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       2      AND
       3      -----------------------------------------------------

       4                         PUBLIC HEARING

                               Henry Street Settlement Gymnasium
       9                       301 Henry Street
                               New York, New York 10002
                               September 17, 2015
      11                       10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

                 Senator David L. Carlucci
      14         Chairman
                 Senate Standing Committee on Social Services
                 Senator Tony Avella
      16         Chairman
                 Senate Standing Committee on Children and Families


      20         Senator Velmanette Montgomery

      21         Senator Diane J. Savino

      22         Senator Daniel L. Squadron

      23         Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi

      24         Assemblywoman Maritza Davila



              SPEAKERS:                               PAGE  QUESTIONS
              Steven Banks                              10      39
       3      Commissioner
              NYC Human Resources Administration
              Roberta Holder-Mosley                     10      39
       5      Director of Nurse-Family Partnership
              New York City Department of Health
       6           and Mental Hygiene

       7      Richard Buery                             10      39
              Deputy Mayor
       8      Strategic Policy Initiatives

       9      Sheila Poole                              71      85
              Acting Commissioner
      10      Office of Children and Family Services

      11      Sharon Devine                             71      85
              Executive Deputy Commissioner
      12      Office of Temporary and
                   Disability Assistance
              Michelle Martinez                        107     113
      14      Home-Visiting Nurse,
                   Nurse-Family Partnership Program
      15      Public Health Solutions

      16      Jessica Santos                           107     113
              Client of  Nurse-Family Partnership
              Timothy Hathaway                         121     131
      18      Executive Director
              Prevent Child Abuse New York
              Renee Nogales                            121     131
      20      Program Developer
              Nurse-Family Partnership
              Jenn O'Connor                            121     131
      22      New York State Director
              Council for a Strong America




              SPEAKERS (continued):                   PAGE  QUESTIONS
              Rose Greene                              139     147
       3      Director
              Center for Human Services Research
              Eunju Lee                                139     147
       5      Assistant Professor
              School of Social Welfare at
       6           University at Albany

       7      Ken Stephens                             152     161
              Senior Attorney
       8      Legal Aid Society

       9      Saima Akhtar                             152     161
              Senior Attorney
      10      Empire Justice Center

      11      Gregory Brender                          162     171
              Co-Director of Policy and Advocacy
      12      United Neighborhood Houses

      13      Nina Piros                               162     171
              Associate Executive Director of
      14           Early Childhood Division
              University Settlement
              Tracie Robinson                          175     199
      16      Policy Analyst
              Human Services Council
              Dacia Reed                               175     199
      18      Senior Public Policy Associate
              Children's Defense Fund
              Sarah Fajardo                            175     199
      20      Policy Coordinator
              Coalition for Asian-American Children
      21           and Families

      22      Betty Holcomb                            175     183
              Director of Policy                       186     199
      23      Center for Children's Initiatives




              SPEAKERS (continued):                   PAGE  QUESTIONS
              Stephanie Gendell                        206     219
       3      Associate Executive Director,
                   Policy and Government Relations
       4      Citizens' Committee for Children

       5      Randi Levine                             206     219
              Policy Coordinator and Early Childhood
       6           Education Project Director
              Advocates for Children

       8                            ---oOo---



















       1                  (Microphones not turned on.)

       2             SENATOR AVELLA:  We'll just get started, and

       3      then I'm just waiting for Senator Savino to come

       4      back.  She'll be here in a couple of seconds.

       5             Some of us got caught in traffic this

       6      morning, including myself.

       7             Senator Carlucci is still in traffic, coming

       8      down from Rockland.

       9             So -- but we will get started in a minute.

      10             Joining me this morning is

      11      Assemblyman Andy Hevesi, and, also, Senator Squadron

      12      on my left.

      13             I will not have an opening statement.

      14      I actually was going to rely on Senator Carlucci for

      15      the opening statement, but we're here to hear -- you

      16      know, have testimony on social services and children

      17      and family issues from a variety of sources.

      18             The first panel is going to be from, really,

      19      New York City.

      20             With that, if, Assemblyman Hevesi, do you

      21      have an opening statement?

      22             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Yeah, just very briefly.

      23             First, thank you, Senator Avella,

      24      Senator Squadron, and, Senator Carlucci, who will be

      25      joining us shortly, for having me here.


       1             In particular, the issue of child poverty is

       2      a huge problem, not just in the city, which we're

       3      going to address today, but statewide.

       4                  (Microphones turned on.)

       5             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  The census numbers came

       6      out yesterday.

       7             So, for 2014, we have some upstate cities

       8      that rank in the top of the United States for child

       9      poverty.

      10             We're looking at numbers for Rochester that

      11      put them the fifth highest.  Syracuse and Buffalo

      12      having similar problems.

      13             So we really need to look at a comprehensive

      14      program.

      15             So I'd like to thank all the Senators for

      16      allowing me to participate, and let's get to it.

      17             SENATOR AVELLA:  Senator Squadron?

      18             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you.

      19             First of all, thank you to Senator Avella,

      20      Senator Carlucci, and as you know,

      21      Assemblyman Hevesi.

      22             Welcome to my district.  We are in my

      23      district on the lower east side.

      24             One way to avoid traffic coming into my

      25      district is to never leave it.


       1                  [Laughter.]

       2             SENATOR SQUADRON:  So, just for future...

       3             SENATOR AVELLA:  So we're stuck here, is that

       4      it?

       5             SENATOR SQUADRON:  I mean, you know, there's

       6      no particular reason ever to leave it.

       7             So, I also want to really thank Henry Street

       8      Settlement -- Executive Director David Garza is here

       9      today -- for hosting us.  It's one of the great

      10      providers in my district, in the city, and in the

      11      state.  Provides what the settlement-house model

      12      always does, which is a comprehensive

      13      cradle-to-grave services for communities, of focus,

      14      however they need it.

      15             And I also want to thank everyone who's going

      16      to be testifying today.

      17             Anyone who knows me knows that I have a

      18      particular focus, some might even say obsession,

      19      with early childhood issues, especially

      20      evidence-based maternal home visiting.

      21             And I look forward to hearing about that, and

      22      other ways of giving kids, especially kids born into

      23      poverty, better chance than too often see we they

      24      have by the time they've even entered kindergarten.

      25             So I look forward to this.


       1             Thank you.

       2             SENATOR AVELLA:  Senator Savino?

       3             SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you, Senator Avella.

       4             I also want to thank everyone for coming

       5      today, particularly the new Chair of Children and

       6      Family, Senator Avella; and, Senator Carlucci should

       7      be here momentarily, the Chair of Social Services;

       8      Senator Squadron; and, our good friend from the

       9      Assembly, Andy Hevesi.

      10             I have a particular interest in this subject,

      11      as many of you know.

      12             I'm the previous chair of Children and

      13      Families; and, in fact, I still hold the title of

      14      child-protective specialist supervisor.  And

      15      I oftentimes threaten the mayor that I may show up

      16      for my old job.

      17                  [Laughter.]

      18             SENATOR SAVINO:  So, I've had tremendous

      19      experience in this field, starting 25 years ago as a

      20      caseworker in HRA, and what is now ACS.

      21             Overseeing the committee for the two years

      22      that I had it, we put together -- we created

      23      Close to Home during the time that I had it.

      24             I've worked with every one of you in various

      25      capacities over the years, and I know that we are


       1      all very concerned about, you know, early childhood

       2      education, early childhood care, nurse-family

       3      partnership, homelessness...all of the issues that

       4      social services touches.

       5             And that's what this task force was put

       6      together to address:  Commonsense solutions to some

       7      of the most complex social problems this city faces.

       8             Thank you, Senator Avella.

       9             SENATOR AVELLA:  Thank you, Senator Savino.

      10             Before we get started, I would just do a

      11      little public announcement.

      12             I'm also the Chair of the task force on the

      13      delivery of social services in New York City.

      14             We're going to be having a hearing on

      15      October 7, at 250 Broadway, concentrating

      16      specifically on homelessness in the city of

      17      New York.

      18             So some of you will be testifying at that

      19      hearing as well.

      20             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  One more announcement,

      21      if I can?

      22             SENATOR AVELLA:  Sure.

      23             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Another announcement

      24      for, September 24th, my Committee, the

      25      Social Services Committee; the Education Committee;


       1      and Children and Families, in the Assembly is going

       2      to be holding a hearing on child poverty in

       3      New York City.

       4             That's the third that we've done statewide.

       5             We've done Rochester, we've done Binghamton.

       6             So that will be on September 24th.  You're

       7      all invited, including all of my colleagues.  We'd

       8      love to have you there.

       9             SENATOR AVELLA:  With that, the first panel

      10      is already seated.

      11             Good morning.

      12             We have, Steven Banks, commissioner of

      13      New York City Human Resources Administration;

      14             Richard Buery, deputy mayor for Strategic

      15      Policy Initiatives;

      16             And, Roberta Holder-Mosley, director of the

      17      Nurse-Family Partnership, New York City Department

      18      of Health and Mental Hygiene.

      19             Thank you for coming.

      20             I don't know, who wants to start?

      21             RICHARD BUERY:  Thank you, and I will start.

      22             So, good morning.

      23             Thank you, Senators.  Thank you, Assemblyman.

      24             SENATOR AVELLA:  Let me just make a comment.

      25             We are having a little bit of technical


       1      difficulty, so the PA system is not working yet.

       2      So, you're not going to be able to hear the

       3      testimony unless everybody keeps quiet in the

       4      background.

       5             We are recording, but --

       6             Ah, okay.

       7             Now, if you'll just hold off starting,

       8      Senator Carlucci has joined us.

       9             We were just about to get started.

      10             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Well, good morning.

      11             SENATOR AVELLA:  I'm sure you have an opening

      12      statement.

      13             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Yeah, no, good to see

      14      everyone.

      15             I want to thank everyone for being here.

      16             I want to thank Senator Squadron for hosting

      17      us in your district.

      18             And, thank Senator Avella for teaming up with

      19      our joint hearing here today, with the Committee on

      20      Social Services, and, Children and Family Services.

      21             I want to thank Senator Savino and

      22      Assemblyman Hevesi for being here, and, everybody

      23      for working together, to really focus on the goal,

      24      which is to make sure that we have a strong agenda

      25      going into the next legislative session.


       1             We want to hear from you, the people on the

       2      front lines.  Many of you have dedicated your

       3      careers, your lives, to serving our most vulnerable

       4      populations, and we want to hear what's working,

       5      where the gaps are, where the successes are, and

       6      come up with a strategy on ways we can help.

       7             So, look forward to the testimony, and

       8      working with my colleagues to get this stuff done.

       9             Thank you.

      10             SENATOR AVELLA:  So I already introduced the

      11      first panel.  They were just about to speak.

      12             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Okay.

      13             RICHARD BUERY:  Well, thank you very much.

      14             Thank you, Senators; good morning.

      15             Thank you, Assemblyman.

      16             And thank you for the opportunity today to

      17      testify.

      18             I'm going to talk a little bit about the

      19      implementation of New York City's Pre-K For All

      20      initiative, our effort to bring free full-day

      21      pre-kindergarten to every 4-year-old in New York

      22      City.

      23             And I also want to, before I start, also to

      24      acknowledge Henry Street Settlement, which is not

      25      only one of the most important poverty-fighting


       1      institutions in our country, but, in particular,

       2      (unintelligible) David Garza, who I think is one of

       3      the most inspirational and innovative and impactful

       4      leaders in the fight against poverty in our city.

       5             So, very appropriate place to have this

       6      conversation.

       7             So last year, over -- last week, I'm very

       8      proud to say that over 65,000 4-year-olds embarked

       9      on their academic journey with full-day

      10      pre-kindergarten in New York City.

      11             That's bigger than the entire school system

      12      of the city of Boston.

      13             It's 12,000 students more than we enrolled

      14      last year, and it's more than triple the

      15      19,000 students enrolled in full-day

      16      pre-kindergarten when Mayor de Blasio took office.

      17             Pre-K For All, it is just one, of course, of

      18      many initiatives that we've implemented to tackle

      19      income-inequality in our city.

      20             Child care is one of the top three expenses

      21      incurred by families in New York City, often

      22      surpassing housing costs.

      23             Child-care costs, of course, are particularly

      24      burdensome for low-income families.

      25             According to the report, the self-sufficiency


       1      standard for New York State, 2010, families with

       2      children enrolled in free full-day pre-K save an

       3      average of $10,000 a year, a sizeable amount for, of

       4      course, any family in New York City, but one that is

       5      especially important to those in the lowest income

       6      brackets.

       7             One of the primary long-term benefits of

       8      pre-K is the opportunity to bring more children;

       9      particularly, more children from low-income

      10      families, into the middle-class.

      11             Pre-K provides children with an extraordinary

      12      opportunity to get on the right track academically,

      13      and stay on the right track.  And the research about

      14      the long-term benefits of pre-K is truly

      15      overwhelming.

      16             Children who attend quality full-day

      17      pre-kindergarten programs have better academic

      18      performance.  They have a better chance of

      19      graduating high school, going on to college, and

      20      having a rewarding career.  And, certainly, that is

      21      the investment more than anything else that makes

      22      the difference from moving the needle on poverty in

      23      New York City.

      24             2014 marked the first phase of the Pre-K For

      25      All initiative.


       1             In September 2014, again, more than

       2      53,000 families enrolled.

       3             One of the things that we talk about is why

       4      this was so urgent for us.  Why we had a 2-year plan

       5      to reach true universality.

       6             And, of course, the real answer:  That

       7      4-year-olds only have one chance to be 4 years old.

       8             So the urgency of getting this program up and

       9      running, we felt -- we felt very intently.

      10             So the first stage of our work was to quickly

      11      and effectively increase the supply of quality

      12      full-day seats in New York City.

      13             Pre-K programs, effectively, operate in three

      14      settings:  District schools.  New York City early

      15      education centers.  These are private providers,

      16      such as Henry Street.  And, charter schools.

      17             They are all held to the same quality

      18      expectations.

      19             We issued multiple request for proposals each

      20      year to identify quality providers, a very

      21      vigorous -- rigorous review process.

      22             60 percent of applicants were approved last

      23      year.

      24             About 50 percent were approved this year.

      25             The Department of Education provides


       1      extensive support, oversight, and training programs,

       2      to make sure they are operating at high quality

       3      levels and delivering excellent learning experiences

       4      for children.

       5             For the 2015-16 school year, this school

       6      year, the DOE also created what we call "stand-alone

       7      pre-K centers."  These are programs run by the DOE,

       8      and overseen by early childhood directors who report

       9      directly to the superintendents, but they're not

      10      affiliated with a particular school.

      11             In total, we have 63 stand-alone pre-K

      12      centers, with just under 8,000 seats open in

      13      15 districts around New York City.

      14             If you ever want to have, like, a personal

      15      high, go into a pre-K center with 400 4-year-olds,

      16      doing art, building blocks.

      17             And if you have a bad day, there is something

      18      very wrong with you.

      19             Classroom instruction is based on the

      20      New York State pre-kindergarten foundations for the

      21      Common Core.

      22             It ensures that classroom interaction and

      23      materials build on the strength, interests, and

      24      diverse background of students.

      25             At the pre-K level, what these standards


       1      really mean is an approach to learning through play,

       2      through rich learning experiences that invite

       3      participation, engage the senses, and help children

       4      explore their environment.

       5             We made major investments in professional

       6      development, and have launched really focused

       7      teacher support tracks, to make sure the teachers

       8      are the best teachers we've, and are creating great

       9      experiences for our kids.

      10             Second, you know, we have a big commitment to

      11      ensuring that every program is safe.

      12             Multiple agencies, including the departments

      13      of Health, Buildings, Fire and Investigation, along

      14      with the DOE and the Administration for Children's

      15      Services, are tasked with ensuring the safety and

      16      integrity of pre-K programs.  This required

      17      extensive interagency coordination, to make sure

      18      that every site meets the highest standards.

      19             And we're really excited about the added

      20      investments we've made to make sure that every

      21      program is one that any of us would feel perfectly

      22      comfortable sending our children to.

      23             Third, and most importantly, we work to make

      24      sure that parents were aware of the amazing

      25      educational opportunities available to their


       1      children, and making sure that parents have an easy

       2      time finding programs, and making that sure we built

       3      in deep, deep, deep family supports, as central to

       4      our work.

       5             We have a pre-K outreach team which,

       6      basically, engages in a comprehensive grassroots

       7      strategy to get the word about pre-K out there.

       8             Just an example, they made about 400,000 live

       9      calls to parents of 4-year-olds leading up to the

      10      school year.

      11             We also created a centralized enrollment

      12      process to make it easier for parents to apply to

      13      the program for the first time.

      14             And you can add all of your choices on one

      15      application, whether it's a district school or a

      16      community center, and get it matched, hopefully, at

      17      one of your choices.

      18             We've also established strong partnerships

      19      with families and increased support for families in

      20      high-need areas; everything from investment in

      21      social work, investment in family support, extended

      22      dual-language and enhanced-language programs to make

      23      sure that families for whom English is not the

      24      second language can effectively engage in our

      25      programming.


       1             It's (unintelligible) of work to make sure

       2      that families are truly engaged.  It's one of the

       3      keys to a successful pre-kindergarten experience.

       4             And as we move beyond our launch phase into

       5      deep implementation, we look forward to continuing

       6      to improve our system, especially our work with

       7      families.

       8             And, actually, I would also just say, it's

       9      important that we say that it's is not too late to

      10      apply even for this school year.

      11             We continue to have seats in every part of

      12      New York City available.

      13             Our outreach team continues to work to

      14      connect families to services.

      15             And we hope that everybody here will do

      16      everything they can to let families know it's not

      17      too late to create a transformative experience for

      18      your 4-year-old in New York City.

      19             So, look forward to your questions when we're

      20      done with our presentations, and thank you again for

      21      having us.

      22             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Thank you.

      23             ROBERTA HOLDER-MOSLEY:  Good morning,

      24      Chairs Carlucci and Avella, Senator Squadron, and

      25      members of the Committees.


       1             My name is Roberta Holder-Mosley, and I'm the

       2      director of the Nurse-Family Partnership program

       3      within the division of family and child health at

       4      the New York City Department of Health and Mental

       5      Hygiene.

       6             I am honored this morning to be on the panel

       7      with both Deputy Mayor Buery, and HRA

       8      Administration, Commissioner Banks.

       9             On behalf of Commissioner Bassett, thank you

      10      for the opportunity to testify on the topics of

      11      social needs from the prenatal stage to the pre-K

      12      age.

      13             Ensuring that appropriate services and

      14      supports are available for our children and families

      15      in this period is a critical issue for the

      16      department and the City, and I thank you for your

      17      continued attention to it.

      18             The health of our youngest New Yorkers is a

      19      top priority for the administration, the department,

      20      and our commissioner.

      21             As testament to this commitment,

      22      Commissioner Bassett created the division of family

      23      and child health, which includes the bureaus of

      24      maternal infant reproductive health, school health,

      25      early intervention, and the oral-health program, to


       1      address the health and development of children and

       2      youth in the context of their families in a

       3      comprehensive way.

       4             This division creates and oversees programs,

       5      policies, and services that support and promote

       6      physical and socio-emotional health, primary and

       7      reproductive health services, health equity, social

       8      justice, safety and well-being, for New York City

       9      families and children.

      10             I would like to spend time today discussing

      11      some of the department's many initiatives serving

      12      this population.

      13             Home-visiting programs:

      14             The department provides a range of direct

      15      services to families around New York City,

      16      particularly in the neighborhoods burdened by poor

      17      health outcomes.

      18             Neighborhood-level approaches and

      19      geographical targeting of resources are a focus for

      20      our health-equity strategies, and we see this work

      21      as supporting all communities and undoing inequities

      22      and injustice.

      23             The department's home-visiting programs for

      24      new mothers and families are central to these

      25      efforts.


       1             Our Nurse-Family Partnership program, which

       2      many of you know well, is a flagship program, and

       3      demonstrates the significant and beneficial outcomes

       4      that result from investing in parents and children.

       5             NFP is a voluntary, evidence-based,

       6      preventive public-health program for low-income,

       7      first-time-pregnant women, their children, and

       8      families.

       9             Mothers participating in the program are

      10      partnered with a registered nurse early in their

      11      pregnancy and receive regular nurse home visits

      12      throughout the prenatal and post-partum period,

      13      until the child's second birthday.

      14             Over the past 11 years, the New York City NFP

      15      has served over 11,500 clients, and has graduated

      16      over 2500 clients.

      17             NFP has been researched extensively, and has

      18      a substantial range of health and social benefits

      19      for mothers, their children, and their families

      20      resulting from this program.

      21             Moreover, NFP is cost-effective and yields

      22      economic benefits to taxpayers, generating a return

      23      of 323 to 570 for every dollar invested.

      24             We thank you for your ongoing commitment to

      25      this program and urge you to continue to maintain


       1      your support.

       2             The department's second home-visiting

       3      program, the newborn home-visiting program, offers a

       4      short-term intervention for families with a new

       5      infant.

       6             Currently, the program is focused on

       7      providing breastfeeding support and developmental

       8      screening; addressing household hazards, such as

       9      missing window guards and lead; promoting safe-sleep

      10      and infant safety; and making appropriate referrals

      11      for social services and community programs, such as

      12      WIC.

      13             Additionally, participating mothers receive

      14      essential resources that promote mother, child, and

      15      family health and safety, including cribs, breast

      16      pumps, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors,

      17      infant-safety DVDs, as needed.

      18             Since its expansion in 2007, the nurse

      19      home-visiting program has visited and provided

      20      services to 35,000 families in targeted communities.

