implementing the recommendations.

(b) The tier III team shall have authority to receive funds and work
within agency structures, as agreed to by member agencies, to administer
funds for the purposes of carrying out its responsibilities.

(c) Parents and representatives of families, who are not compensated
for attendance as part of their employment, shall be compensated for
their tier III team participation and reimbursed for actual expenses,
including, but not limited to, child care.

7. Confidentiality. (a) Notwithstanding any other provision of state
law to the contrary, tier I, II and III team participants in the
coordinated children's services system shall have access to case record
and related treatment information as necessary to support the purposes
of this section, to the extent permitted by federal law.

(b) Tier I, II and III team participants shall protect the
confidentiality of all individual identifying case record and related
treatment information, and prevent access thereto, by, or the
distribution thereof to, other persons not authorized by State or
federal law.