      21             I apologize.  Newborn home-visiting program.

      22             Breastfeeding education and supports:

      23             The department works on numerous fronts to

      24      promote breastfeeding, which is critical to address

      25      stark disparities in breastfeeding rates among


       1      certain communities.

       2             We have recently released data, showing that

       3      women of color, as well as mothers who are

       4      low-income, who don't have a college degree, who

       5      qualify for Medicaid, and who are from high-poverty

       6      neighborhoods, have the highest-- lowest,

       7      I apologize, breastfeeding rates in New York City.

       8             Mothers of color face structural barriers to

       9      breastfeeding, including hospital policies and

      10      practices, marketing of infant formula, social

      11      norms, returning to work early, and unsupportive

      12      work environments, as well as racism and

      13      discrimination.

      14             Given the well-established evidence of

      15      disparities in breastfeeding, the department has a

      16      comprehensive strategy to help diverse mothers

      17      across the city get the support they need to

      18      breastfeed.

      19             We partner with maternity hospitals and

      20      birthing centers to increase breastfeeding

      21      initiation and continuation among mothers who choose

      22      to breastfeed.

      23             The New York City Breastfeeding Hospital

      24      Collaborative provides evidence-based technical

      25      support to 18 maternity facilities to promote


       1      optimal maternity-care practices by achieving the

       2      World Health Organization/UNICEF "baby-friendly"

       3      designation.

       4             To date, four hospitals in New York City have

       5      achieved this highly-rigorous designation.

       6             Through the Latch On NYC initiative, we work

       7      with an additional 14 hospitals to reduce formula

       8      supplementation and healthy breastfed babies during

       9      the hospital stay, unless medically indicated, and

      10      discontinued distribution of promotional or free

      11      infant formula that can interfere with a mother's

      12      decision to breastfeed.

      13             Additionally, to address breastfeeding

      14      disparities, we introduced community-based

      15      initiatives, such as the Brooklyn Breastfeeding

      16      Empowerment Zone.

      17             Through this program, community members are

      18      trained to become community breastfeeding educators,

      19      educate workshops for families, and referrals to the

      20      zone fatherhood support group, and actively include

      21      faith-based leaders, small businesses, and community

      22      members.

      23             Support for women before, during, and after

      24      labor and delivery:

      25             "DOULAs" are women who are trained to provide


       1      physical, emotional, and informational support to

       2      women in childbirth.

       3             DOULA support has been shown to improve birth

       4      outcomes, control costs, and reduce health

       5      disparities.

       6             Over one-third of births end in a Cesarean

       7      section, or, a "C-section," which rates highest

       8      among African-American women.

       9             However, C-section rates go down by one-fifth

      10      among women whose births are attended by a DOULA;

      11      yet, access to this supportive service is generally

      12      reserved for those who can pay out-of-pocket.

      13             To counter this imbalance, Healthy Start

      14      Brooklyn and the Breastfeeding Empowerment Zone,

      15      both run out of the Brooklyn District Public Health

      16      Office, have sponsored several workshops to train

      17      community residents as DOULAs.

      18             Safe-sleep:

      19             Sleep-related injuries remain one of the

      20      leading causes of death among infants in

      21      New York City, with a rate of more than three times

      22      that of deaths due to other types of injuries, such

      23      as falling, drowning, or poisoning.

      24             However, while they are among the leading

      25      causes, sleep-related-injury deaths are also among


       1      the most preventible.

       2             These outcomes are marked by striking racial

       3      disparities.

       4             Death rates of Black infants from

       5      sleep-related injury are more than six times that of

       6      White infants, and, of Hispanic infants, nearly

       7      twice that of White infants.

       8             The department's Safe-Sleep Initiative works

       9      with families, home-visiting programs, and community

      10      agencies to prevent unintentional injury deaths due

      11      to suffocation.

      12             Since 2007, the department has partnered

      13      with the Cribs For Kids program to provide over

      14      4600 cribs to families through the newborn home

      15      visiting and Nurse-Family Partnership programs, and

      16      has provided safe-sleep education to over

      17      30,000 families.

      18             Additionally, the administration recently

      19      sponsored a safe-sleep public-awareness campaign

      20      with ads in public transportation, check-cashing

      21      facilities, nail and hair salons, laundry centers,

      22      and on social media.

      23             Early intervention:

      24             Finally, I would like to highlight the

      25      department's early intervention program which serves


       1      over 30,000 children per year under age 3 with

       2      developmental delays or disabilities.

       3             Services are provided through a network of

       4      over 100 community-based provider agencies that

       5      conduct evaluations, provide care coordination, and

       6      deliver services, such as speech therapy, special

       7      instruction, and physical and occupational therapy.

       8             The early intervention program has undertaken

       9      several exciting initiatives to improve the quality

      10      of early intervention service delivery.

      11             For example, over 700 treating professionals,

      12      service coordinators, and clinical leaders have

      13      participated in our learning collaboratives.

      14             A professional-development program focused on

      15      evidence-based approaches to home-based services for

      16      children with developmental delays, and building

      17      expertise within the EI agencies delivering these

      18      important services.

      19             In addition, the early intervention program

      20      has developed academic collaborations with the

      21      State University of New York and City University of

      22      New York to strengthen, professionally, the

      23      educational preparation for individuals who plan to

      24      work with the birth-to-three population with

      25      developmental delays or disabilities in their future


       1      careers.

       2             Developing capacity and academic preparation,

       3      and within the provider community, is key to further

       4      ensuring quality EI service provision.

       5             The programs I have touched on today

       6      represent some of the resources the department

       7      provides to children and families, from the prenatal

       8      to pre-K stages, in order to help address the gaps

       9      in health outcomes in New York City.

      10             As you know, it is only by addressing these

      11      and other social determinants of health that,

      12      together, the branches and levels of government will

      13      truly impact family and child poverty.

      14             We look forward to working with the Senate to

      15      continue to develop and expand approaches that

      16      improve the health and well-being of our children

      17      and families.

      18             Thank you for the opportunity to testify

      19      today.

      20             I would be happy to answer any questions.

      21             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Great, thank you very

      22      much.

      23             Before we move to Commissioner Banks, we've

      24      been joined by another guest.

      25             Assemblyman Hevesi, will you introduce.


       1             Assemblywoman Maritza Davila, this is her --

       2      she works in this area, very hard, and she's a

       3      rising star in the Assembly.

       4             I want to welcome her here today.

       5             ASSEMBLYWOMAN DAVILA:  Hi.

       6             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Commissioner Banks.

       7             STEVEN BANKS:  Good morning.

       8             Thank you very much for this opportunity to

       9      testify.

      10             I appreciate this further opportunity to work

      11      with Senator Avella, Senator Carlucci,

      12      Senator Savino, Squadron; Assembly Member Hevesi,

      13      and, Assembly Member Davila, who I have known for a

      14      very long time.

      15             I've known Senator Savino for a very long

      16      time too, as well as Senator Avella.

      17             We appreciate the support that you've given

      18      us for our reform efforts.

      19             Yes, I know, Senator Carlucci and

      20      Senator Squadron, I've known you for a long time

      21      too.

      22             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  How long?

      23             No, I'm just kidding.

      24             STEVEN BANKS:  You not as long as some of the

      25      others, I must admit.


       1             SENATOR SAVINO:  Me the longest.

       2             STEVEN BANKS:  Anytime, as a commissioner,

       3      you start testifying, and people try to figure out

       4      how long they've known you, you're doing well.

       5                  [Laughter.]

       6             STEVEN BANKS:  In closing...

       7                  [Laughter.]

       8             STEVEN BANKS:  You have our testimony for the

       9      record.

      10             I just want to highlight a few aspects of it;

      11      in particular, I want to focus on the services that

      12      we provide to pregnant women, and children up to the

      13      age of 5.  And then, where relevant, mention some of

      14      our reforms.

      15             But there's a lot of testimony here, and

      16      I know you'll have it for the record, and then I

      17      know there are other hearings that will be held.

      18             I think, by way of background:

      19             HRA has a budget of $9.9 billion, and a

      20      headcount of 14,000 staff on the front lines,

      21      providing services to more than 3 million low-income

      22      children and adults in the city.

      23             The key aspects of our services are economic

      24      support and social services for families and

      25      individuals through the administration of major


       1      benefit programs, cash assistance, food stamps,

       2      Medicaid, and child support; homelessness- and

       3      eviction-prevention assistance;

       4      educational/vocational employment services;

       5      assistance for persons with disabilities; services

       6      for immigrants; civil legal aid; and disaster

       7      relief; and for the most vulnerable New Yorkers,

       8      HIV/AIDS services, adult protective services, home

       9      care, and programs for survivors of domestic

      10      violences.

      11             Our services assist low-income New Yorkers in

      12      staying on the job and in the workforce, providing

      13      food and health care for their families, and

      14      averting homelessness.

      15             In a city where the cost of living has

      16      steadily increased, households that depend on the

      17      earnings of low-wage workers can quickly be derailed

      18      by unforeseen emergencies and expenses.

      19             This is the case for more than 25,000 HRA

      20      cash-assistance clients who are employed; however,

      21      their incomes are so low that they still qualify for

      22      cash assistance.

      23             For them, increasing the minimum wage is

      24      essential to moving out of poverty and off of the

      25      HRA caseload.


       1             For low-income working New Yorkers and their

       2      children under the age of 5, among other assistance,

       3      HRA provides these key work supports:

       4             197,484 New York children under the age of 5

       5      receive Medicaid through HRA, and tens of thousands

       6      more through the new state health exchange.

       7             94,494 children under the age of 5 receive

       8      SNAP food-stamp assistance, and millions of children

       9      and adults receive meals through food pantries and

      10      community kitchens supported by HRA funding.

      11             107,000 New Yorkers receive one-shot rent

      12      assistance each year and utility assistance to keep

      13      their homes and continued utility services,

      14      including many children under the age of 5.

      15             44,000 families seek services related to

      16      domestic violence they're experiencing, and

      17      3877 families receive domestic-violence shelter from

      18      HRA, including working heads of households and their

      19      children.

      20             9,044 New Yorkers receive eviction-prevention

      21      legal assistance, including working heads of

      22      households and their young children.

      23             Having access to comprehensive health care

      24      allows families with children to stay healthy, in

      25      school, and working, and gives them the security in


       1      knowing that they're not one potential medical

       2      emergency away from economic catastrophe.

       3             Having food-stamp benefits gives families the

       4      chance to put fresh and nutritious food on their

       5      table to alleviate hunger and food insecurity for

       6      children.

       7             In addition to work supports for families

       8      and individuals, over the past year, as has been

       9      the case for the past 7 years, HRA has provided

      10      basic cash assistance to a stable caseload of

      11      500,000 adults and children, 38,926 of whom are

      12      below the age of 5.

      13             Having access to cash assistance allows

      14      parents to pay for necessities for their children,

      15      including clothing, public transportation, and

      16      school supplies.

      17             Every day HRA helps thousands of the most

      18      vulnerable New Yorkers, including children under the

      19      age of 5, by providing energy assistance,

      20      homelessness prevention and legal aid, support for

      21      children and adults recovering from the trauma of

      22      domestic violence, services for people with HIV and

      23      AIDS, child-support enforcement, access to expanded

      24      tax-credit assistance.

      25             These services are assisting families in


       1      moving towards self-sufficiency, and researchers

       2      have positively associated many of these social

       3      services with improved long-term outcome for

       4      clients, particularly children.

       5             Homelessness-prevention programs reduce risk

       6      factors for poor school outcomes.

       7             Medicaid and other public-insurance programs

       8      are associated with better health, lower mortality,

       9      and decreasing household debt.

      10             Food-stamp benefits improve long-term health

      11      and self-sufficiency.

      12             Access to pre-natal care fosters healthier

      13      children and provides long-term benefits to mothers.

      14             And child support is positively associated

      15      with a number of child well-being indicators, such

      16      as educational attainment, schooling, and cognitive

      17      outcomes.

      18             For the past 18 months, HRA has implemented

      19      or substantially developed reforms of policies and

      20      procedures to better serve low-income families and

      21      individuals, aimed at reducing the number of

      22      New Yorkers living in poverty and helping clients

      23      move off the HRA caseload.

      24             We're focused on reforming counterproductive

      25      policies that harm clients and have an adverse


       1      impact on staff workload, and subject the City to

       2      financial penalties due to unnecessary fair

       3      hearings.

       4             I want to take this opportunity to again

       5      thank all of you on this panel for your leadership

       6      and assistance to enact the reform of the Fair

       7      Hearing Charge-Back Law; particularly,

       8      Senator Avella and Assemblyman Hevesi were the

       9      prime sponsors.

      10             This is the law that subjects New York City

      11      to, potentially, $10 million in a penalty, even

      12      though we've eliminated a backlog of 70,000 fair

      13      hearings that we had inherited.

      14             And we also appreciate your support to enact

      15      reform of the cash-assistance program, in which

      16      we're currently barred from providing aid to

      17      households in which a household head is -- has

      18      not -- has cured employment-program compliance

      19      issue, but is still subject to a durational

      20      sanction.

      21             Both bills are pending submission to the

      22      Governor, and we appreciate your leadership in

      23      getting to this point, and we're hopeful that they

      24      will both be signed.

      25             We've already enacted more than 100 key


       1      reforms aimed at creating a more efficient and

       2      effective service-delivery system, to ensure that no

       3      one who is eligible for services is denied due to

       4      bureaucratic barriers.

       5             Our testimony highlights a number of the

       6      areas that we've made these changes in.

       7             And, again, I want to thank you for your

       8      support in moving forward.

       9             I want to, in particular, note some of the

      10      issues that are of concern to us, as we move

      11      forward, just in closing.

      12             We've done a lot over the past year to put in

      13      place legal-services programs to keep people in

      14      their homes, and rental-assistance programs to keep

      15      people in their homes.

      16             In the -- when these programs for legal

      17      services are fully implemented in FY 17,

      18      New York City will be allocating nearly $76 million

      19      for legal assistance for low-income New Yorkers in

      20      our baseline budget.  This is in comparison to up to

      21      $6 million that had -- the prior administration had

      22      funded, year-to-year.

      23             There's no other municipality that allocates

      24      even a small fraction of what New York City is

      25      committing to provide access to civil justice.


       1             And this provision of civil legal assistance

       2      is a key component of the administration's overall

       3      efforts to address poverty and income inequality.

       4      And, obviously, there's a tremendous benefit for

       5      children under the age of 5 to be able to remain in

       6      their homes.

       7             We've implemented a number of

       8      rental-assistance programs, with your leadership and

       9      support.  We hope to continue to be able to expand

      10      those programs.

      11             For all of these programs to be successful in

      12      preventing and alleviating homelessness, and helping

      13      low-income children under the age of 5, we need a

      14      sustained investment from both the City and the

      15      State for years to come.

      16             And we're very appreciative of your

      17      assistance through the Legislature, the Senate and

      18      the Assembly, in terms of allocating -- in terms of

      19      obtaining the allocation of $220 million over

      20      4 years for rental assistance and related

      21      homelessness assistance, the $15 million to prevent

      22      evictions and alleviate homelessness through a pilot

      23      program, to increase supplemental housing allowances

      24      that have not been raised in over a decade, and your

      25      support for supportive-housing units.


       1             However, there's much more that needs to be

       2      done to address the needs of children and to keep

       3      them in stable homes, and to move children and

       4      adults from shelters into permanent housing.

       5             We're looking forward to continuing to work

       6      with the members of these Committees, and all of

       7      your leadership, to respond to these pressing needs,

       8      and to work with our state partners to adequately

       9      fund necessary programs and services, including

      10      increases in the amount of supportive housing, and

      11      addressing the need for rent allowances that are

      12      adequate to raise children in a home, as required by

      13      the state social services law.

      14             We've accomplished a great deal over

      15      18 months, with your support, but we know we've much

      16      more to do, and will continue with our former

      17      initiatives during the coming year.

      18             And with your assistance in the enactment of

      19      our legislative priorities to further these reforms,

      20      we know there's much more that can be accomplished

      21      for children and vulnerable people in New York City.

      22             Thank you again for your support.

      23             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Great, thank you,

      24      Commissioner Banks.

      25             Before we take questions, I'd like to


       1      introduce, and welcome, Senator Montgomery.

       2             Senator Montgomery, thank you for joining us.

       3             Would you like to say a few words?

       4             SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  No, I'm fine.

       5             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Okay.  Great.

       6             So, do we have questions?

       7             Senator Savino?

       8             SENATOR SAVINO:  First of all, I want to

       9      thank all of you for your testimony.

      10             And I will try and be brief, because there's

      11      many of us, and I'm sure we want to cover a lot of

      12      issues.

      13             I had hoped that ACS would be here today to

      14      talk about some of the issues that affect children

      15      through their agency.  But, unfortunately, they are

      16      not here, so I'm going to ask the deputy mayor a

      17      question about an issue that comes under the purview

      18      of ACS.

      19             You spoke extensively about the UPK program

      20      and its success, and that's one of the reasons why

      21      we were very supportive of it when the mayor came to

      22      Albany to seek authorization for it, and money.

      23             But one of the unintended consequences of the

      24      success of UPK has been its effect on EarlyLearn.

      25             And while I have never been a big fan of


       1      EarlyLearn, it was implemented by ACS, many agencies

       2      adapted to it, and now they find themselves on the

       3      verge of losing programs.  It's affecting Catholic

       4      Charities, both in Brooklyn and in Staten Island,

       5      other parts of the city.

       6             And so what do we say to these early

       7      childhood programs, EarlyLearn; what do we say to

       8      the non-profits that adapted to EarlyLearn; who now

       9      find themselves about to go under?

      10             RICHARD BUERY:  So I think a few things might

      11      help to understand some of the specific challenges

      12      you're addressing.

      13             Obviously, the EarlyLearn system remains

      14      a bedrock part of the system of the supports we

      15      provide for families with young children in

      16      New York City.  And, indeed, the EarlyLearn system

      17      is part of the pre-K system, in that 4-year-olds in

      18      the EarlyLearn system are part of the full-day pre-K

      19      seats that we offer to children --

      20             SENATOR SAVINO:  Not the 3-year-olds.

      21             RICHARD BUERY:  Not the 3-year-olds, but the

      22      4-year-olds.

      23             And so there are a number of things that

      24      we've tried to do, understanding some of the, you

      25      know, unintended consequences of the investments


       1      we've made in the 4-year-old system.

       2             So just as a few examples:

       3             We've worked very hard to ensure that

       4      providers that have 3-year-old classrooms are able

       5      to maintain enrollment, able to maintain their

       6      teaching staff, because that can be a challenge, as

       7      we are hiring thousands of pre-kindergarten teachers

       8      around the city.

       9             And we tried to work very hard with

      10      EarlyLearn providers to make sure that they continue

      11      to do their good work, and that opening 4-year-old

      12      classrooms, opening pre-kindergarten classrooms,

      13      does not cause undue harm in EarlyLearn classrooms.

      14             We do all the work towards raise rate

      15      disparities.  For example, being able to pay

      16      families on the basis of capacity -- pay provided on

      17      the basis of capacity -- on contracted capacity.

      18             In EarlyLearn, a very critical way of making

      19      sure that providers were able to pay their bills,

      20      maintain their overhead, even as enrollment may ebb

      21      and flow based on demand in their neighborhoods.

      22             But what I would say is that, you know, we

      23      continue to engage community of providers on a daily

      24      basis to try to address very real concerns.

      25             I mean, EarlyLearn system absolutely has


       1      challenged.  We don't say otherwise.

       2             We don't have an overnight fix for all of

       3      those challenges, but in addition to all the things

       4      that we've tried to do, what we've tried to do, most

       5      of all, is to maintain ongoing dialogue with the

       6      community.

       7             And I think we've tried to be responsive, and

       8      will continue to do so over time.

       9             SENATOR SAVINO:  Well, this is -- just keep

      10      it on your radar.  It's an evolving problem.

      11             And then for my good friend,

      12      Commissioner Banks, you know, I realized today

      13      is September 17th, so it is the actual

      14      25th anniversary of my first day as an employee at

      15      HRA.

      16             STEVEN BANKS:  Yay!

      17             SENATOR SAVINO:  So I've been -- I remember

      18      HRA when it was the superagency, before it broke

      19      down into multiple agencies, before welfare reform,

      20      post-welfare reform.

      21             The more things change, the more they stay

      22      the same.

      23             But I noticed the other day, you mentioned

      24      the bill that we worked on, the conciliation bill,

      25      which, in my opinion, is very important to helping


       1      you guys, you know, go forward with your reforms.

       2             There is objection to it, though, obviously,

       3      from certain quarters.

       4             And, in fact, the "New York Post," I think on

       5      Monday, or Tuesday, wrote a scathing --

       6             STEVEN BANKS:  Yesterday.

       7             SENATOR SAVINO:  -- yesterday, wrote a

       8      scathing editorial about how you and your agency are

       9      trying to roll back welfare reform and take us back

      10      to the -- you know, the bad old days, which, of

      11      course, is absurd.

      12             But what do you say -- what do we say to the

      13      Governor's Office who's going to ask for an opinion

      14      as to why this isn't the case?

      15             Why this is actually a progressive,

      16      forward-thinking approach towards welfare reform, as

      17      opposed to just maintaining a system, that while it

      18      may have worked in 1995, is not necessarily the same

      19      approach we should use today?

      20             How do we -- what am I -- what should I tell

      21      the Governor when he says, Why should I sign your

      22      bill, Senator?

      23             STEVEN BANKS:  I think the problem with

      24      arguments that we're rolling things back ignores the

      25      reality that the promise of welfare reform has


       1      actually not been realized for our clients in the

       2      way that it should be.

       3             The focus for the prior 20 years, prior to

       4      the current administration, was on welfare reform

       5      equals caseload reduction.

       6             Welfare reform was meant to equal addressing

       7      poverty, and moving people out of poverty.

       8             The programs that we are putting in place are

       9      designed to end the churning.

      10             "Churning" is the closing of cases in one

      11      month in order to reduce the caseload in that month,

      12      with the result that the person applies in a later

      13      month and is counted in that month.

      14             And every month a certain number of people

      15      are being churned on and off the caseload.

      16             The most important statistic to focus on is

      17      the annual unduplicated numbers of people receiving

      18      assistance.

      19             Whereas the monthly numbers have varied

      20      because of this churning process, the unduplicated

      21      annual number has been flat.

      22             And what we want to do is to focus on moving

      23      people off the caseload so that they can move to

      24      self-sufficiency, rather than churning them on and

      25      off the caseload.


       1             That churning is what led to the unnecessary

       2      fair hearings, which is what led to the potential

       3      $10 million penalty.  And we spent the last

       4      two years working down that backlog, with your

       5      support, making those changes.

       6             The sanction reform bill is extremely

       7      important, because the sanction law, as it exists,

       8      says that if a client makes the mistake, and then

       9      comes back and says, "I'm ready to participate in

      10      work programs," that client must serve out a

      11      durational sanction, which deprives that client's

      12      household of the benefits that the family needs to

      13      live off of, which could result in an eviction,

      14      which is going to be more expensive in the long run.

      15             The sanctions approach that had been taken in

      16      the prior 20 years does not promote

      17      self-sufficiency.  It promotes homelessness.

      18             One of the first things that we saw when we

      19      came in, is we analyzed the numbers of people that

      20      had had an HRA case closing or sanction, that were

      21      applying for DHS shelter.

      22             We found that, based upon a cohort analysis

      23      of people who applied for shelter in 2013, that

      24      23 percent had had an HRA case closing or sanction

      25      in the prior 12 months.


       1             The sanction reform is aimed at that; the

       2      sanction reform is aimed at addressing that problem,

       3      to give us the tools to reengage people.

       4             I gave you the example of the person who

       5      makes a mistake and we can't reengage.

       6             What about the person who doesn't make a

       7      mistake?

       8             They behave willfully, but then they still

       9      come back and they want to be helped.

      10             We can't help them.

      11             We're being deprived of a critical tool to

      12      engage people, and to give them the assistance.

      13             And, at the same time, we've got data showing

      14      that this is associated with people who end up

      15      applying for shelter.

      16             So it's a critical piece.

      17             We definitely appreciate your support.

      18             We've had very good conversations with people

      19      in the -- at the state level, people on the city

      20      level.

      21             I think there's a recognition that this is a

      22      critical piece of moving forward.

      23             I read what was written about what we're

      24      trying to do.

      25             We're trying to actually enable families and


       1      children to have opportunities and move forward.

       2             The revamping of our employment programs are

       3      really in line with that.  They're focused on

       4      education and training.

       5             In order to construct this program, we looked

       6      all across the country at what the best things were

       7      happening in the states.  Whether they were red or

       8      blue, we looked at them.

       9             And in red states there were some good things

      10      happening, and some states some bad things

      11      happening.

      12             Same with the blue states.

      13             And we picked the things that were shown to

      14      be most effective.

      15             Education and training were shown to be

      16      effective.

      17             We're being criticized for this, but the data

      18      doesn't lie.

      19             If you don't have a high school diploma,

      20      you're going to earn about $20,000.

      21             If you have a high school diploma, you're

      22      going to earn about $30,000.

      23             If you have two or more years of college,

      24      you're going to earn about $40,000.

      25             What could be a better way to move people off


       1      the HRA caseload and out of poverty, and make a

       2      difference for children under the age of 5, than

       3      these kinds of reforms?

       4             We're going to keep working, and with your

       5      support, we're going to continue to make progress.

       6             SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.

       7             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Assemblyman, did you have

       8      any questions?

       9             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Yeah, absolutely.

      10             Maritza, you want to go?  Go ahead.

      11             ASSEMBLYWOMAN DAVILA:  Oh, no, no.  You go.

      12             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Okay.

      13             First, thank you all for your testimony.

      14             And, Deputy Mayor, I just want to start, you

      15      touched on -- first, thanks for your work with

      16      pre-K.

      17             I've got a 6-year-old.  She didn't go to

      18      pre-K, but she's in first grade.

      19             And considering the kid who was yelling here,

      20      I'm really happy my kid's in first grade today.

      21             Okay, lighten up people.  This is going to be

      22      a long day.

      23                  [Laughter.]

      24             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  So, first, you

      25      mentioned, when you were talking about pre-K, the


       1      self-sufficiency standard.

       2             And I think that's an important standard.

       3      That's going to be something that we're going to

       4      need to consider because, from my perspective, the

       5      federal poverty level is an outdated standard, it

       6      doesn't make sense.

       7             So, we'll have conversations about that in

       8      the future.

       9             For Ms. Mosley, I just want to say, thank

      10      you.

      11             Your programs are fantastic, and that's why

      12      we in the Legislature come back every year and we

      13      try to increase it.

      14             I believe you had an increase of 3 million

      15      this past year.

      16             ROBERTA HOLDER-MOSLEY:  Yes.  Thank you.

      17             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  We're going to keep

      18      coming back, because we know that your programs

      19      work.

      20             And I just want to say publicly, thank you.

      21             And, now, Mr. Banks, you're doing some

      22      outstanding work.  And I want to thank you for all

      23      of your help, and your advocacy, when we're talking,

      24      particularly about rental assistance, and also legal

      25      services, to keep people from becoming homeless.


       1             That, from my perspective, is the first prong

       2      in a two-pronged assault on homelessness.

       3             So, we did increase money in the state for

       4      rental assistance.  We did not do as much as I think

       5      we should have.

       6             But, you've got to keep people in their

       7      homes, and having programs that at least come close

       8      to the federal fair-market rate level is exactly

       9      what we need to do.

      10             So we've started that process.

      11             The second component, which I would,

      12      publicly, am now going to ask for your help on, and

      13      I know the City is considering, is the back end:

      14      What do you do with people who are in the system?

      15             And the answer, to get them out, is

      16      supportive housing.

      17             And that's why, I know you're looking at it,

      18      but that's why I want to make a full case for a

      19      robust NY/NY IV agreement, that has 35,000 units

      20      statewide.  It will be the first time we have

      21      5,000 units upstate, because they're sorely needed

      22      there; 30,000 for the city.

      23             I know you're not going to answer this at

      24      this point, but this is my advocacy.

      25             We sorely need that, and that will be --


       1             Everybody getting an Amber Alert?

       2             SENATOR SAVINO:  Is that what that is?

       3             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Yeah.

       4             Okay.  Usually, that's my wife telling me to

       5      stop talking.

       6             Just to finish up:

       7             A robust NY/NY IV is our way out of the

       8      homeless crisis.

       9             I would ask you to seriously consider that.

      10             We have a broad coalition who is ready to

      11      partner with you, to get what we need out of the

      12      State, particularly Governor.

      13             We have to do more.

      14             We have to match your commitment, and make

      15      sure that we get 30,000 units for the city.

      16             But I thank you for the fantastic work that

      17      you do.

      18             Thank you.

      19             STEVEN BANKS:  Thank you.

      20             You're an excellent advocate.

      21             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Thank you, Assemblyman.

      22             Senator Squadron.

      23             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you.

      24             And thank you all for your testimony.

      25             It's inspiring work you're all doing.


       1             And I think you see, from a diverse panel

       2      here, a lot of enthusiasm about it.

       3             Let me sort of ask the question this way:

       4             First of all, you all, I assume, agree with,

       5      sort of, what the other members of the panel talked

       6      about.

       7             You all agree that this is a broad picture

       8      that requires every component that we heard about

       9      today:  Pre-K.  Some of the more medically-based

      10      early childhood programs.  Cash assistance.

      11      Training.  Some of the things that HRA does.

      12             Is that fair to say?

      13             ROBERTA HOLDER-MOSLEY:  Yes.

      14             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And I'll just kind of go

      15      down the line.

      16             Commissioner Banks, obviously, the housing

      17      issue that Assemblyman Hevesi raised, there's an

      18      enormous gap in what's funded in the work you do.

      19             A lot of what you talked about with

      20      Senator Savino, and others, is some changes in what

      21      you're allowed to do, because the way it works, with

      22      federal TANF and State support, when it comes to

      23      cash assistance, when it comes to dollars, to help

      24      support people through training, that's -- we have a

      25      funding stream for that, that's based on the number


       1      of people who need it.

       2             Obviously, the fewer people who need it, the

       3      better city we have and the more money we save.  But

       4      there's a funding stream for that, based on the

       5      need.

       6             Is that fair to say?

       7             STEVEN BANKS:  Yes.

       8             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And, Deputy Mayor, it's

       9      fair to say that pre-K has a lot of important

      10      statistics behind it, that it's important.  But

      11      that, at this point, the State, and we've to stick

      12      with this, it's critical, gives the City the dollars

      13      it needs for the kids who enroll in full-day pre-K?

      14             Is that right that, hopefully, should

      15      continue?

      16             RICHARD BUERY:  Yeah, we hope, and expect

      17      that the State will continue with the historic

      18      investment in the city's pre-K expansion.

      19             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.

      20             And, Ms. Holder-Mosley, when we talk about

      21      early childhood and maternal-support programs, does

      22      the City have the funding it needs from the State to

      23      provide those to all of the eligible parents?

      24             ROBERTA HOLDER-MOSLEY:  No.

      25             SENATOR SQUADRON:  It does not?


       1             ROBERTA HOLDER-MOSLEY:  No.

       2             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Do have you any idea about

       3      what percentage it does have?

       4             ROBERTA HOLDER-MOSLEY:  If I looked --

       5      I think we would have to get back to you with those

       6      numbers, to ensure that I'm giving you the accurate

       7      information.

       8             SENATOR SQUADRON:  So let me ask:

       9             When we talk about evidenced-based maternal

      10      home-visiting programs -- and, here, I'll turn to

      11      the deputy mayor and the commissioner -- when you

      12      look at the evidence behind them, and the

      13      Commissioner talked a lot about the evidence he has

      14      done; the deputy mayor, I've heard very compelling,

      15      talking about the evidence behind pre-K previously;

      16      are early evidence-based maternal home-visiting

      17      programs less valuable?

      18             Are they not for real when it comes to the

      19      evidence and the importance of changing people's

      20      lives?

      21             STEVEN BANKS:  No -- no, I mean, clearly, the

      22      evidence behind -- one of the reasons why we make

      23      the investment in the programs, like NFP, is a very

      24      strong evidence-based behind the impact of early

      25      home-visiting programs, and other types of programs,


       1      that engage parents.

       2             You know, I would say that, in our

       3      administration, you know, Mayor de Blasio, when you

       4      think about how to reform the education system

       5      broadly, engaging parents in a comprehensive way is

       6      critical to the way we think about reforming the

       7      educational system.

       8             And it's all the more so, and certainly no

       9      less so, when we think about early --

      10             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And, by the way,

      11      Mayor de Blasio's vision or yours, does that start

      12      at age 4?

      13             RICHARD BUERY:  For --

      14             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Does the engagement start

      15      at age 4?

      16             RICHARD BUERY:  No.  We believe, of course,

      17      the earlier you can support children, the better.

      18             And so we believe that the continuum of

      19      supporting children, it starts at birth, obviously,

      20      and we want to make sure that we're supporting

      21      families as early as possible, as well as possible,

      22      as comprehensively as possible, over the long term.

      23             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you.

      24             And, Commissioner, that is true, in terms of

      25      children as they enter pre-K, enter the enormous and


       1      phenomenal project the deputy mayor is in charge of.

       2             Is it also true for families entirely, that

       3      engaging families that early makes a difference when

       4      you talk about the kind of home stability,

       5      professional stability, criminal justice avoidance,

       6      that is so important to your work?

       7             STEVEN BANKS:  I mean, certainly, what we've

       8      seen in the work that we've already been doing in

       9      the last 18 months, that early intervention directly

      10      with families makes a difference.

      11             It's the old adage, "An ounce of prevention

      12      is worth a pound of cure."

      13             SENATOR SQUADRON:  So let me just ask:  Why

      14      is it that the State funds --

      15             Again, has some crazy policies that we need

      16      to change.  And Senators Avella and Savino, and

      17      Assemblyman Hevesi, and others, have done a lot of

      18      work on that, thank goodness.

      19             -- but, you know, essentially, funds cash

      20      assistance based on need, State funds pre-K --

      21      universal pre-K now, thanks to the leadership of

      22      this City administration; but doesn't fund

      23      evidence-based maternal home visiting that everyone

      24      agrees would help everyone's job?

      25             RICHARD BUERY:  You're asking us why the


       1      State does not?

       2             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Correct.

       3                  [Laughter.]

       4             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Look, the State is helping

       5      out everywhere else.

       6             I mean, it would be a little wacky for the

       7      State to say:  Yes, we should have cash assistance

       8      and training opportunities and housing support.

       9      Yes, we should start the educational process and

      10      those supports at age 4, not age 5 or 6, as we did

      11      not too long ago in a lot of people's lifetimes.

      12      But, we shouldn't be helping new moms and their kids

      13      who would benefit in exactly the same way they do in

      14      the other two programs.

      15             So it's a little weird for the State to say

      16      yes to two out of three, is what --

      17             RICHARD BUERY:  Well, again, what I would say

      18      is that, again, we've articulated very clearly our

      19      commitment to supporting families; particularly,

      20      low-income families who escape from poverty.

      21             The thing, or the tie, that binds us all

      22      together, to be a robust and vibrant city, one that

      23      continues to be a leader in the next century, we

      24      need to have an economy that works for all

      25      New Yorkers, not just some New Yorkers.


       1             And, clearly, one of the things that drives

       2      that kind of change for families are early

       3      intervention -- early comprehensive interventions

       4      that support young people, the emotional

       5      developmental, educational development, economic

       6      development, as early as possible.

       7             So we would, of course, welcome the

       8      opportunity to work with the State, to make the kind

       9      of targeted program investments that children need.

      10             And we're excited that this is a topic that

      11      the Senate and Assembly are pushing for, and we

      12      would love to continue a dialogue on these issues.

      13             Clearly, the more support we have to invest

      14      in these services, the better off we all are.

      15             You know, people talk about these program

      16      being expensive.

      17             And I prefer to describe them as

      18      "resource-intensive," not as expensive, because we

      19      all know that the impact of important investments

      20      early, more than pay off.

      21             It's true for pre-K, and it's true for any

      22      number of early investments we make in children's

      23      development.

      24             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And my final question, we

      25      have a very busy day, I know:


       1             Pre-K would have more impact if more than

       2      10 percent of kids got evidence-based maternal home

       3      visiting.

       4             Is that be fair to say?

       5             RICHARD BUERY:  Well, what I would say is

       6      that parent engagement is a critical part of the

       7      pre-K.

       8             It's not only part of the standards of the

       9      pre-K foundation for the Common Core, but it's part

      10      of the commitment to our program in a number of

      11      ways.

      12             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Pre-K will do more if

      13      those families have support before the kids show up

      14      on the first day of school, when the kids are --

      15             RICHARD BUERY:  The more opportunities we

      16      have to support families early and comprehensively

      17      through evidence-based practices, the better off our

      18      children will be, the better off our city will be,

      19      the better our educational city -- or, our

      20      educational system will be, and the better our

      21      economy will be.

      22             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And it's fair to say that

      23      it's easier to -- and the statistics you cite is the

      24      right one, which is the number of people over the

      25      course of a year -- number of different people over


       1      the course of a year who are on the caseload.

       2             It's easier to keep people off the caseload

       3      if they don't have criminal justice problems, don't

       4      have substance-abuse problems, are more able to

       5      maintain employment, and have fewer additional needs

       6      for those who they're taking care of in the home.

       7             Is that fair to say?

       8             STEVEN BANKS:  That's definitely fair to say.

       9             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you so much.

      10             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Great, thank you,

      11      Senator Squadron.

      12             Assemblywoman Davila.

      13             ASSEMBLYWOMAN DAVILA:  Yes, hi.  Good

      14      after -- well, it's "good morning" still?

      15             SENATOR SAVINO:  Yeah, it's still.  Still

      16      morning.

      17             ASSEMBLYWOMAN DAVILA:  First, I want to thank

      18      you, Commissioner Banks.

      19             You have, by far, exceeded my expectations in

      20      terms of the excellent job that you do.

      21             I have a question in terms of your

      22      computerized program, Access -- is it Access?

      23             STEVEN BANKS:  Access NYC, yeah.

      24             ASSEMBLYWOMAN DAVILA:  "Access."  Okay.

      25             As you're aware, I represent Bushwick and


       1      Williamsburg.  And, right now, it's probably the

       2      highest percentage of illegal displacement,

       3      displacement of senior citizens.  And, we're having

       4      a large number of constituents coming into our

       5      office.

       6             They do not know how to access these

       7      computer-based programs that will give them

       8      services.

       9             And with that said, we have no problem

      10      helping them, but I'm afraid that if there's nothing

      11      else in place other than Access, I know they go to

      12      the welfare center, they have to wait there five,

      13      six hours, it just gets really overwhelming,

      14      30 Thornton Street.

      15             So they come to my office and we do what we

      16      have to do, and that's not an issue.

      17             But, I'm really becoming a little afraid of

      18      these seniors trying to get this done on their own

      19      and making large mistakes; and, therefore, not being

      20      able to retrieve the services that they need through

      21      Access.

      22             That's one question.

      23             Second question to you, Steve Banks, is:  In

      24      the near future, do you see any of the threshold

      25      for -- to access food stamps, the income threshold,


       1      do you see it going up?

       2             Because, in terms of people getting back to

       3      work or single parents having children, and being --

       4      and having to pay baby-sitting, and making the type

       5      of money right now is not a reality in

       6      New York State.  It's just not.

       7             And so pre-K comes in.  Pre-K is a wonderful

       8      program, because parents are able to put the

       9      children in pre-K.  But then, again, we need

      10      after-school.

      11             So we're going back and forth.

      12             Everything comes together in terms of social

      13      services.

      14             But I would please like you to answer:  Is

      15      there any other program, other than Access, that

      16      these older people, that do not know how to navigate

      17      computers, will be able to do this on their own?

      18             STEVEN BANKS:  So let me answer your second

      19      question first.

      20             The problem you're alluding -- you're

      21      highlighting is a very real one, which is the drop

      22      in benefits that occurred about a year and a half

      23      ago; and irrespective of the drop in benefits, the

      24      level of benefits to begin with.

      25             Unfortunately, the Congress seems to be


       1      moving in the opposite direction than we here in

       2      New York would want the Congress to be moving,

       3      because the drop in benefits was the result of the

       4      congressional reauthorization of the food-stamp

       5      program, and so that's what resulted in the drop in

       6      benefits for many people.

       7             And when we talk about great needs that

       8      people have for food and nutrition services, but we

       9      see fewer people getting the benefits, one of the

      10      reasons why fewer people are getting the benefits

      11      is, they were cut so much, that people are

      12      discouraged from continuing to pursue that.

      13             We're trying to buck that trend in New York.

      14             We started, as a new way to try

      15      to encourage people to participate.

      16             This year (unintelligible), with respect to

      17      senior participation, is a very real one, because

      18      there are a lot of bureaucratic requirements which

      19      we don't feel are necessary.

      20             And, we're working very closely with OTDA.

      21      The office -- the State Office of Temporary and

      22      Disability Assistance has been tremendously

      23      supportive of the changes we're trying to make at

      24      HRA, and they've been very supportive of a number of

      25      waiver requests that we're asking the federal


       1      government to make a more streamlined access for,

       2      particularly, seniors.

       3             We have found in other states, Florida, and

       4      the like, that they've been able to get waivers and

       5      enhanced access.

       6             And with the support of OTDA, we're hopeful

       7      that, over the next year, you're going to start to

       8      see some changes.

       9             The technology that we're rolling out is

      10      going to affect both cash and food stamps.

      11             And the aim isn't to make somebody, like a

      12      senior that you're describing, use it.  But to the

      13      extent that we can have more people use the

      14      technology, the time for someone who wants to go to

      15      a center will be reduced, because there will be

      16      fewer people in the center seeking assistance.

      17             70 percent of our clients have smartphones.

      18             And so the fact that next month we're going

      19      to be able to, on a citywide basis, move our pilot

      20      to a citywide basis, for People to be able to submit

      21      documents for SNAP off their smartphone, and not

      22      have to go to the center at all, will help deal with

      23      staff workload, and also deal with access to

      24      benefits.

      25             For the senior that may not be able to


       1      negotiate that, I understand that.  But that should,

       2      ultimately, have an impact on the workload for that

       3      senior coming in.

       4             Over the course of the next year, with OTDA's

       5      support, you'll see us being implementing a number

       6      of the waivers, and change in the technology, which

       7      I think will have the impact that you want.

       8             Right now, you're looking at us transitioning

       9      from a system that didn't work, towards a system

      10      that will work, based upon the experience in other

      11      states.

      12             And I appreciate your patience.  You've been

      13      terrifically supportive.

      14             On the other hand, we would be happy to come

      15      out and meet with seniors in your district, and do

      16      whatever we can to provide additional information.

      17             ASSEMBLYWOMAN DAVILA:  Thank you.

      18             I just have one more question, in terms of

      19      the universal pre-K.

      20             I know that Savino was just talking about,

      21      there are other institutions that are suffering

      22      because of it.

      23             And, of course, I've signed on for the

      24      educational tax credit, because I believe that every

      25      parent should have the opportunity to put their


       1      children where they believe they're going to be best

       2      educated.

       3             But what I am also seeing in the district,

       4      and with universal pre-K, it's a great program.

       5      I can't wait to put my grandson in.  He'll be

       6      three next year.

       7             And -- but the problem again seems to be

       8      that, there's some schools do have after-school

       9      programs, and some do not.

      10             And so, while we have the universal pre-K, we

      11      still have to have these parents find someone to

      12      run, pick up the children, and also take money out

      13      of the pocket to pay for that.

      14             So now, again, it comes to either you're

      15      going to pay your rent, pay baby-sitting, or you're

      16      going to eat.

      17             That's what we're facing in our district.

      18             But I think that's for us to deal with in

      19      Albany when we go back in in January, to help you

      20      try to resolve that issue.

      21             But, again, I thank all of you for being here

      22      and addressing a lot of our issues.

      23             I appreciate it.

      24             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Thank you, Assemblywoman.

      25             Assemblyman Hevesi.


       1             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Yeah, sorry.

       2             I just -- I'm going to take this opportunity

       3      to come back and make two comments.

       4             The first is on the benefits "cliff" issue

       5      that you just brought up.

       6             That's a big problem; particularly, since you

       7      have a state match to the food-stamp program.

       8             We're looking at a statewide resolution to

       9      that issue because the benefits "cliff" is a real

      10      problem.

      11             If, by definition, somebody's going to lose a

      12      certain amount of money by doing better or getting

      13      more at their job, then they're not -- it's

      14      counter -- you know, counterintuitive.

      15             The other thing, durational sanctions.

      16             First, the Senator has been fighting for this

      17      for several years, with my colleague

      18      Assemblyman Wright.  They've done a great job.

      19             It is before the Governor.

      20             But, that bill, which we have advocated for,

      21      and we will not stop sending it to the Governor's

      22      desk until he signs it, because it is the perfect

      23      example of dumb government, as far as I'm concerned.

      24             By sanctioning people -- and I take issue

      25      with the "New York Post," and, forgive me, I have


       1      not read it.

       2             But by sanctioning people, all you're doing

       3      is, you're hurting people and wasting money.

       4             Hurting people and wasting money.

       5             And it's part of a bigger problem with this

       6      issue area, with social services, where you look

       7      myopically at this year's budget alone, What are we

       8      spending on this particular program?

       9             That's all we do, and nobody looks at the

      10      unintended consequences.

      11             So, when you have durational sanctions, well,

      12      now we have a homelessness crisis.

      13             These are the kinds of things that we're

      14      going to have to look at, and break.

      15             And I'm a politician.

      16             I come from a family of politicians, that's

      17      why I'm a little crazy.

      18             But the politician's mindset is, you solve

      19      the problem in front of you, and then move on,

      20      because there's 50 more problems.

      21             We have to break that mindset.

      22             By looking only at the short-term

      23      consequences of the decisions we make, we are really

      24      being short-sighted, and exacerbating our problem,

      25      going further.  And that's a huge problem.


       1             The durational-sanctions bill is just one

       2      piece of that.

       3             So, I thank you for your work and your

       4      advocacy.

       5             We will not stop, I know the Senator will not

       6      stop, until that particular piece is ended, and

       7      we've got to look at this problem differently.

       8             But you guys have been fantastic.

       9             So, thank you for your work.

      10             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Well, thank you,

      11      Assemblyman.

      12             And I would just like to add:  I want to

      13      thank all of you for your testimony, for your time.

      14             And, on some of the things that you testified

      15      to, being a father, and a Senator, from right

      16      outside the border of New York City, I'm envious of

      17      the programs that you have in place.

      18             I know there's a lot of work to do, but

      19      I think we can partner and really mirror some of the

      20      things that you're doing in New York City, that we

      21      still have to catch up to in Rockland and

      22      Westchester counties.

      23             One of the things that the Assemblyman

      24      touched upon, and I think will be the real focus for

      25      us in the next legislative session, is addressing


       1      the "cliff"; addressing that cycle of poverty.

       2             And I know you've submitted testimony, and

       3      you've done a great job also, you know, of painting

       4      a clear picture of what you're facing, to work with

       5      us on strategies to end that "cliff"; to focus on a

       6      sliding scale, to see how we can wean people on to a

       7      better life.

       8             So, with that, I want to thank you, and look

       9      forward to working with you in the next legislative

      10      session.

      11             Thank you all.

      12             ROBERTA HOLDER-MOSLEY:  Thank you.

      13             STEVEN BANKS:  Thank you.

      14             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Next we have,

      15      Sharon Devine, executive deputy commissioner of the

      16      Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance;

      17             And Sheila Poole, acting commissioner of the

      18      Office of Children and Family Services.

      19             SHEILA POOLE:  Okay.  Great.

      20             So I guess it's, good afternoon,

      21      Chairman Avella and Chairman Carlucci, and other

      22      distinguished members of the Senate.

      23             My name is Sheila Poole, and I'm the acting

      24      commissioner of the Office of Children and Family

      25      Services.


       1             And I want to thank you for convening

       2      this hearing regarding the current system of social

       3      service programs for children in New York State.

       4             I'm pleased to testify today, to provide

       5      important information of the programs and

       6      investments currently underway in New York State.

       7             I think it's important to recognize the

       8      actions that we've taken as a state, to date, to

       9      create early pathways to the successful development

      10      of our children.

      11             As you may know, OCFS directly operates the

      12      statewide central register for child abuse and

      13      maltreatment, and oversees the provision of

      14      child-protective, foster care, preventive, and

      15      adoption services across the state.

      16             We are among 13 states with the

      17      State-supervised county-administered system of

      18      child-welfare services.

      19             OCFS works closely with community-based

      20      programs, as well as the state's 58 local

      21      departments of social services, including

      22      New York City, to help strengthen and support the

      23      safety, permanency, healthy development, and

      24      well-being of our children and families.

      25             These partnerships are critical to improving


       1      the outcomes for New York's highest-need children

       2      and families.

       3             I'd also remind all of our distinguished

       4      panelists that, New York State, through the

       5      Governor's support, as well as yours, we are the

       6      most richly reimbursed child-welfare

       7      preventive-service system in the entire nation.

       8             We reimburse local departments of social

       9      services at 62 cents on every dollar.  And while

      10      there's always more to be done, I think that's

      11      something that we should all collectively be very

      12      proud of.

      13             As many of you know, OCFS also administers

      14      the Healthy Families home-visiting program, which

      15      we're also happy to say recently celebrated its

      16      20th anniversary.

      17             Healthy-Families is a nationally accredited,

      18      evidence-based child-abuse and prevention program --

      19      home-visiting program, offering services to

      20      expectant parents and new families.

      21             Healthy Family program is made up of

      22      individual local fam -- local programs, excuse me,

      23      located within 26 separate counties, along with the

      24      city of New York.

      25             More than $27 million in state and federal


       1      funding support this program, which, last year,

       2      served nearly 6,000 families here in New York State.

       3             Healthy Families program is unique, in that

       4      it becomes involved before the child is born, and

       5      continues its support through the age of the child

       6      turning 5.

       7             Healthy Families is one of only two

       8      home-visiting programs in the state that works with

       9      children up until that really important milestone of

      10      entering kindergarten.

      11             This investment in Healthy Families has

      12      proven its worth in demonstrable outcomes.

      13             And I won't get into too much detail.

      14      There's others testifying today who have been doing

      15      that research for us.

      16             But, just generally speaking, the program is

      17      improving birth outcomes by reducing the number of

      18      low-birth-weight babies, improving parenting skills,

      19      developing school readiness, and reducing child

      20      abuse and maltreatment.

      21             OCFS is involved in a study examining

      22      children and families who were enrolled in the

      23      year 2000, to measure the long-term effects of the

      24      program 15 years later.

      25             The program results -- recruits, rather,


       1      home-visitors from the very neighborhoods the

       2      families it serves, helping promote cultural

       3      confidence and understanding of families needs, as

       4      well as making families comfortable with

       5      participating in the program.

       6             Earlier this year -- and we were happy to

       7      hear our colleagues in New York City really talk

       8      about the importance of promoting safe-sleep

       9      campaigns -- we've convened a statewide safe-sleep

      10      workgroup that brought together community-based

      11      organizations and other stakeholders to develop

      12      better strategies to reduce the prevalence of unsafe

      13      sleep practices and related infant fatalities.

      14             We were also co-chairing with New York State

      15      Department of Health, what's called "the safe-sleep

      16      subcommittee" of the statewide collaborative

      17      improvement and innovation workgroup.

      18             The team has been charged with developing a

      19      measurable strategy to address unsafe sleep for

      20      infants, with activities to be undertaking between

      21      now and September of 2016.

      22             OCFS also administers programs that are

      23      funded through the William Hoyt Memorial Children

      24      and Family Trust program, we call it the "trust

      25      fund," that seeks to improve the safety and


       1      well-being of children of or at risk of experiencing

       2      child abuse.

       3             These programs target high-need communities

       4      and emphasize partnerships with community providers,

       5      including local departments of social services.

       6             These include family resource centers and

       7      networks, evidence-based parent-education programs,

       8      that are aimed at increasing protective factors in

       9      families.

      10             In 2014, the trust fund provided crucial

      11      support and resources to 191,000 adults and children

      12      through 23 program providers.

      13             The trust fund public-education efforts

      14      include the Safe Babies New York, formerly known as

      15      the "New York State Shaken-Baby Prevention Program."

      16             This statewide program has documented a

      17      sustained 50 percent decrease in abusive head trauma

      18      in the counties where it has been piloted.

      19             In 2013, this program expanded to provide all

      20      parents of newborns with information about

      21      safe-sleeping practices and coping with crying.

      22             OCFS also partners with Prevent Child Abuse

      23      New York to support a statewide parent helpline, to

      24      help parents find programs and services within their

      25      own communities.


       1             The public-private partnership is yet another

       2      pilot program that OFCS administers for new or

       3      expanded preventive services, early childhood

       4      development, and other services for at-risk children

       5      and families.

       6             This is the third year of the 5-year pilot

       7      program, and there are currently 18 programs funded

       8      in 8 regions of the state.  They include an array of

       9      services for families with children, from birth

      10      through young adulthood.

      11             For example, academic support, career

      12      exploration, post-secondary education planning, and

      13      jobs-skills training, are a few of the examples of

      14      services provided through that program.

      15             In this pilot, communities are required to

      16      invest a 35 percent cash-match from a private

      17      funding source, and the program has grown from

      18      merely serving 3,000 families in 2013 in its

      19      inaugural year, to now serving more than 3700 last

      20      year.

      21             Recognizing the importance of grandparents

      22      and other relatives who have stepped forward to care

      23      for their young relatives and provide them with a

      24      safe and stable home environment when their parents

      25      cannot, OCFS also funds programs that support


       1      services for kinship caregivers.

       2             And I'm wearing proudly today, a ribbon.

       3             As many of you know, September is Kinship

       4      Caregiver Month.

       5             So we're proud to support all our kinship

       6      caregivers from throughout the state.

       7             OCFS administers the child-care subsidy

       8      program that helps temporary assistance and

       9      low-income families pay for child care.

      10             The New York State child-care block grant,

      11      which consists of combined state and federal

      12      funding, is the primary funding source for

      13      child-care subsidies.

      14             OCFS continues to consider child-care

      15      subsidies a priority in the overall child-care

      16      system.

      17             Over the past seven years, the Governor, with

      18      support from all of you in the Legislature, has

      19      either maintained or increased the

      20      child-care-subsidy allocation to local departments

      21      of social services.

      22             This has been accomplished, despite an

      23      approximately $7 million reduction in federal

      24      support over the past 10 years.

      25             Programs for school-aged children and


       1      pre-school children receive the highest subsidies,

       2      with each accounting for approximately 37 percent of

       3      overall subsidies.

       4             17 percent of our subsidies go to toddler

       5      programs, and with infant programs receiving the

       6      remaining 8 percent of subsidy.

       7             OCFS also works closely with local

       8      departments of social service to help them serve as

       9      many families as possible with available subsidy

      10      dollars.

      11             Toward that end, OCFS continues to find ways

      12      to maximize our federal dollars.

      13             The State recently received approval from the

      14      U.S. Department of Agriculture, that allowed

      15      districts to transfer certain child-care claims to

      16      the food-stamp education and training program; thus,

      17      freeing up child-care block-grant funds to serve

      18      additional families.

      19             The State also continued to allow districts

      20      to transfer funds from the flexible funds for family

      21      services for child-care subsidies.

      22             Earlier this year, the federal Administration

      23      for Children and Families awarded grants to

      24      child-care programs in New York State, with the goal

      25      of expanding access to high-quality, comprehensive


       1      services for low-income working families with

       2      infants and toddlers.  This funding was through the

       3      Early Head Start-Child Care partnership, or through

       4      the expansion of Early Head Start services.

       5             11 programs in our state were awarded more

       6      than $20 million from the feds, and this funding is

       7      now supporting full-day, full-year programs for

       8      low-income families, so that infants and toddlers

       9      have the healthy and enriching early experiences

      10      they need to realize their full potential.

      11             OCFS is also responsible for overseeing

      12      licensed and registered child-care programs in

      13      New York State.

      14             We're committed to protecting the health and

      15      safety of children in regulated care.

      16             And in 2014, OCFS conducted over

      17      56,000 inspections of nearly 19,000 licensed or

      18      registered child-care programs that it regulates.

      19             The Office of the State Comptroller

      20      positively acknowledged OCFS's inspection and

      21      oversight activities of regulated child-care

      22      programs in an audit report of that program.

      23             OCFS also funds regional infant and toddler

      24      technical-assistance centers to promote strategies

      25      for improving the quality of care.


       1             These centers work with new and existing

       2      providers to share best practices, address issues in

       3      the program, and to promote safe staffing and

       4      specialized staff training on caring for infants and

       5      toddlers.

       6             OCFS, and I know all of you, will continually

       7      seek to improve and integrate our efforts to address

       8      the needs and build on the strengths of our state's

       9      children, families, and youth.

      10             Thank you again for the opportunity to

      11      address you today.

      12             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Great, thank you.

      13             And just for protocol, as we testify, we have

      14      the written testimony.  So maybe if we can just get

      15      a consolidated version, you know, an abridged

      16      version, and then we can talk and ask questions.

      17             SENATOR SAVINO:  You don't need to read it.

      18             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  But that was great.

      19             And then, going forward, let's just try to,

      20      you know, consolidate.

      21             SHARON DEVINE:  All right.  Well, good thing

      22      my comments are brief anyway.

      23             So, good afternoon, and thank you,

      24      Chairman Carlucci, Chairman Hevesi, as well as

      25      Chairman Avella.


       1             Thank you for having me here today.

       2             And I just want to thank you for the

       3      opportunity to appear before you today; but more

       4      importantly, because this is a really important

       5      issue that we all should be looking at and figuring

       6      out how to do better with our governmental services

       7      and programs.

       8             And I just also want to thank the

       9      Henry Street Settlement, because they are one of the

      10      organizations that really is a valued partner in

      11      delivering low-income help to low-income families as

      12      they try to better their lives.

      13             So our work, as you know, at the Office of

      14      Temporary and Disability Assistance really focuses

      15      on assisting a family, as well as the individual, on

      16      whole.

      17             And for a variety of reasons, people find

      18      themselves in need of some temporary help and

      19      assistance.

      20             And that's what we're about.

      21             So while today's topic really focuses on the

      22      efficient and effective delivery of social services

      23      programs to prenatal and pre-K children, I want to

      24      remind everybody that stabilizing a family is really

      25      one of the very most important things that we can


       1      all do to actually make a better life for a child

       2      and for young children as they get ready to enter

       3      into our society.

       4             So statistics show that the stress of growing

       5      up in poverty can have lasting effects on the

       6      architectural nature of how a child's brain grows

       7      and develops.

       8             It can have physical, as well as emotional,

       9      you know, impacts, and those can last right into

      10      adulthood, including, you know, depression,

      11      diabetes, and other things, learning disabilities.

      12             And so those formative years, we recognize in

      13      OTDA, are very important.

      14             We provide programs and supports to families

      15      that help them lay that better foundation, so that

      16      all the care that they need through those prenatal

      17      terms is there and ready and available.

      18             More specifically, we recognize that children

      19      need stable homes to thrive, but for families facing

      20      challenges, such as poverty, poor health, and mental

      21      illness, creating that nurturing environment is

      22      really a struggle.

      23             And so some of the programs that we provide,

      24      of course, you know, are providing temporary cash

      25      assistance to families and individuals, providing


       1      assistance in paying for food, providing heating

       2      assistance, as well as overseeing New York's

       3      child-support enforcement program, and determining

       4      certain aspects of social security disability

       5      benefits, as well as homeless housing and services,

       6      through those programs.

       7             And I think we all also recognize, that while

       8      there's no single program that helps a family out of

       9      poverty or a single program that actually provides

      10      all the supports needed for a child in the

      11      prenatal-to-pre-K care, our programs do help the

      12      low-income household address all of those emergency

      13      issues and situations that they face on a daily

      14      basis that really knock them for, you know, a couple

      15      of loops, and they end up in trouble, as far as work

      16      and providing for their family.

      17             For example, the SNAP program has been

      18      particularly effective in helping nursing mothers,

      19      you know, have a healthy -- healthy food choices.

      20             And so it also enables a family that's a

      21      single parent and has two children, those -- that

      22      family is eligible up to $4,000 a year in SNAP

      23      benefits.

      24             Child-support program, as you know, is also

      25      critical to families with young children.  That


       1      program really helps custodial parents get child

       2      support, financial support, as well as medical

       3      insurance for the child who's covered.

       4             And so these programs are all extremely

       5      important.

       6             And one program that I think I'd like to

       7      recognize individually, is the Nurse-Family

       8      Partnership program.

       9             I know our New York City partner spoke about

      10      it.

      11             And it's an extremely important program that

      12      I know is near and dear to Senator Squadron's heart,

      13      and ours as well.

      14             And, so, it used to be, of course, funded out

      15      of OTDA budget.

      16             It is not funded out of OTDA budget anymore;

      17      however, during those years that we partnered with

      18      DOH, the program really provided pregnancy outcomes

      19      by helping eligible first-time mothers and pregnant

      20      women engage in sound preventive health care.

      21             I just want to thank you again for the

      22      opportunity to talk before you today.

      23             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Great, thank you so much.

      24             Questions?

      25             Senator Squadron.


       1             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you very much.

       2             And thank you both, and for the perspective,

       3      both, from OCFS and OTDA.  Great to hear about both

       4      Healthy Families and Nurse-Family Partnership.

       5             I would say the partnership between agencies

       6      across evidence-based programs, that the executive

       7      deputy commissioner showed, is something that we

       8      haven't always had at the state level, frankly, and

       9      it's great to see.

      10             I know OCFS has -- is attached to one of

      11      these programs.  OTDA and DOHMH the other.

      12             The fact is, the evidence is there; and when

      13      the evidence is there, they should both be

      14      supported.

      15             So let me just as a question.

      16             The evidence is there.

      17             Talked about the fact that a lot of what OTDA

      18      does, just like HRA, is provide, essentially,

      19      emergency assistance to families in crisis.

      20             In the case of HRA, they're really looking to

      21      avoid that, with OTDA's partnership.

      22             But the goal here is to avoid crisis much

      23      earlier.

      24             I think everyone would agreed that these

      25      evidence-based maternal home-visiting programs do


       1      that.

       2             So let me just ask:

       3             $27 million sounds like a lot of money in the

       4      real world.  It certainly would be a lot of money,

       5      I think, for any of us.

       6             But what does that mean, in terms of eligible

       7      families, between Nurse-Family Partnership?

       8             And I will ask you to speak to that, since we

       9      don't have DOHMH here.

      10             And, Healthy Families, what percentage of

      11      eligible families receive either Healthy Families or

      12      Nurse-Family Partnership services annually in

      13      New York State?  What percentage?

      14             SHARON DEVINE:  You know, I don't know what

      15      that exact percentage is, but I would hope that a

      16      lot of families who are in need of those services do

      17      receive that.

      18             I don't know if OCFS has any

      19      readily-available statistics here, but, that's

      20      something we can look up and get back to you on.

      21             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.

      22             Do have --

      23             SHARON DEVINE:  In fact, we had a

      24      collaborative meeting yesterday with the four

      25      evidence-based home-visiting programs at OCFS, and


       1      I asked that very question:  How do we really assess

       2      the actual unmet need?  And understanding how far

       3      we're really penetrating.

       4             And we don't.  We don't actually have that

       5      specific data, but I think it's an excellent

       6      question.

       7             SENATOR SQUADRON:  So let's do the math,

       8      quickly.

       9             $27 million in Healthy Families, plus

      10      Nurse-Family Partnership.

      11             We were able to, through tri-partisanship

      12      partnership, Senator Savino; myself,

      13      Senator Carlucci; Senator Gallivan, who's a

      14      Republican from Western New York, all took the lead,

      15      along with a lot of colleagues, and were able to get

      16      an increase in Nurse-Family Partnership funding.

      17             But it's still, I think, $4 million this past

      18      year, plus, as Assemblyman Hevesi pointed out, 3?

      19             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Yeah, three.

      20             SENATOR SQUADRON:  I always get optimistic.

      21             Plus, as Assemblyman Hevesi pointed out,

      22      there's a social-impact bond allocation that's

      23      likely to go for Nurse-Family Partnership.

      24             Let's add that in, let's call it 30.

      25             So let's call it, as much as $60 million a


       1      year, total, in evidence-based home-visiting

       2      programs.

       3             Call it, between 4500 and 7500 a year per

       4      family per program.

       5             Do we know how many Medicaid births there are

       6      a year in New York State?

       7             I happen to have it here.  Thank you.

       8             120,000 Medicaid births.

       9             Right?

      10             So, I'm pretty sure that, having done the

      11      math very quickly, not in my head, we're serving

      12      5600 families through Healthy Families a year?

      13             Is that right?

      14             SHARON DEVINE:  Seven, last year.

      15             SENATOR SQUADRON:  It's 5700, that's great.

      16      That's an extra 100 families that have changed their

      17      lives.  That is a significant thing.

      18             Plus, 2800 families through Nurse-Family

      19      Partnership.

      20             So that's, call it, 8500 families a year out

      21      of 120,000 eligible.

      22             So, these programs work.

      23             I think we agree that different programs for

      24      different families.

      25             Certainly, these two have evidence behind


       1      them.  We heard about it from HRA.

       2             And we are serving, today, with increases in

       3      support, 8500 out of 120,000.  Right?

       4             So that means that we are not serving, call

       5      it, 113,000 eligible families a year.

       6             Serving just over 5 percent of eligible

       7      families.

       8             95 percent aren't being served.

       9             So let me just ask you a question:  Does that

      10      make everything else you do at your job harder or

      11      easier?

      12             SHARON DEVINE:  I think, you know, as

      13      I stated in my testimony, you know, the earlier that

      14      we can provide the supports to the entire family,

      15      the better off we all are.

      16             I mean, you know, healthy families build

      17      healthy communities and healthy neighborhoods.

      18             And so I think that the earlier we can get to

      19      them, the more funding we have to support this

      20      program, the better.

      21             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Dollar for dollar, if we

      22      were giving parental-support programs or cash

      23      assistance, if it was just dollar for dollar, as a

      24      state, what would we rather do, if they were equally

      25      effective?


       1             Parental support; right?

       2             SHARON DEVINE:  Of course.

       3             SENATOR SQUADRON:  What if parental support

       4      actually saved multiples in Medicaid, cash

       5      assistance, and criminal justice costs?

       6             It's crazy to me.

       7             I really appreciate your testimony, your

       8      support.

       9             We're hearing a lot of support today, but,

      10      it's a lot of support that gets us to 5 percent of

      11      the eligible families.

      12             So we've got to do something different, and

      13      it can't be all agreeing and feeling good.

      14             We all agree, we all feel really good about

      15      that.

      16             David and I were talking about our own young

      17      children, and what a tough time this is in our

      18      lives -- Senator Carlucci, excuse me.

      19             But the truth is, we have a lot of committed

      20      people doing great work, telling us great things

      21      today.

      22             And we, as a Legislature, and as a state, are

      23      failing to serve 95 percent of eligible families

      24      with the evidence-based program that we know has a

      25      big effect on all the other needs.


       1             I just think that's important to say.

       2             I say that not in opposition to anyone here,

       3      because, again, you tell us all the right things

       4      today, and you are supportive of these programs.

       5             Certainly, the same is true of my colleagues.

       6             But, we've got to go beyond that.

       7             Thank you.

       8             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Thank you

       9      Senator Squadron.

      10             Senator Savino.

      11             SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.

      12             Thank you, ladies, for your testimony.

      13             I want to pick up where Senator Squadron left

      14      off, because I think what he's really talking about

      15      is something that we all need to be concerned about,

      16      going forward.

      17             We know that, in about the next six weeks,

      18      your agencies will be asked to put forward your

      19      budget requests for next year.  And we understand

      20      the constraints that are placed upon you by the

      21      division of budget, that says, Gives us a zero-based

      22      budget, right, which makes it very difficult to

      23      advocate for the expansion of programs like this.

      24             And we want to be able to help you make that

      25      argument to DOB, that status quo is not enough.


       1      Zero-based budgeting is insufficient right now.

       2      That we have to do more, but we also have to do more

       3      on evidence-based programs, like Nurse-Family

       4      Partnership.

       5             Dan Squadron is obsessed with the

       6      Nurse-Family Partnership, and rightfully so.

       7             But, you said something, Deputy Commissioner,

       8      that stuck in my mind, that the most important thing

       9      we can do for children is to provide a stable home.

      10             And you're absolutely right.

      11             So that going to bring me to a question

      12      I have for you, and it's really -- it's not

      13      necessarily something you're doing.

      14             It's -- as you know, here in New York City,

      15      our system of child welfare is much larger than most

      16      of the other counties combined.

      17             And, recently, a lawsuit was filed against

      18      the agency, again, by our current public advocate,

      19      Tish James, joined by Marcia Robinson Lowry, who's

      20      probably sued the City more times than anybody in

      21      history over child-welfare policy and children

      22      rights.

      23             And I'm not sure if Legal Aid is involved in

      24      this one.

      25             They're not.


       1             Okay.  He says no.

       2             But, challenging the length of stay in foster

       3      care, that it exceeds the statewide average, it

       4      exceeds the national model, and, certainly, the

       5      length of stay is shorter now than when I did

       6      casework, but it's still far too long, which means

       7      we're not providing a stable home for children.

       8             One of the impediments, though, to reducing

       9      the length of stay in foster care, quite frankly, is

      10      one of your partner agencies, and that's the Office

      11      of Court Administration, because they also have been

      12      submitting zero-based budgets for the past several

      13      years, because they were told that they have to.

      14             You have courthouses now that close every day

      15      at 4:30.

      16             You have more responsibilities placed on

      17      caseloads and caseworkers, including, in my opinion,

      18      these ridiculous permanency hearings, where it

      19      may make sense in Onandaga County, but, in

      20      New York City, you could go two years before you get

      21      a dispositional hearing.

      22             So what you're doing -- what is the purpose

      23      of a permanency hearing?

      24             All it does is require the courts to set

      25      aside more time to deal with issues, and not provide


       1      stability in the home.

       2             Is there anything that you, in your capacity

       3      as head of OCFS, do to influence the expansion of

       4      OCA's budget to address this need, particularly

       5      since one of the things you're going to be tasked

       6      with, going forward, is raise the age, which is

       7      going to put an additional burden on the family

       8      court system.

       9             So if we don't address the budgets of these

      10      agencies, we're not going to able to improve

      11      services for anybody.

      12             SHEILA POOLE:  So, you know, just to be

      13      clear, you know, Senator, I certainly want to

      14      address your question, but I also have to just be

      15      clear that OCFS was also named in the New York City

      16      lawsuit.  So I can't, I'm not in a position, to

      17      speak, you know, directly to anything.

      18             But that aside, I think to the general

      19      question that you're raising about our child-welfare

      20      system, in general, and our relationship with the

      21      courts:

      22             So absent an influx of new dollars coming to

      23      us, I think what we have been trying to do

      24      successfully, again, is work in partnership with the

      25      Office of Court Administration, and with the support


       1      of KC family programs, a private foundation, we've

       2      established over 20 family court collaboratives,

       3      with local departments of social services, with the

       4      goal of bringing all the core processing folks

       5      together with the local department of social service

       6      leaders and workers, to say, for this particular

       7      child, how can we expedite the case processing time,

       8      given, you know, the regulations that we have

       9      through the Adoption and Safe Families Act?

      10             So it's really getting those folks to the

      11      table, recognizing the rules and regs, financial

      12      constraints, and otherwise, that we have.  But,

      13      really, trying to create, wherever possible, more

      14      efficiencies, so that we are identifying permanency

      15      resources for these children, many of whom, as you

      16      know, are the most likely ones to actually languish

      17      in care of our kids, are the older teens

      18      (unintelligible) home resources are difficult.

      19             But, again, making sure that the court

      20      process, or, honestly, the local department of

      21      social service process, needs some fine-tuning, that

      22      those partners are working together at a very local

      23      level, to try and expedite the time to permanency.

      24             I can't, Senator, sit here to you, you know,

      25      today and say that we've made tremendous progress.


       1             But, again, absent an infusion of major

       2      dollars, what we try and do is make the best out of

       3      what we have through relationship-building, and

       4      through really looking at those processes that can't

       5      be streamlined and expedited.

       6             SENATOR SAVINO:  Thank you.

       7             SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Can I just --

       8             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Oh, Senator Montgomery.

       9             SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Oh, thank you.

      10             First of all, I just want to thank both of

      11      you.  And I'm especially impressed by the fact that

      12      you cover the whole gamut, from birth, and up.

      13             So -- but I would just like to -- and I know

      14      we're talking about, you know, the Nurse-Family

      15      Partnership, with the babies, and so forth and so

      16      on.

      17             But I would just like to, if I may, because

      18      I may not have an opportunity to talk to you before

      19      you come back with your budget, so I wanted to ask

      20      you about a couple of areas that are not specific to

      21      our hearing today, but it's specific to something

      22      that you said, regarding stabilizing families, and

      23      what that does to add to the success of the children

      24      in those families.

      25             My first question is:


       1             I'm from the old, old school, from way

       2      yesteryear.

       3             We have -- in the city of New York, and

       4      across the state, we had the programs that, really,

       5      families were able to bring children to a local

       6      child-care center for the full day.  It was really

       7      sort of to support working parents or parents in

       8      school or training, or whatever.  And those programs

       9      went all the way up to children aged 12.

      10             And, so, it was all-day care and

      11      after-school.

      12             And most, or, hopefully, all of those

      13      programs, were also connected to a local school, so

      14      that children could be picked up by the people at

      15      the center, and so there was not a gap, and there

      16      was -- it didn't leave families to have to scramble

      17      for care and to worry about the safety of their

      18      children beyond the 3:00 schoolday.

      19             So my question is:  Where are we in terms of

      20      having that kind of comprehensive service in

      21      communities for families, so that people can

      22      actually feel a sense of comfort, that at least that

      23      part of their family life is taken care of by us?

      24             So that's the first thing.

      25             And the second part of it, perhaps related,


       1      but maybe not, is:

       2             As you have now entered into an era of

       3      evidence-based funding, through the RFT process,

       4      have you been able to identify -- I would be very

       5      interested, and not today necessarily, but I would

       6      be really very interested in knowing, to what extent

       7      that process has changed the landscape, in terms of

       8      programs that actually offer services, so -- and

       9      especially as it relates to non-traditional

      10      programs.

      11             Because a lot of the organizations in my

      12      community, especially those organizations that work

      13      with teens, pre-teens, even young adults, they're

      14      very non-traditional.  And it's because, very often,

      15      what you do with African-American or Latino young

      16      males is different from what you do with young

      17      females or other children in other communities.

      18             So I would like to know, to what extent we

      19      have lost the opportunity to provide services to

      20      young people in districts like I serve, especially

      21      those non-traditional kinds of organizations, and,

      22      where are they in this whole scheme?

      23             Because as we enter the -- hopefully, the era

      24      of dealing with keeping young people out of the

      25      criminal justice system, we're going to need more of


       1      those kinds of organizations providing support

       2      services in communities, very non-traditionally.

       3             And I'm just wondering, how you can be able

       4      to address that, where they are, where we are with

       5      them, and how you're going to be able to fund them

       6      through this process now, evidence-based.

       7             It's even hard to measure, some of it, in a

       8      realistic sense.

       9             So those are the two areas that I would like

      10      to hear from both of you, because I see both of you

      11      as being key to this, my questions.

      12             SHEILA POOLE:  They're very thoughtful

      13      questions.  They're big questions, for sure,

      14      Senator.

      15             Sharon, do you want to take that?

      16             SHARON DEVINE:  Well, let me just sort of try

      17      and address the last question, which was relative to

      18      how we are able to use our current procurement and

      19      funding mechanisms to really target the areas of

      20      greatest need.

      21             I think some of the most recent procurement

      22      tools that we have actually do it very effectively,

      23      because it allows us to really get down to

      24      performance-based.

      25             I think part of the problem is, is having


       1      hard evidence-based information.

       2             I think we've been good about evidence-based

       3      information in several different areas.  And there

       4      are other areas where we could do a lot better, and

       5      so that we can be better at targeting our funding

       6      streams.

       7             And, so, I think that the tools that are out

       8      there really exist to do that.

       9             We need the information.

      10             SHEILA POOLE:  I would just add, you know,

      11      Senator, I think it's a great question, and it's one

      12      that we spend a fair amount of time, you know,

      13      struggling with it at my agency.

      14             I think it's -- you know, given, you know,

      15      the peripheration (ph.) of evidence-based programs

      16      in human services is something many of us who have

      17      been doing this work for much of our lives have

      18      waited for.  We're way behind, you know, the

      19      health-care industry, but are certainly catching up,

      20      now that we've had research and evidence to say, you

      21      know, particularly with what we know now about brain

      22      development, about what practices are really

      23      promising.

      24             And so given limited dollars, right, we have

      25      to really think hard about making strategic


       1      investments where there's evidence to say, This

       2      program works really great.  We know, or it's

       3      likely, that we're going to get really good outcomes

       4      for very needy kids and families.

       5             I think where we also struggle, though, is

       6      recognizing that we're also, today, very dependent

       7      on many not-for-profits across our state who, for,

       8      sometimes, hundreds of years, have done incredible,

       9      you know, organic community-based services, you

      10      know, often on a shoestring budget, without a lot of

      11      sustainable support, getting a funding stream from

      12      here and there.

      13             And so, for some of those agencies, it's been

      14      difficult to move their programs, which also do good

      15      and have value, to becoming evidence-based.

      16             And so it's really trying, I think, while

      17      recognizing the value of evidence-based programs, is

      18      being responsible in making sure that we are not

      19      dismissing the incredible work and commitment of our

      20      not-for-profit community across the state.

      21             So, I think that's, frankly, I think a

      22      challenge and a balance, given where we are

      23      sometimes with the precious dollars that we do have

      24      to make investments.

      25             SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  I appreciate your


       1      sensitivity to that issue, and it's something that

       2      I care a lot about.

       3             And -- so, hopefully, if there's anything

       4      that we can do to help with that, I would like to

       5      work with you on it.

       6             And the other one, the other part of my

       7      question?

       8             SHARON DEVINE:  I'll let Sheila answer that.

       9             But I will say that there are models out

      10      there like that, where you have schools that have

      11      not-for-profit partners who do after-school programs

      12      that last until 5:30 and 6:00.

      13             I think part of the issue is, is making sure

      14      that the not-for-profits are -- and/or the other

      15      providers in the areas are hooking up with the

      16      schools and making that connection, because, I think

      17      you're right, I think it's hard for families when

      18      services like that are outside of the school base.

      19             You know, we tend to live close to where our

      20      kids go to school, so having them in programs that

      21      extend beyond the day is vital, and really helpful.

      22             SHEILA POOLE:  Yeah, I think how I would

      23      answer that, is that I -- to Sharon's point, I think

      24      there are clearly, throughout the state, examples,

      25      exemplary programs, that you have a school, you have


       1      a school-aged after-school program.

       2             We have Advantage after-school programs, you

       3      have a community not-for-profit, a youth bureau, you

       4      know, who all come together in a coordinated way to

       5      really create that sense of community, like we had

       6      in the old days.

       7             I think our challenge, and it gets back to

       8      Senator Squadron's question earlier about, you know,

       9      home-visiting programs, is taking it to scale, and

      10      being able to say that, in every community and every

      11      school, you know, this is the standard we set in

      12      New York State.

      13             But, again, it's an incremental build, given

      14      the resources, you know, that we have to be able to

      15      do that, and then everything else that we do in our

      16      very wide human-services line of businesses.

      17             SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you.

      18             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Thank you,

      19      Senator Montgomery.

      20             Assemblyman Hevesi.

      21             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Yeah, first, thank you

      22      both for your testimony.

      23             Sharon, it's good to see you.

      24             Just one question for you:  Do you have any

      25      concerns about the reauthorization of the federal --


       1      the child-care block grant?

       2             SHEILA POOLE:  So, we do have concerns.

       3             So that's the sweeping -- just for everyone,

       4      the very sweeping federal bill that President Obama

       5      signed last November, and so it does create many new

       6      requirements for states around child care.

       7             Some of them, I think, conceptually, and

       8      ideologically, are very good.  They're about safety

       9      and early development, and all the kinds of things,

      10      you know, that we talk about.

      11             The challenge, however, is that it is a

      12      largely unfunded state mandate.

      13             And, so, we are working very, very hard to do

      14      an analysis of what those implications are for us in

      15      New York State, of course, being sensitive to

      16      protecting the subsidy dollars, you know, that we

      17      have that are so critical to families -- you know,

      18      and our working families having access.

      19             We've been doing a lot of advocacy,

      20      Assemblyman, with the feds, really pointing out to

      21      them in very concrete ways, understand what this

      22      means for a state like New York, or California.

      23             And, so, we're hopeful that the feds will pay

      24      attention to some of that.

      25             I will say, however, thus far, they have not


       1      retracted.  I mean, it's in law, so there's really

       2      no going back on that.

       3             I think what we're trying to do, and the

       4      Governor has been supporting this, is to try and

       5      appeal to the feds that we cannot implement fully

       6      every aspect of that child-care act without undoing

       7      a lot of good work that we've done to build, you

       8      know, child-care subsidy and access to care here.

       9             So we want to try and get federal approval to

      10      lengthen out the implementation cycle of all of

      11      those components.

      12             Even with lengthening, though, the

      13      implementation cycle, there are, without a doubt,

      14      fiscal impacts to New York State that we will be

      15      grappling with in the upcoming budget session.

      16             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  If we can be helpful in

      17      that regard, you let me know.

      18             SHEILA POOLE:  Thank you.

      19             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Thank you very much.

      20             SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Could I just --

      21             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Yes, Senator Montgomery.

      22             SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Thank you for taking an

      23      extra little moment, but I do want to say to you:

      24      I want to thank Cassie, who is here.  I see she's

      25      down here.


       1             I never see her in the city, so --

       2             SHEILA POOLE:  Yeah, we keep her busy.

       3             SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Yes.  But I learned so

       4      much from her, when we were working together a few

       5      years back.

       6             So, thanks, Cassie, and welcome.

       7             Thank you, Senator.

       8             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Thank you for your

       9      testimony.

      10             Look forward to working with you in the next

      11      session.

      12             SHEILA POOLE:  Thank you.

      13             SHARON DEVINE:  Thank you.

      14             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Next we have,

      15      Michelle Martinez, from the Nurse-Family

      16      Partnership, a home-visiting nurse;

      17             And we have Jessica Santos, who is a client.

      18             Good afternoon.

      19             Please introduce yourself.

      20             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  Thank you for the chance

      21      to testify on behalf Nurse-Family Partnership and

      22      supportive evidenced-based home-visiting and

      23      maternal-child health programs.

      24             I am Michelle Martinez, and I have worked as

      25      a nurse home-visitor for the Nurse-Family


       1      Partnership program at Public Health Solutions,

       2      serving over 100 clients in the past 5 1/2 years.

       3             I am here with one of my former clients who

       4      completed the program, Jessica Santos, who is a

       5      wonderful example of how this program can empower

       6      young mothers to succeed.

       7             Nurse-Family Partnership is a wonderful

       8      program for first-time moms.  It starts in

       9      pregnancy, and continues until the child turns two.

      10      It empowers moms to reach their goals and provide a

      11      better life for themselves and their children.

      12             During our visits, we do a great amount of

      13      education around health during pregnancy and how to

      14      care for an infant.

      15             We try to lower the number of pre-term births

      16      by teaching moms to maintain optimal health during

      17      pregnancy.  We discuss how to prevent subsequent

      18      pregnancies.  We work with clients on creating goals

      19      in their lives, and how they can take steps to

      20      achieve their goals or heart's desire.

      21             During my time as an NFP nurse, I have seen

      22      my clients grow into their role as a mother, and

      23      have seen them become more comfortable in caring for

      24      their child.

      25             I have also witnessed clients meeting their


       1      goals.  I have had clients return to school, obtain

       2      their high school diploma or GED.  I have seen

       3      clients obtain employment.

       4             NFP helps clients become more

       5      self-sufficient, and serves as a guide on how to --

       6      for clients for -- to teach them how to communicate

       7      with their doctor, and how to advocate for what they

       8      need.

       9             What motivates me to continue to do the work

      10      I do is the relationship I build with each client.

      11             Each story is unique, and to see their growth

      12      during the 2 1/2 years is amazing and rewarding.

      13             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Thank you, Michelle.

      14             And, Jessica?

      15             JESSICA SANTOS:  Yes.

      16             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Who's this is with you?

      17             JESSICA SANTOS:  My daughter.

      18             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  And what's her name?

      19             JESSICA SANTOS:  Jana Belle (ph.) Alvarez.

      20             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Oh, great.

      21             Well, thanks for coming today.

      22             Did you want to say something?

      23             JESSICA SANTOS:  Huh?

      24             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Were you going to say

      25      something?


       1             JESSICA SANTOS:  Yeah.

       2             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Great.

       3             JESSICA SANTOS:  I was 18 when I got

       4      pregnant.  When I found out that I was pregnant,

       5      I was scared, but also happy.  It was a mix of

       6      emotions, and I didn't know what to do.

       7             I got connected to NFP through a friend of

       8      mine.

       9             I had recently found out that I was pregnant,

      10      and I had gone over to her house, and my friend's

      11      NFP nurse, Michelle, was there, and she asked me if

      12      I wanted to start the program.

      13             I am really happy I decided to join NFP,

      14      because NFP taught me a lot about raising a baby.

      15             They would give me little papers that helped

      16      me learn what to do when she's crying, how to feed

      17      her, and what to do from certain month to certain

      18      months.  And then what she should eat and what she

      19      can't eat.

      20             NFP was important for me because, with

      21      Michelle, I know I could always talk to her and tell

      22      her what was happening.  And as much as she could,

      23      she would try to help me out.

      24             Michelle was like my daughter's second

      25      doctor.


       1             Whenever my daughter was sick, she would say,

       2      No, you don't need to take her to a doctor.  She

       3      probably has this, instead of me running to the

       4      emergency room every week or something.

       5             Also, other things I didn't know about my

       6      daughter, I would ask her, and she would give me the

       7      answers, because I don't know everything about my

       8      daughter yet because she's still small and I'm still

       9      learning everything about her.

      10             Michelle has also bought me thermometers and

      11      sippy-cups.  And whenever I ask for something, if

      12      she could, she will bring it.

      13             Michelle has also helped me enroll my

      14      daughter in a speech program, and she is now saying

      15      sentences.

      16             I would definitely recommend NFP to my

      17      friends.

      18             When I started NFP, I was with my daughter's

      19      father.

      20             Around when my daughter was a year old, we

      21      got into a big fight and it turned into a

      22      domestic-violence case.

      23             That day I texted Michelle, and she called me

      24      to see what was wrong, and I told her that it wasn't

      25      the first time.


       1             He had hit me once when I was pregnant too,

       2      and I forgave him because I thought he was going to

       3      change.

       4             The second time was when my daughter was

       5      about a year old, and then he got arrested.  They

       6      arrested him, and he went to jail.

       7             I feel like NFP here helped me out a lot,

       8      because I would -- it would distract me and help me

       9      focus on positive things.

      10             That's when Michelle was, like, You should go

      11      back to school instead of staying home.  You're

      12      going to get depressed.  You can make changes in

      13      your life that he wouldn't let you do.

      14             He wouldn't let me go to school, he wouldn't

      15      let me work.  He wanted me to be a stay-at-home mom,

      16      and he didn't want me to become something better.

      17             NFP has helped me accomplish a lot.

      18             I told Michelle that I wanted to go back to

      19      school, and I went back to school.

      20             I graduated, and I found myself a new job.

      21             Now I have my GED, and I'm working full-time

      22      in customer service in a florist shop near where

      23      I live.  And now I am somewhere I don't think

      24      I would be if I wasn't part of NFP.



       1             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Great.

       2             Well, Jessica, thank you so very much for

       3      your testimony.  We really appreciate that, your

       4      sharing your example and what you've gone through.

       5             That's very important.

       6             Now, how old is your daughter now?

       7             JESSICA SANTOS:  She's two year old.

       8             She recently graduated from the program.

       9             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Oh, excellent.

      10             And when's her birthday?

      11             JESSICA SANTOS:  July 1st.

      12             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Oh, excellent.

      13             Well, my son is July 30th, so they're very

      14      close.

      15             2013; right?

      16             JESSICA SANTOS:  2013, yes.

      17             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Okay, great.  Awesome.

      18             Would love to introduce them.

      19             JESSICA SANTOS:  I'm sorry?

      20             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Would love to introduce

      21      them.

      22             JESSICA SANTOS:  Yes.

      23             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  That would be good.

      24             Any questions?

      25             SENATOR SQUADRON:  I would say, we have


       1      the -- we had a lot of helpful people put together

       2      this, my staff, George Annetto (ph.), I know

       3      Senator Carlucci's staff, and others.

       4             But, your daughter's moving of the chairs has

       5      probably been the most helpful thing today.

       6             So...

       7                  [Laughter.]

       8             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And this is -- I am, as

       9      Senator Savino said, obsessed with this issue,

      10      obsessed with this program, and other evidence-based

      11      home-visiting programs.

      12             But the highlight of the day for me, so far,

      13      was giving your daughter my pen.

      14             So, thank you for that.

      15             Let me ask one thing, you know, because the

      16      one thing that I think people sometimes don't

      17      understand is, Is this just a medical program?

      18             I know you're a registered nurse, and with

      19      the special training.  And you spoke really

      20      beautifully about your experience, and a lot of it

      21      was health care.

      22             But, just explain to me, or others who are

      23      here, is this just a medical program?

      24             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  No.

      25             SENATOR SQUADRON:  It's -- why not?


       1             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  Because we also

       2      concentrate on their goals.  What -- helping them

       3      obtain child care, helping them link up to resources

       4      in the community, and it will help decrease doctor

       5      visits, and stuff like that.

       6             So they're more prepared.  Instead of going

       7      to the doctor every week, like she said, and just

       8      for normal stuff, like constipation, and some things

       9      that they can just do at home.

      10             And it's more patient education.

      11             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Right.

      12             But when you had a domestic-violence incident

      13      in your life, Michelle is the person you called for

      14      support?

      15             JESSICA SANTOS:  Yes.

      16             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Why?

      17             JESSICA SANTOS:  Because I felt like I could

      18      trust her.

      19             She knew about all the problems I was having

      20      with my daughter's father, and I felt like she was

      21      my -- the person I could go to and tell, and her not

      22      going to anybody else, and judging me.  And, you

      23      know, because a lot of people do judge you.

      24             And when it happened, I went to her, because

      25      I felt like not even family could help me out.  And


       1      I felt like she could.

       2             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And just, Michelle, how

       3      many families have you worked with?

       4             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  Over my time, I've been

       5      there 5 1/2 years; so, over 100.

       6             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Over 100 families?

       7             And why do you do it?

       8             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  I love the relationship

       9      you build with each client, and the growth you see

      10      from them.

      11             When they're pregnant, they're very

      12      vulnerable, they're scared, they don't know what

      13      they're doing.  And then just seeing their growth

      14      into the role as a mother.

      15             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Are you still in touch

      16      with graduates from --

      17             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  Yes.

      18             SENATOR SQUADRON:  How are they doing?

      19             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  They're good.

      20             Some of them are starting pre-K this year, or

      21      have started pre-K.

      22             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.  And it's going

      23      well?

      24             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  Yes.

      25             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you, both.


       1             Thank you for the work you're doing, raising

       2      your beautiful daughter.

       3             I have a 21-month-old son too.

       4             So, I wish I had brought him in today.

       5             And, good luck to you both in your jobs.

       6             And, thank you for the work you do, changing

       7      lives.

       8             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  Thank you.

       9             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Thank you,

      10      Senator Squadron.

      11             Senator Montgomery?

      12             SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  I want to thank you,

      13      Senator, both of you, for the work that you're

      14      doing.

      15             And you, too, in the Assembly, thank you for

      16      doing this.

      17             And, Senator Avella, we appreciate you coming

      18      down, and joining us.

      19             And I just have one, sort of, question.

      20             You have a piece of -- you have a, what you

      21      say -- an energy bunny there?  What do you call

      22      those things, that keep --

      23             So -- so, obviously -- and she's out of the

      24      program now.

      25             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  Yes.


       1             SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  But you will continue to

       2      be a life-coach, I guess, of some sort, but, what do

       3      you do now?

       4             And I guess my question is:  Where does she

       5      go now, with a 2-year-old that's extremely active,

       6      and she is now ready to move on with her own

       7      development?

       8             I don't want to talk about you like you're

       9      not here, Michelle, but -- so -- so what happens

      10      now?

      11             That's my question.

      12             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  Well, we hope that

      13      throughout the 2 1/2 years she received what she

      14      needed, so that she's prepared now.

      15             And she knows -- I mean, during the time in

      16      the program, she knew that she could make goals and

      17      achieve them.

      18             Her goal was to obtain her GED.  She did it.

      19      It was something that she wasn't sure if she was

      20      going to be able to do.

      21             And so now she knows that if she focuses on

      22      something, she's going to be able to obtain it.

      23             SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  So what does she do with

      24      her baby now, her child?

      25             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  Her baby's in day care.


       1             SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  She's in day care now?

       2             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  In day care.

       3             SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Okay.  So that's a

       4      full-day for you, and you can --

       5             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  She's working full-time.

       6             JESSICA SANTOS:  Yeah, I'm working full-time.

       7             SENATOR MONTGOMERY:  Very good.

       8             Thank you very much.

       9             SENATOR SQUADRON:  I'm sorry to jump in, and

      10      I know you need to get back to your daughter.

      11             Does that work?

      12             Does the -- the full-day day care, is it

      13      helpful?

      14             JESSICA SANTOS:  Yes, it is, with my

      15      schedule.

      16             And, also, the day care is flexible, certain

      17      hours.  If I drop her off a little bit later in the

      18      hour, they get paid, they push it off to the end, so

      19      it helps me out a lot.

      20             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Is it a New York City-run

      21      day care -- or, sorry, not New York City-run.

      22             Is it New York City-funded, through vouchers?

      23             JESSICA SANTOS:  Yes.

      24             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  Yes.

      25             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you.


       1             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Thank you, Senator.

       2             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  I just want to say, it

       3      takes a lot of courage to come here and share your

       4      personal story, and it's much appreciated.

       5             Thank you very much.

       6             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you.

       7             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Thank you both.

       8             And, Michele, thank you for the commitment

       9      that you've had to your profession, and the

      10      dedication that you've made.

      11             You've obviously influenced so many lives,

      12      and really changed the trajectory, so I want to

      13      thank you for that.  And thank your colleagues as

      14      well.

      15             And thank you for sharing the story, so that

      16      we know exactly what's going on, to try to help that

      17      and make that happen.

      18             I know, as a young father, you know, I didn't

      19      even know how to change a diaper, let alone the

      20      nutrition, and the questions that you talked about:

      21      Is it constipation?  Is it hiccups?

      22             And the confidence that you give to parents,

      23      that rubs off on the children, and prevents so many

      24      things from happening in the future, and helps so

      25      many things happening in the future.


       1             So thank you for the work you're doing.

       2             And I know we're all on board to support this

       3      initiative and the work that you do.

       4             So, thank you.

       5             Thank you both.

       6             JESSICA SANTOS:  Thank you.

       7             MICHELLE MARTINEZ:  Thank you.

       8                  [Applause.]

       9             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Great.  And our -- next

      10      we'll hear from Timothy Hathaway, the executive

      11      director of Prevent Child Abuse New York.

      12             Also, Renee Nogales, Nurse-Family

      13      Partnership;

      14             Jenn O'Connor, New York State director of

      15      Council for a Strong America;

      16             And Clarissa Iggle, nurse manager at the

      17      Nurse-Family Partnership.

      18             Please don't read the testimony.  We have it

      19      submitted.

      20             Please, just, if you could, just abridge; hit

      21      the high points of things that you want us to really

      22      focus on, because we did receive the testimony, and

      23      then we'll ask questions.

      24             So whoever would like to start, just please

      25      introduce yourself, and that would be great.


       1             JENN O'CONNOR:  I'm Jenn O'Connor.  I'm the

       2      New York director of Council for a Strong America.

       3             And Council for a Strong America is a

       4      national non-profit umbrella organization.  There

       5      are a couple of organizations under the CSA

       6      umbrella, but the two that are relevant today are:

       7             Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, which is

       8      250 police chiefs, sheriffs, and district attorneys

       9      across the state;

      10             And the second is, Ready Nation, which is a

      11      little over 150 business leaders across the state.

      12             With my testimony is also the

      13      Winning Beginning NY executive agenda, because

      14      we are a member of that statewide coalition.

      15      I co-chaired that coalition.

      16             My testimony is a lot more extensive than

      17      what I'm going to talk about right now.  It covers

      18      pre-K, child care, and after-school.

      19             So please take a look at that.

      20             But what I wanted to focus just briefly on

      21      was home visiting.

      22             We are part of the statewide home-visiting

      23      workgroup, and you've heard, and you will continue

      24      to hear, about Nurse-Family Partnership and

      25      Healthy Families New York.


       1             I wanted to mention that there are two other

       2      research-based programs that that group is

       3      supporting.  They're, Parents as Teachers, and the

       4      Parent-Child Home Program.

       5             These are programs that serve slightly older

       6      children, and certainly could pick up where a

       7      program like Nurse-Family Partnership leaves off.

       8             And so the reason that we're supportive, from

       9      a law-enforcement standpoint, these are

      10      two-generational strategies to prevent child abuse

      11      and maltreatment, and, also, to get kids ready for

      12      school.

      13             We're certainly spending a lot on pre-K, and

      14      so we need to focus a little more on the zero to

      15      three.

      16             Our Ready Nation business leaders talk about

      17      this, again, as a two-generational strategy for

      18      economic development; that these are programs that

      19      strengthen and stabilize families economically; and,

      20      therefore, strengthen society.

      21             What we are advocating for this year is a

      22      continuum of services.

      23             All four of these research-based programs

      24      serves slightly different populations.  They have

      25      certain -- slightly different outcomes, each of


       1      them, but very strong outcomes.  And we would like

       2      to see all four of those invested in along the

       3      continuum.

       4             States, like Washington State, have a number

       5      of programs for home visiting that they put money

       6      into, and the money goes out the door in a way that

       7      serves populations in need in certain districts, so

       8      communities are able to kind of pick and choose what

       9      program or programs work best for them.

      10             And we'll be back in touch with all of you in

      11      a month or so, with a mapping tool, that a partner

      12      organization of ours has put together, that will

      13      show you the poverty in your district, as well as

      14      the home-visiting programs in your district, so

      15      you'll be able to get a better sense of the eligible

      16      families.

      17             So, thank you very much.

      18             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Thank you.

      19             TIMOTHY HATHAWAY:  So, good morning,

      20      Chairman Avella, members of the Committee.

      21             I'm Tim Hathaway.  I'm the executive director

      22      with Prevent Child Abuse NY, and our purpose is to

      23      eliminate child maltreatment in all of its forms,

      24      and we really do that through advocacy work, as well

      25      as providing resources -- skills, ideas,


       1      information -- to local communities.

       2             Child abuse is prevented in local

       3      communities, and those folks do the work.

       4             And so we're here to really support that

       5      effort and engage with those folks.

       6             I am here today because we are really vested

       7      in this idea of early childhood systems.

       8             What we know is that these early childhood

       9      home-visiting programs reduce child abuse by up to

      10      50 percent.

      11             That's part of my testimony, and other folks

      12      will speak more in detail to that.

      13             We know it works as a strategy.

      14             I think the points brought forward, that

      15      we're severely, severely missing a large population

      16      of people that would benefit from these programs, is

      17      really an important piece that we need to be

      18      addressing.

      19             Again, there are a number of different things

      20      within my testimony.

      21             The state of New York logged about

      22      71,000 child abuse-indicated children, so those are

      23      kids that we really did identify as being abused.

      24             If we could knock that number down to

      25      50 percent, it's still not good enough, but I think


       1      it goes a long way.  And I think this program is

       2      part of the array, the continuum of services, that

       3      really does help do that.

       4             A couple of other points.

       5             Back to what Ms. O'Connor was saying about

       6      this continuum of services, we know that programs

       7      like Nurse-Family Partnerships and Parents as

       8      Teachers, when they're working together with an

       9      array of social services in a community, these

      10      programs have just a phenomenal impact.

      11             They're able to really blanket a community

      12      with the sort of services, in terms of

      13      parent-support services, that really do catch those

      14      families that potentially fall through the cracks.

      15             And so there's a real power, exponentially,

      16      in having a kind of a sense of multiple programs

      17      working together, side by side, so that they're

      18      really achieving the sort of impact that we hope to

      19      see in communities.

      20             A couple of other things I'd be remiss in my

      21      role as prevention supporter if I didn't mention.

      22             One thing, I'm so glad to hear that there's a

      23      lot of discussion about housing.

      24             That's another place that we have to focus if

      25      we're going to help families deal with some of the


       1      strains and stress that they're dealing with, that

       2      lead to the sort of maltreatment that we see.

       3             And another area, again, that I am -- I know

       4      the department, OCFS, is working on right now, but,

       5      there's a concept called "the protective-factors

       6      framework" that they're engaging around already.

       7             This really helps youth-serving organizations

       8      think about, How do we really come together and

       9      protect kids, build strong families?

      10             So, again, I would encourage, and I hope that

      11      I have another opportunity to speak with this

      12      Committee about that work.  I think it's important

      13      work.

      14             In conclusion, I would just like to say

      15      again, thank you so very much.

      16             I would love to respond to questions that you

      17      might have.

      18             RENEE NOGALES:  Hello, Chairman Avella,

      19      Chairman Hevesi, and Senator Squadron.

      20             My name is Renee Nogales, and I'm with the

      21      Nurse-Family Partnership national office.

      22             Really pleased to be here to represent the

      23      programs in New York.

      24             And as Jenn and Tim have already said, we

      25      work collaboratively across various models, and


       1      we're really excited about the notion of a

       2      continuum, because it really does take a village,

       3      and we each have a part to play.

       4             So, I'm so thankful that we were all able to

       5      be here today.

       6             You know, I just want to first start out,

       7      just around the "reach" issue.

       8             I've been serving in New York, supporting

       9      programs, for over eight years.  And since the

      10      program got started in 2003, in Queens, we've served

      11      about 15,000 families.

      12             We're going to soon have the funded capacity

      13      to serve about 3,000.

      14             So when you consider that, in 2012, I have

      15      2012 data, there were about 46,000 first-time

      16      income-eligible women or Medicaid births.

      17             So just using that number as a proxy, we're

      18      hitting about 6 1/2 percent.

      19             And, actually, the Medicaid program has

      20      expanded through the Affordable Care Act, so that

      21      percentage is probably actually gone down because

      22      the eligibility has gone up.

      23             You know, I know that a lot of people have

      24      talked about the goals of NFP, and, you know, that

      25      it focuses on first-time mothers that are paired


       1      with nurses.

       2             The goals of the program is to really impact

       3      pregnancy outcomes, healthy child development, and

       4      the self-sufficiency of the family.

       5             But I think one thing I'd like to highlight

       6      is that, you know, for so many of the families, and

       7      I think you may have seen evidence of that earlier,

       8      the nurses are really mentors to the families, and

       9      in some cases they're the lifelines, because a lot

      10      of the families that we support, they don't have any

      11      other support systems.

      12             So they're really working with the families,

      13      to focus on their goals, think about their futures,

      14      help them become advocates for themselves, and to

      15      really believe, once they start to accomplish those

      16      goals, that they really have it in them to be

      17      successful, and to forge a new path for themselves,

      18      for their families, you know, whether it's going

      19      back to school, finding employment, doggedly

      20      ensuring that they get the right specialists to

      21      focus on a medical condition that their child has,

      22      or finally having the courage to leave an abusive

      23      relationship.

      24             So these nurses are really working each and

      25      every day to shift the poverty trajectory in


       1      New York State.

       2             I know that you have a lot of information

       3      there in the testimony about the evidence behind

       4      NFP.

       5             I'll just very quickly say that, you know,

       6      it's unique, in that, even before we released the

       7      program for replication, it was studied across

       8      three clinical trials, across three different

       9      populations, and three different parts of the

      10      country.

      11             The research around this model continues.

      12      It's been studied for over 38 years.

      13             And the outcomes that are in the testimony

      14      really show that there are outcomes to the mother

      15      and the child, that it really is a dual-generation

      16      strategy that's making a difference in New York.

      17             It's also good economic policy.  There's

      18      various studies that have shown that there's an ROY

      19      associated with the program.

      20             And the last thing that I'll just highlight

      21      is that, you know, as we've moved from the research

      22      period into replication, we've been, you know,

      23      operating NFP and growing it for the last 20 years.

      24             Not only are the researchers behind the

      25      model, constantly trying to make it better in a very


       1      thoughtful way, but we take accountability very

       2      seriously.

       3             We collect data, and we put a lot of tools in

       4      place, so that the agencies can monitor that they're

       5      implementing the model as it should be implemented,

       6      and that they can use that data to continuously

       7      improve the program.

       8             So those are the highlights.

       9             I just want to thank you all again for having

      10      us here.

      11             Really pleased that we can showcase

      12      evidence-based home visiting, you know:

      13      Nurse-Family Partnership, Healthy Families,

      14      Parents as Teachers, and Parent-Child Home Program.

      15             So, thank you.

      16             SENATOR AVELLA:  Well, thanks, you know, for

      17      your testimony, and for the great work that you do.

      18             Questions?

      19             Senator Squadron.

      20             SENATOR SQUADRON:  It sounds great, but,

      21      isn't it really expensive, though?

      22             JENN O'CONNOR:  It's more expensive to pay

      23      for child welfare, to pay for involvement in the

      24      criminal justice system, to pay for special ed.

      25             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Isn't it a lot cheaper to


       1      do other things?  Not home visiting, just provide

       2      targeted medical care?

       3             You know, you always read about, you know,

       4      vaccine programs, other things; things I'm

       5      supportive of.

       6             But, I don't -- it -- you know, if a budget

       7      officer was here, what they would say is, I don't

       8      get it.  Why are we spending this kind of money?

       9      You know, it would be great, you know, buying them a

      10      home and a car too.

      11             Why is this money well spent?

      12             TIMOTHY HATHAWAY:  So if -- and some of the

      13      details is in my testimony, I'm sure it's in Renee's

      14      as well, but, what we know is that, there is a

      15      return on investment.  And that, you know, figures

      16      vary a little bit.  But, at least five-and-a-half

      17      dollars spent -- or, one dollar spent on home

      18      visiting is going to get us back five-and-a-half

      19      dollars.

      20             So there is a return --

      21             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Is that any home visiting,

      22      if I just started my own home-visiting program?

      23             TIMOTHY HATHAWAY:  Well, and the difference

      24      is evidence-based.

      25             So, Renee's alluded to, you know, 38 years of


       1      research.

       2             There's extensive research, and they help the

       3      families' model as well.

       4             Most of that -- a lot of that is happening in

       5      the state of New York.

       6             So what we know is that these are programs

       7      who have created a model.  They're remaining

       8      faithful to that model.

       9             That's what gets the sort of results that we

      10      talk about return on investment.

      11             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And return on investment

      12      just essentially means, what, in this context?

      13             Because it doesn't feel like an investment.

      14      It feels like lives.

      15             So, what do you mean?

      16             TIMOTHY HATHAWAY:  Sure.

      17             So, if we put a dollar in now, then we'll

      18      have that five-and-a-half dollars returned to us

      19      through later savings.

      20             SENATOR SQUADRON:  What kind of

      21      (unintelligible) are we saving on?

      22             TIMOTHY HATHAWAY:  So, really, there are four

      23      primary areas that we talk about.

      24             One of those is the issue of parents being

      25      able to contribute back, in terms of tax.  And then


       1      a reduction also in the --

       2             SENATOR SQUADRON:  The parents working?

       3             TIMOTHY HATHAWAY:  -- liability --

       4             Parents working.

       5             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Okay?

       6             TIMOTHY HATHAWAY:  We know that child-abuse

       7      costs are going to go down.

       8             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Child abuse goes down, and

       9      child-abuse costs has financial costs, in addition

      10      to the terrible costs on lives.

      11             Okay?

      12             TIMOTHY HATHAWAY:  Absolutely, yeah.

      13             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Okay?

      14             TIMOTHY HATHAWAY:  We also know that there's

      15      savings to education systems.  Special ed, grade

      16      retention.  Kids --

      17             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Fewer kids in special ed.

      18      Kids do better in school, whether they're in

      19      special ed or not?

      20             TIMOTHY HATHAWAY:  Yep, absolutely.

      21             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Okay.  And what's the last

      22      one?

      23             TIMOTHY HATHAWAY:  And then criminal systems.

      24             We know that criminal justice systems are --

      25      there are less families getting into that spot if we


       1      can keep them with early solid foundations.

       2             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Okay.  So we save money --

       3      just so I understand, we save money because:

       4             You have more people working, right, being

       5      self-sufficient, or getting close to it.

       6             You have fewer kids being abused.  Less child

       7      abuse and other physical abuse in the home.

       8             You have fewer people involved in the

       9      criminal justice system, in the first place, ever

      10      getting there.  Right?

      11             And, kids do better in school?  This is like

      12      putting money into schools?

      13             TIMOTHY HATHAWAY:  Yes, absolutely.

      14             JENN O'CONNOR:  And better health outcomes.

      15             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And better health

      16      outcomes.

      17             And we're saving money on Medicaid, which we

      18      spend a few dollars on a year (unintelligible)?

      19             Okay.

      20             Just briefly, Parents as Teachers and

      21      Parent-Teacher (sic) Home Program, do we have those

      22      in New York State right now?

      23             JENN O'CONNOR:  We do have both in

      24      New York State.

      25             We do -- Parent-Child Home Program gets a


       1      little bit of money through the Hoyt Family Trust,

       2      very little money.  About 85 percent of it is

       3      actually foundation grants, private funding.

       4             And Parents as Teachers has been in the state

       5      for about 30 years, and it is very, kind of,

       6      locally.  It's Binghamton, Binghamton School

       7      District, and a couple of other places.

       8             But, what we're hoping for this year is that

       9      those two programs get some state funding.

      10             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And they're

      11      evidence-based?

      12             Health and Human Services would tell us that

      13      they're the same?

      14             JENN O'CONNOR:  They -- yes, they would say

      15      they're both research-based programs.

      16             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And, just finally:  What

      17      state has the highest percentage of eligible

      18      families in home visiting -- in evidence-based

      19      home-visiting programs?

      20             You mentioned Seattle, which is a city, of

      21      course.

      22             But, which state, or locality?

      23             RENEE NOGALES:  I mean --

      24             TIMOTHY HATHAWAY:  (Unintelligible) New York.

      25             SENATOR SQUADRON:  New York has the highest


       1      percentage right now?

       2             Around 5 percent is the best for anywhere?

       3             (Unintelligible.)

       4             RENEE NOGALES:  Yeah, I can't -- I don't know

       5      about the other models, but I -- for example,

       6      I think, in Delaware, they're actually hitting

       7      25 percent.

       8             SENATOR SQUADRON:  25 percent, 5 times better

       9      than New York State, in Delaware?

      10             RENEE NOGALES:  Yes.

      11             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Wow.

      12             Let me just ask:  Is Delaware in bankruptcy?

      13             RENEE NOGALES:  Not that I know of.

      14             SENATOR SQUADRON:  They're doing that, and

      15      maintaining the solvency of the state?

      16             TIMOTHY HATHAWAY:  Let's be realistic.

      17             Delaware is a smaller state.

      18             SENATOR SQUADRON:  They also have a smaller

      19      tax base.  I mean, I guess Delaware has a wacky tax

      20      base.

      21             Nonetheless, it's one of the states that

      22      houses most corporations.

      23             Any other state?

      24             RENEE NOGALES:  I mean, I know, you know,

      25      Pennsylvania -- I don't know the percentage off the


       1      top of my head, but, Pennsylvania, I know two-thirds

       2      of the counties offer Nurse-Family Partnerships.

       3             SENATOR SQUADRON:  What percentage --

       4             RENEE NOGALES:  Colorado.

       5             I can get those numbers, but, it's definitely

       6      more than 5 percent.

       7             Colorado has a huge reach.

       8             Oklahoma.

       9             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And in New York, we have

      10      how many counties, Nurse-Family Partnership?

      11             RENEE NOGALES:  Nurse-Family Partnership,

      12      twelve.

      13             I would say a couple of those counties

      14      haven't started yet.  They're hiring and getting

      15      ready; but, essentially, twelve.

      16             SENATOR SQUADRON:  (Unintelligible) of the

      17      counties, you're saying.

      18             Okay.

      19             Thank you very much.

      20             Thank you very much for the work you're

      21      doing.

      22             JENN O'CONNOR:  Thank you.

      23             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  No, I'm good.

      24             Thank you for the work you do.

      25             SENATOR AVELLA:  Thank you for your


       1      testimony, and for the great work that you do.

       2             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you very much.

       3             SENATOR AVELLA:  Next panel is, Ms. Greene,

       4      from -- the director for the Center of Human

       5      Services Research;

       6             And, Ms. Lee, assistant professor at the

       7      School of Social Welfare, University at Albany.

       8             It is now afternoon; right?

       9             ROSE GREENE:  Right.

      10             I'm going to be really, really brief.

      11             I'm the director -- I'm Rose Greene, director

      12      of the Center for Human Services Research, located

      13      at the University at Albany, and we conduct studies

      14      of social issues and social programs, and develop

      15      information systems for human-service providers.

      16             And, I've been studying home-visitation

      17      programs and child-abuse-prevention programs for

      18      over 20 years.

      19             So I want to thank you for this opportunity

      20      to present these research findings, and some of the

      21      insights that I have gathered over this period of

      22      time.

      23             My remarks are going to be focused on the

      24      model Healthy Families New York, which is being

      25      delivered in 39 communities.  That's been the focus


       1      of our research.

       2             Healthy Families is based on a national model

       3      of home visitation, Healthy Families America, which

       4      is being delivered in 600 communities across the

       5      nation.

       6             So I'm going to skip ahead.

       7             I was going to talk a little bit about the

       8      model, but, my expertise is in the research that

       9      we're doing, so I just want to give highlights of

      10      the research.

      11             Healthy Families has been evaluated through

      12      the most rigorous type of research design: a

      13      randomized controlled trial.

      14             Starting in the year 2000, we identified

      15      1200 women who were eligible for the program.  And

      16      via a computer program, we assigned them to either

      17      an experimental group that received home-visiting

      18      services, or a control group that didn't receive

      19      home-visiting services.  And we interviewed them

      20      when the mom was pregnant, when the baby was born,

      21      baby turned 1, 2, 3; child turned 7.

      22             And we're now back in the field.  The babies

      23      are 15 years old.

      24             The research is extremely rigorous.

      25             We had interviewers who were blind to


       1      assignment.  That means they didn't know whether the

       2      parents were in the treatment or the control group.

       3             And, we had excellent response rates in each

       4      wave of the study, between 85 and 91 percent.

       5             And in addition to the interviews, we had

       6      data from the connections: child-welfare databases,

       7      New York State Health Department birth records,

       8      Healthy Family program records, school records.

       9             And, we videotaped parent-child interaction.

      10      We worked with an expert from our psychology

      11      department.  We videotaped the parents.  And every

      12      10 seconds of videotape, we had a coding lab set up,

      13      and examined that.

      14             So, anyway, what are the findings?

      15             I'll race through these.

      16             And, my colleague here, Eunju, will be

      17      talking about one of the findings more in-depth.

      18             Healthy Families has demonstrated positive

      19      effects, including reduced low-birth-weight

      20      deliveries.  And that's what Eunju will be

      21      presenting on.

      22             Healthy Families sustained reductions in

      23      harmful parenting practices.

      24             Healthy Family New York mothers engaged in

      25      significantly fewer acts of very serious physical


       1      abuse, minor physical aggression, psychological

       2      aggression, and harsh parenting.

       3             Healthy Families New York resulted in

       4      increased engagement and more positive parenting

       5      strategies.

       6             Healthy Families promoted behaviors --

       7      positive behaviors, such as being more responsive to

       8      children and cognitively engage the child.

       9             Healthy Families New York reduced

      10      child-welfare system involvement.

      11             And I just want to talk about that in a

      12      little more depth in a second.

      13             Healthy Families New York increased school

      14      readiness, and an improved access to health care for

      15      both mothers and children.

      16             And like I said, we're out in the field now.

      17      The kids are 15 year olds, and we're going to

      18      examine the longer-term effects as the children

      19      enter adolescence.

      20             One finding that I think is particularly

      21      compelling, is there have been positive outcomes for

      22      mothers who are not eligible for other home-visiting

      23      programs.  These are mothers who already have other

      24      children.

      25             Some models of home visitation only serve


       1      first-time mothers, but, Healthy Families New York

       2      was able to reduce rates of confirmed child abuse --

       3      child-abuse and -neglect reports for moms who had

       4      prior CPS reports; so, those moms had to have

       5      children before.

       6             Specifically for this group, we found lower

       7      rates of confirmed CPS reports for any type of abuse

       8      or neglect, lower rates of reports with the study

       9      mom as the confirmed subject, lower rates of reports

      10      involving physical abuse, and lower rates of

      11      preventive, protective, and placement services.

      12             And the final point I want to make, and

      13      I think this is really important, and Renee talked

      14      about this a little bit in NFP, that no matter how

      15      well-crafted a program is, and how impressive the

      16      research findings are, unless the program continues

      17      to be implemented with rigor and fidelity, that the

      18      effects won't be sustained.

      19             And Healthy Families New York is extremely

      20      well administered and carefully monitored.

      21             All the programs input data into a

      22      centralized web-based management-information system.

      23             The system produces automated reports on

      24      program performance, and the system is continuously

      25      monitored by a centralized Healthy Families New York


       1      administrative body comprised of researchers, state

       2      administrators, and training staff, who, bimonthly,

       3      review program performance, and then develop

       4      training and technical assistance.

       5             An example about how this works, is that we

       6      found in the research the earlier parents enroll in

       7      the program, the better the outcomes.

       8             So the central administrative team will look

       9      at the data carefully, see where the enrollment

      10      snags are, if parents are getting enrolled later or

      11      earlier, and then develop corrective actions for

      12      those particular programs.

      13             So, anyway, in conclusion:  It's a

      14      well-implemented program that has produced positive

      15      effects for families being served.

      16             EUNJU LEE:  Hi, my name is Eunju Lee.  I'm

      17      assistant faculty -- assistant professor at the

      18      School of Social Welfare at the SUNY Albany.

      19             I want to talk a little bit about the science

      20      behind the Healthy Family New York.

      21             You know, you heard a lot of evidence-based

      22      home-visiting program, and what the evidence really

      23      means here.

      24             And I think the -- we heard, that whether

      25      there's a question of the home-visiting program,


       1      Nurse-Family Partnership, a medical program or not.

       2             And I would say the home-visiting program is

       3      family-support program.

       4             And no matter if the nurse delivers or the

       5      home-visitors deliver, we call, in the Health Family

       6      New York, it's called "family-support workers."

       7             It's really about family-support program.

       8             And the -- there -- I have a -- also, I want

       9      to use the opportunity to say that I have the utmost

      10      respect for the Nurse-Family Partnership's research.

      11             But I would also want to say that, in our own

      12      program, the State-funded program, Healthy Family

      13      New York has been producing a lot of good evidence,

      14      data, you know, to really support that this program

      15      is worth all of your investment.

      16             And Rose -- Ms. Greene mentioned about the

      17      RCT, and I don't want to throw the jargon about that

      18      research language, but, this is the design that the

      19      medical companies or drug companies use to really

      20      get approval from FDA.

      21             So using really very rigorous methods to

      22      really evaluate the design.

      23             And one of the study I want to talk about is

      24      the (unintelligible) outcome.

      25             And the (unintelligible) outcome is that,


       1      again, it's not a medical program, but a widely

       2      achieved medical -- low-birth weight, you know,

       3      reducing medical low-birth weight, is that because

       4      it's a social-support program.

       5             And openly, you know, we serve a large number

       6      of minority mothers who could be second-time

       7      mothers, or first-time mothers, but, we include

       8      about the one-quarter of the clients who are 18 and

       9      under.

      10             With this particular population,

      11      African-American women are most likely have adverse

      12      birth outcomes.

      13             And during this home-visitation program, we

      14      actually link them to services.  Link them to

      15      (unintelligible) services, woman-and-infant

      16      services, food stamp.

      17             And this is all very poor mothers.  You know,

      18      they all under 200 percent of poverty level.

      19             And poor expectant mothers, and there we link

      20      the services, and that's how we know that they

      21      actually could achieve a better health outcomes.

      22             And are they -- we have data showing that

      23      they actually -- I mean, New York State provide

      24      really good medical program, Medicaid program, for

      25      poor mothers.  But, still, there are mothers who are


       1      not linked to primary-care providers, but

       2      home-visitors are able to do that.

       3             This is the reasons that we really believe

       4      that the Healthy Family New York have enough

       5      evidence really to support that investment by

       6      New York State.

       7             SENATOR AVELLA:  Thank you.

       8             Questions?

       9             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Just briefly, two.

      10             So you've done this research, and you've read

      11      the Nurse-Family Partnership research?

      12             ROSE GREENE:  Yes.

      13             SENATOR SQUADRON:  In your view, is one

      14      program valuable and the other not?  Are both

      15      valuable?

      16             ROSE GREENE:  They're both valuable.

      17             SENATOR SQUADRON:  They're both valuable.

      18             They don't cost exactly the same amount of

      19      money.

      20             ROSE GREENE:  Right.

      21             SENATOR SQUADRON:  If you were investing,

      22      would you invest 90 percent in one program and

      23      10 percent in the other?

      24             That's what we do currently in the state, and

      25      I just want to know -- look, we need more money for


       1      all of this.

       2             Is your view, they're both valuable programs

       3      and both deserve significant State investment?  Or

       4      does one of these programs deserve 90 percent of the

       5      State investment?

       6             EUNJU LEE:  I think both programs deserve

       7      investment because they serve a different

       8      population.  Each has a different outcomes.  And

       9      it's also really addressing different aspects of the

      10      client life.

      11             So I do think that it's not -- you know, both

      12      are evidence-based programs, but, still, it has a

      13      different aspect of a program.

      14             So I'm not, you know, a legislator, but

      15      I can't really say that.

      16             But I would say both deserve really your

      17      attention.

      18             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Based on the evidence

      19      you've seen from your research, and what's

      20      published, would you recommend that more families

      21      get served by these programs, both of them?

      22             ROSE GREENE:  Oh, definitely.

      23             I was just going to say, Healthy Families

      24      New York does serve a broader population because

      25      there are eligibility criteria, first-time moms,


       1      for -- yeah, okay.

       2             SENATOR SQUADRON:  The argument we have is

       3      not with you-all.

       4             The budget office all the time is, Why would

       5      we ever fund any program any more expensive than the

       6      other?

       7             And I think that you answered that very well.

       8             I -- we just wanted to have that out here.

       9             Final question, and please bear with me,

      10      because this is in your service, believe me:

      11             I noticed that the one piece of, sort of, you

      12      know, when you look at randomized controlled trials,

      13      that we haven't seen some of this research because

      14      it hasn't been published and peer-reviewed.

      15             Why is that?

      16             ROSE GREENE:  We have, in the testimony,

      17      I listed a number of --

      18             SENATOR SQUADRON:  The pieces that haven't,

      19      why is it?

      20             I'm asking you, if you would please tell me.

      21             ROSE GREENE:  There was -- the leadership of

      22      those studies were at OCFS, and that --

      23             SENATOR SQUADRON:  They haven't paid for it?

      24             ROSE GREENE:  Right.

      25             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Okay.  So I just want


       1      to -- let's just be really clear about that.

       2             There's extraordinary research that you've

       3      done here, the kind of research that Nurse-Family

       4      Partnership has, and has been able to have

       5      peer-reviewed, which adds a level of weight to it.

       6             I've had extensive conversations with you,

       7      both here and elsewhere.

       8             You obviously have done serious research, and

       9      have taken very seriously, the quality of it.

      10             The only reason it hasn't been published and

      11      peer-reviewed; meaning, it can't be carried forward

      12      at the next level, is because it won't get funded by

      13      SUNY or OCFS?

      14             That is -- (unintelligible) --

      15             ROSE GREENE:  Well, I don't want to say that.

      16             I think we have to have conversations --

      17             SENATOR SQUADRON:  We need to make sure that

      18      SUNY and OCFS provide the dollars for these

      19      researchers, so 15 years of good research,

      20      extraordinary research, when you really get it in

      21      detail, in a packet, has the opportunity to be

      22      published.

      23             So thank you for the work you've been doing.

      24             Hopefully, we will not fail you --

      25             SENATOR AVELLA:  Did you want to add to that?


       1             ROSE GREENE:  I don't want to -- we get

       2      significant funding for our research from OCFS.  And

       3      I don't want you to go out to Sheila Poole and say,

       4      Oh, my God.

       5             It's a complicated situation about the

       6      research.  But I think, with your backing to publish

       7      more, we can advance more research out there.

       8             SENATOR SQUADRON:  You'd be happy to publish

       9      your other research?

      10             ROSE GREENE:  Yeah, we would be -- yes, we

      11      would be happy to publish with the current

      12      resources.

      13             EUNJU LEE:  I just want to add, that a

      14      Healthy Family New York is the one model, the

      15      Healthy Family America.

      16             There are a lot of researchers, actually,

      17      from other state done that, you know, the -- you

      18      know, providing the child-welfare outcomes.

      19             So it's not just a Healthy Family New York

      20      program that has impact, but Healthy Family America

      21      program in Arizona, another one.

      22             In other states have really good findings.

      23             Indiana have good findings.

      24             So I would say that there are enough of, you

      25      know, evidence.


       1             Otherwise, scientific community would not

       2      back up the Healthy Family American model.

       3             SENATOR SQUADRON:  That's a great point.

       4             Well, you've done great work here, at SUNY

       5      Albany, no less, at a SUNY school.

       6             EUNJU LEE:  Yes, thank you.

       7             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And as a New York State

       8      legislator, I would like to see that work published.

       9             ROSE GREENE:  Okay.  Thank you.

      10             EUNJU LEE:  Thank you.

      11             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Thank you.

      12             All right.  Next we'll hear from

      13      Ken Stephens, the senior attorney at Legal Aid

      14      Society of New York;

      15             And Saima Akhtar, senior attorney at the

      16      Empire Justice Center.

      17             And if you could, we have your testimony.

      18             We've met before at our other hearings.

      19             So, I thank you for coming.

      20             KEN STEPHENS:  I will keep it very brief,

      21      Senators and Assemblyman.

      22             I mean, this is like a dream-team of

      23      legislators.

      24             And, I have to admit it was a little

      25      depressing not to hear OTDA come out with anything


       1      positive in terms of a robust approach to the most

       2      vulnerable New Yorkers.

       3             Sometimes our Governor, as you all know, has

       4      been very sensitive to these issues.

       5             When he -- I was at the agency that became

       6      the justice center, and without getting into

       7      everything that has happened there since, in

       8      promoting that, the Governor was really articulate.

       9      He expanded a government agency on a scale that had

      10      not been done in years.

      11             And his recent advance of a phased-in

      12      approach to low-wage work, by raising the minimum

      13      wage over a period of years, could, could, set the

      14      stage for a parallel development that we desperately

      15      need.

      16             Senator Savino before hit the nail right on

      17      the head.

      18             It was -- I don't even have to come here

      19      anymore because you all have adopted, you know, the

      20      most sensible positions, and you hardly need me to

      21      say it, but, when she put her finger on it and said:

      22      That that budget letter is coming out, either this

      23      week, or it's already out, that from -- the call

      24      letter.  And when OTDA gets told, you have a flat

      25      budget, all creativity, everything, shuts down.


       1             You can't talk to them about anything, other

       2      than they might nod and say yes.

       3             But there can't be any serious discussion of

       4      deep reform until the Governor gets the message

       5      that, just as he has allocated additional funding in

       6      the areas of health, in education, because it's

       7      fundamental for New York, he needs to do the same

       8      thing for the social services safety net.

       9             We need to start there; otherwise, I'm afraid

      10      that, even, like, Senator Squadron, you said, like,

      11      we're surrounded by insurmountable opportunities.

      12             How much more evidence do you need that

      13      investing today can save money tomorrow?

      14             You have to break that logjam that has

      15      existed for so long.

      16             And, Senator Avella, I just have to give, you

      17      know, a lot of credit to you, and Senator Savino, as

      18      well as Assemblyman Hevesi, for getting us the

      19      bipartisan support on the conciliation bill.

      20             We showed the Governor that it can be done;

      21      that you can even reach across the aisle, and you

      22      can be creative as we were, and we can continue to

      23      engage the Governor.

      24             I think Senator Savino, unfortunately, is

      25      right, that he hasn't signed that bill yet.  And it


       1      looks like we're going to need to have some serious

       2      discussions about what can be done.

       3             And we should do that, because, you know, at

       4      the end of the day, it's the politics of getting

       5      things done.

       6             And that's what I appreciate so much about

       7      the four of you, and Senator Savino, and

       8      Senator Montgomery, and, although I don't know her

       9      quite so well yet, Assemblywoman Davila, who has

      10      been very active in working with our office and

      11      attacking problems in her district.

      12             So, I'm going to leave it at that.

      13             I've sent to the staff people, both our

      14      testimony, as well as some, just --

      15             One second.

      16             -- some recent science that came out this

      17      summer.

      18             And, Senator Squadron, you might already be

      19      aware of this, and I know Assemblyman Hevesi's been

      20      on it:

      21             Researchers, including one woman who is now

      22      at Columbia, have done a nationwide study over

      23      seven years, doing brain imaging of young children

      24      in poverty.

      25             And we now have documented evidence that


       1      poverty is retarding brain development, which is

       2      leading directly to academic achievement, and then

       3      it's leading directly to vocational achievement.

       4             So the science -- I mean, the science is

       5      there, there's no secret.

       6             I mean, poverty hurts, it cuts people's lives

       7      while they live it, it makes their lives shorter.

       8             And, you know, I'm sure that we'll have

       9      the -- you'll be hearing something from the Pope

      10      soon when he comes to New York.

      11             And, you know, we have these opportunities to

      12      push the agenda.

      13             Homelessness is critical, but it's just

      14      really the canary in the coal mine.

      15             It's telling you that we've been living in a

      16      society, where, unfortunately, we haven't lived up

      17      to the constitutional mandate in New York, which is

      18      to take care of the needy.

      19             Thanks so much.

      20             SAIMA AKHTAR:  Ken, that was poetic.

      21             SENATOR AVELLA:  That was really good.

      22      Right?

      23             SAIMA AKHTAR:  I'm Saima Akhtar.  I'm a staff

      24      attorney -- a senior staff attorney at the

      25      Empire Justice Center.


       1             I don't know that I've met all of you.

       2             I've certainly heard excellent things from my

       3      colleagues Don Friedman, Susan Antos, Kristin Brown,

       4      who were all sorry they couldn't be here today.

       5             It's nice to see you again, Assembly Member.

       6             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Good to see you too.

       7             SAIMA AKHTAR:  I am probably just going to be

       8      a little bit more of brass-tacks about this than Ken

       9      was.

      10             Certainly, one of the things I know that he's

      11      already talked about, our colleagues have talked

      12      about, is the need for a meaningful increase in the

      13      shelter allowance for welfare recipients.

      14             We're talking about how people can't live.

      15      They need a living wage for those who are working.

      16             For those who are not able to find work, who

      17      are forced into the social services system, it needs

      18      to be a meaningful safety net, for obvious reasons.

      19             People need to be able to afford a place to

      20      live.

      21             I mean, we're in the appalling situation,

      22      where we're talking about people who are too poor to

      23      live in a building.

      24             That is, literally, the state of affairs

      25      right now.


       1             The shelter allowances being as low as they

       2      are contributes, in an ongoing sense, as I'm sure

       3      you're all well aware, to a truly ridiculous cycle

       4      of higher shelter payments.  Right?

       5             It's authorized under the regulations for the

       6      counties, and the agency, to a lesser extent, to be

       7      paying grotesque amounts of money to house a

       8      homeless family.  Indeed, they're obligated to house

       9      a homeless family at an extremely high cost.

      10             They are not authorized to pay a marginally

      11      higher rate for ongoing housing.

      12             So, for example, in our offices on

      13      Long Island, we can see a family of four,

      14      potentially, in an emergency housing setting that's

      15      going to cost the county, and, you know, by proxy,

      16      part of that bill is getting passed on to OTDA and

      17      the State, nine to ten thousand a month for

      18      emergency housing.

      19             However, because of the way the statutes and

      20      the regs are written, the shelter allowance doesn't

      21      authorize a payment that's actually a fair-market

      22      rent on Long Island, which would still be a fraction

      23      of that.  You know, say, 20 percent of what we're

      24      paying in emergency housing, we could be paying to

      25      put them into permanent housing where they had a


       1      place to live, some fraction of that.

       2             From our standpoint, the add that I want to

       3      attack onto that is something that I think doesn't

       4      often get paid attention to, which is what's called

       5      the "fuel-for-heating allowance," and this is

       6      detailed in our testimony.

       7             I think it's probably not, sort of, a

       8      well-known part of it, because, very often, I think

       9      in urban areas, heat gets included with rent; and

      10      so, when rental subsidies and rental allowances are

      11      adjusted, it necessarily covers sort of the market

      12      fluctuations in the heating costs.

      13             What we see outside of New York City

      14      particularly, in a lot of the upstate and rural

      15      areas, is that utility costs are almost always

      16      separate from rent, and so an adjustment in the rent

      17      does not actually make it an affordable living

      18      situation.  There's a two-part adjustment there.

      19             The fuel-for-heating allowances in

      20      New York State have not been change since

      21      Ronald Reagan was President.

      22             In the meantime, I'm sure you've all noticed

      23      that the cost of gas has fluctuated -- the cost of

      24      heating, natural gas, has fluctuated.

      25             The cost of propane, kerosene, and all of the


       1      other things people heat with in outlying areas have

       2      been adjusted.

       3             And we would ask that the agency be compelled

       4      to take a look at what the rate is, and make it a

       5      meaningful rate, so that people aren't, you know,

       6      living, frankly, in substandard conditions.  Right?

       7             What we have happening in places where heat

       8      is not included, is that either people are,

       9      essentially, in a situation where they're

      10      constructively evicted because they're unable to

      11      adequately heat their home, so maybe the DSS will

      12      auto-pay their rent.

      13             But if the heat gets turned off, you can't

      14      live there anyway.  And if it's in -- you know, if

      15      it's Syracuse in January.  Or, potentially, they're

      16      put into the ongoing recruitment scenario, because

      17      of their utility shut-offs.

      18             And last, but not least, I just wanted to put

      19      in a pitch.

      20             Certainly, you brought it up in your

      21      questioning of Commissioner Poole.

      22             There is concern for preserving child-care

      23      subsidies at this point in time.

      24             The CCDBG, the child-care block-grant

      25      reauthorization), has a number additional mandates.


       1             She alluded to them being unfunded.

       2             It sounds like, certainly, they're asking for

       3      extended time to implement.

       4             Winning Beginning New York and Empire Justice

       5      Center has been working on this.

       6             There is concern that there could,

       7      potentially, be a loss of 13,000 subsidies to

       8      households in the state because of the costs

       9      associated with this; potentially, remediable with

      10      an additional $90 million.

      11             This is detailed in our testimony, and,

      12      certainly, we'd be happy to take questions on it as

      13      well.

      14             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Questions?

      15             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you for bringing in

      16      topics of issues we have not focused on as much,

      17      but, obviously, are so critical.

      18             And, thank you, as always, for being the

      19      conscious that we can't turn away from.

      20             SENATOR AVELLA:  Thank you all for your hard

      21      work.  We very much appreciate it.

      22             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  I just want say, you

      23      guys are fantastic.

      24             I know you like to compliment us.

      25             Ken, you do that a lot.


       1             But, I would not be half of what I am, the

       2      ability to advocate, with the knowledge that you

       3      provide me, and you as well.  You're part of an

       4      inner team that I really rely on.

       5             We will continue to take your views and

       6      advocate for them.

       7             And you guys are great, and I just want to

       8      say it publicly.

       9             Thank you.

      10             SAIMA AKHTAR:  Thank you all.

      11             KEN STEPHENS:  Thank you all, very much.  We

      12      appreciate it.

      13             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  We look forward to working

      14      with you.

      15             Next we'll hear from Gregory Brender, the

      16      co-director of policy and advocacy at UNH;

      17             And Nina Piros, associate executive director

      18      of early childhood division, University Settlement.

      19             Good afternoon.

      20             NINA PIROS:  Good afternoon.

      21             I'm Nina Piros, University Settlement.

      22             It is 1:30, and I'm sure we are all very

      23      hungry, so I'm going to be brief.

      24             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And I would point out,

      25      this is a great neighborhood to get lunch in


       1      afterwards.

       2             NINA PIROS:  If you have time.

       3             University Settlement provides a whole range

       4      of services from prenatally, through both

       5      Healthy Families grant, a federal grant through the

       6      Office of Head Start.

       7             We recently did secure another federal grant,

       8      which is the Child-Care Partnership.

       9             And, we have partnered with our own family

      10      child-care program to enhance services there.

      11             And then a whole range of other services that

      12      we offer, including parenting services.

      13             One of the things that I think I find very

      14      frustrating, being in the early childhood world, is

      15      how segmented our systems are, our fragmented they

      16      are.

      17             And it's hard for us, but imagine the

      18      difficulty families have, and we all know those

      19      difficulties.

      20             We have -- I've sat here all morning, and

      21      I have heard a lot of great stuff about the work

      22      that is being done throughout government and

      23      community-based organizations.  And we know we have

      24      very different pieces of the puzzle, but we have not

      25      figured out how to put the puzzle together.


       1             And I think that is, what, at times, just

       2      strikes me a little bit insane.

       3             We have a lot of duplication.

       4             Just sitting here, I heard from various

       5      systems, and many obstacles for families on how to

       6      access those services.

       7             I feel like we slice and dice our different

       8      agencies and different services, and there are such

       9      disparities in funding, that prevents

      10      community-based organizations like us to really

      11      address the comprehensive needs of families.

      12             My main focus in the early childhood

      13      education is really the parent-child relationship,

      14      because, as you all know, it's vital to positive

      15      outcomes for children; yet, there are very, very few

      16      systems that really focus on the parent-child

      17      relationship.

      18             We heard about the home-visiting programs

      19      here, but, what about child care?

      20             You know, we know that our child-care system

      21      is not funded to really provide comprehensive

      22      parenting services.

      23             And, in fact, many families in the child-care

      24      system that are coming out of poverty, or have --

      25      you know, like the family that we saw today,


       1      graduated from Healthy Families.

       2             One of the things that would eventually

       3      happen to this family, and that we see happening in

       4      our families, is that they lose subsidized child

       5      care because they got an increase in salary or a

       6      promotion at work, and then face the challenge of

       7      paying market-rate child-care costs that is not

       8      affordable to even upper middle-class, or even

       9      middle-class, New Yorkers, because we're talking

      10      about a cost that is anywhere from twenty to

      11      thirty thousand dollars a year for high-quality

      12      programs.

      13             We also have -- we also know that there are

      14      many programs, and there are very successful

      15      collaborations.  And that, at times, many mandates

      16      are not funded, creates challenges for programs.

      17             Someone mentioned earlier, EarlyLearn.

      18             I think EarlyLearn, the concept of

      19      EarlyLearn, is sound and evidence-based, and it's

      20      very much based on our own Head Start requirements,

      21      but the funding is not there to really fully address

      22      the needs of all children and all families.

      23             I strongly believe that, in order for us to

      24      be successful at all levels, we really need to

      25      address mental-health needs, and mental-health needs


       1      are part of every day.

       2             Families are stressed about making it to work

       3      on time, and adolescents are having developmental

       4      challenges.  Parents become overwhelmed.

       5             But, our systems our systems are not

       6      available to really address those mental-health

       7      needs of families.

       8             I think that University Settlement, like many

       9      other settlement houses, like Henry Street

      10      Settlement, and other community-based organizations,

      11      have figured out a way of integrating those services

      12      by really pulling from all our funding sources and

      13      figuring out how do we integrate.

      14             The largest system is not integrated.  Maybe

      15      we can integrate our services, and have been very

      16      successful at doing that, and have families entering

      17      at different points and accessing all services, from

      18      prenatal-care services, to older-adult services,

      19      youth services, and the whole range of services.

      20             So, I am hopeful that, with your support,

      21      your commitment, our work, that those services can

      22      become more integrated, and the mental-health

      23      services in particular, especially since the impact

      24      it has on the parent-child relationship, and on

      25      brain development, it's really integral to


       1      everything that we do.

       2             Thank you.

       3             GREGORY BRENDER:  Thank you.

       4             I'm here on behalf of United Neighborhood

       5      Houses, which is New York City's federation of

       6      settlement houses and community centers.

       7             As Senator Squadron knows, the largest number

       8      of settlement houses is in his district here on the

       9      lower east side, so it's even more than a great

      10      place to get lunch.

      11             And, we also have Queens Community House,

      12      serving Assemblyman Hevesi's and Senator Avella's

      13      district.

      14             Senator Carlucci, I'm sorry we're not up to

      15      Rockland, but, we are a member --

      16             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  How many would you say

      17      that there are?

      18             GREGORY BRENDER:  There's 38 member agencies,

      19      with 525 sites throughout the city.

      20             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Six in my district --

      21      seven in my district.

      22             GREGORY BRENDER:  Six -- seven?  Yes.

      23             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  I've got none.

      24             SENATOR SQUADRON:  We're in one of them,

      25      right here.


       1             Senator Avella has three, that I can think of

       2      off the top of my head.

       3             GREGORY BRENDER:  I think Queens Community

       4      House.

       5             SENATOR SQUADRON:  American Planning

       6      Council --

       7             GREGORY BRENDER:  They're in -- they're in

       8      Flushing, but I don't know which part of Flushing.

       9             Well, I will get you the exact space.

      10             But, we are members of Winning Beginning as

      11      well, which is a statewide coalition, and we support

      12      the (unintelligible) Winning Beginning put together.

      13             I wanted to really focus on the child-care

      14      block grant, and both the opportunity and challenges

      15      that we're facing.

      16             We see the child-care block grant through

      17      settlement houses as an ideal way to serve young

      18      children and families, because you have a

      19      multiplicity of services under a single roof.

      20             You have the ability to identify a need in a

      21      child-care program, and refer someone to a

      22      mental-health service that may be provided in the

      23      same building, or, refer them to other family

      24      supports, and, that way, you can address problems

      25      early.


       1             And, I won't read it all, but in my written

       2      testimony I have a longer narrative about how some

       3      of that's worked for one family actually here on the

       4      lower east side.

       5             It was three settlement houses, including

       6      Nina's University Settlement, as well as

       7      Hudson Guild in Chelsea, and East Side House on --

       8      in the South Bronx, in Mott Haven, that first

       9      developed a mixed-funding model that combined pre-K,

      10      Head Start, and -- actually, at that point, just

      11      Head Start and child care.

      12             And now, with the goals of EarlyLearn, the

      13      city's early care and education programs seeks to

      14      have a unified program that brings the best of each:

      15      the longer day from child-care programs and the

      16      educational standards from pre-K, as well as the

      17      more comprehensive supports and curriculum that you

      18      have in the Head Start program.

      19             This would be an ideal that we aim for.

      20             And, to achieve the promises that we've had

      21      for pre-K for a lot of the low-income working

      22      families, you really need child-care funding.

      23             Pre-K programs end in the school day.  And if

      24      you have a 9-to-5 job or similar work hours, you

      25      simply cannot drop off and pick up your kids in the


       1      pre-K hours.

       2             So, we're thrilled that there are 65,000

       3      pre-K seats opening -- or, that opened this Tuesday

       4      after Labor Day, but we understand, both, for those

       5      4-year-olds whose parents need a longer working day,

       6      as well as for children younger than 4-year-olds,

       7      child care, an investment in what's EarlyLearn here

       8      in the city, and other child-care programs

       9      throughout the state, is really the only solution

      10      that meets both the educational needs of the

      11      children and the working parents.

      12             And as you've brought up, we're looking, most

      13      likely, at a budget that actually provides less

      14      money for child-care subsidies to New York City and

      15      to the other social service districts that are

      16      providing child care, not more, despite the -- you

      17      know, we're only serving 22 percent of eligible

      18      children, even after the last two years where many

      19      counties have actually reduced eligibility

      20      standards.

      21             But, nonetheless, and it's not necessarily

      22      the State's fault, this is the fed's fault, but,

      23      we're looking at the situation, because the new

      24      federal requirements will cost an estimated

      25      $90 million, that you have 13,000 subsidies that are


       1      at risk, on average.

       2             So we urge the State to move forward to -- we

       3      will -- we're happy to work with you on finding

       4      solutions, but we need to ensure that the State can

       5      make the investment, to ensure that subsidies are

       6      not lost, and, that we move forward and start to

       7      actually have more children covered by subsidies of

       8      the nearly 78 percent of eligible children who are

       9      not being served, that they can start getting into

      10      child-care programs.

      11             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Do you have a number on

      12      that, what that investment would be?

      13             GREGORY BRENDER:  Yes, and it's at the end of

      14      the testimony, and it's also the one in the

      15      Winning Beginning ask.

      16             It's 190 million.

      17             It would be 90 million to cover the costs of

      18      the new federal requirements, and the other

      19      100 million is to expand by 13,000 seats.

      20             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  So 190, just to not lose

      21      that 13 --

      22             GREGORY BRENDER:  No, that would include

      23      expanding.

      24             That would be 90 million to, basically, just

      25      cover the costs of the federal and not have losses


       1      to the social service districts.

       2             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  So if it was a $90 million

       3      investment, you're talking about just maintaining

       4      the status quo?

       5             GREGORY BRENDER:  Absolutely, yeah.

       6             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Okay.  190, what would we

       7      increase it to?

       8             GREGORY BRENDER:  That is an additional

       9      13,000.

      10             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  So an additional 13,000?

      11             GREGORY BRENDER:  Yes.

      12             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  And how many are there

      13      now?

      14             GREGORY BRENDER:  There are, I think --

      15      I think about -- I can get you that number.  I'm

      16      not --

      17             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Yeah, okay.

      18             GREGORY BRENDER:  Yeah.

      19             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  All right.  Thank you.

      20             Any questions?

      21             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Yeah, just briefly.

      22             I love what you do because, rather than say,

      23      here's the service that the community needs, you

      24      look at what the community needs, and then provide

      25      the service.


       1             And that kind of comprehensive way of looking

       2      at helping communities is really powerful; so, thank

       3      you both for that.

       4             And then the other thing is, you know,

       5      I think that -- we've talked a lot about

       6      evidence-based home visiting.

       7             One reason for that is, it's just so

       8      appalling how little of it we fund right now.  It's

       9      such a gap.

      10             Thank you for bringing in the fact that, when

      11      you talk about EarlyLearn, (unintelligible) in the

      12      surveys earlier, when you talked about child-care

      13      subsidies, especially ones from high-quality

      14      providers that do bring the parents in, and

      15      associated services, I just want to confirm:  Is the

      16      issue, when you look at sort of the gaps in prenatal

      17      to pre-K services, that we don't know what to do?

      18      Or that we know what to do, but we don't provide the

      19      resources necessary to get it done?

      20             Which of those two is it?

      21             NINA PIROS:  I think we know what to do, and

      22      many of us are doing it at a smaller scale than we

      23      would like to.

      24             Resources are limited; and, therefore, we

      25      cannot serve everyone that needs those services.


       1             And I think that's where the challenge is.

       2             And, also, those hard-to-reach families that

       3      don't get to our doors.  And, turning families away

       4      because we are at capacity.

       5             SENATOR SQUADRON:  You turn families away

       6      from good programs at University Settlement?

       7             NINA PIROS:  Yes.

       8             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you.

       9             NINA PIROS:  Maintain a waiting list.

      10             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Same thing.

      11             Thank you so much, both of you.

      12             GREGORY BRENDER:  Thank you.

      13             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Actually, sorry.

      14             Sorry, just one -- it's not a questions.

      15      It's just an open invitation to my colleagues and

      16      everybody here.

      17             I wanted to make you aware, the Assembly has

      18      a child-care workgroup.  That workgroup is going to

      19      be holding three roundtables in the coming month.

      20      One of them is going to be specifically focused on

      21      the reauthorization of the block grant.

      22             GREGORY BRENDER:  Oh, great.

      23             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  So that should be at the

      24      end of October.

      25             I just wanted everybody to know to keep an


       1      eye out for it.  If you need any more information,

       2      just reach out.

       3             And, of course, to my colleagues, we would

       4      love to have you there.

       5             Thank you.

       6             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Thank you so much for your

       7      testimony.

       8             GREGORY BRENDER:  Thank you.

       9             NINA PIROS:  Thank you.

      10             SENATOR AVELLA:  We have with us now,

      11      Tracie Robinson, policy analyst at the

      12      Human Services Council;

      13             Dacia Reed, senior public policy associate at

      14      the Children's Defense Fund;

      15             Sarah Fajardo, policy coordinator at the

      16      Coalition for Asian-American Children and Families;

      17             And Betty Holcomb, director of policy at the

      18      Center for Children's Initiatives.

      19             Thank you for joining us.

      20             TRACIE ROBINSON:  Good afternoon.

      21             Thank you for having us here.

      22             I'm Tracie Robinson.  I'm the policy analyst

      23      at the Human Services Council, and I appreciate the

      24      opportunity to testify today.

      25             I won't go into information on the background


       1      on our organization.  We need to keep it short.

       2             So I want to tell you what I'm focusing on

       3      today, which is, basically, funding of the

       4      human-services sector.

       5             As both service providers and employers,

       6      human-services organizations are an economic engine

       7      for the state, but as you know, our sector faces

       8      many administrative and fiscal challenges that

       9      impair its ability to meet the growing demand for

      10      services, particularly in the area of early

      11      childhood services.

      12             I will briefly discuss a few of the

      13      challenges that affect the entire sector, and then,

      14      obviously, turn it over to my colleagues on the

      15      panel who can provide much greater detail with

      16      respect to early childhood services.

      17             In my written testimony, I mentioned various

      18      issues, including the devastating effects of chronic

      19      underfunding of programs;

      20             The recruitment and retention crisis caused

      21      by the five-year denial of cost-of-living

      22      adjustments for our workforce;

      23             The impact of the impending minimum-wage law,

      24      and why additional funding for our sector will be

      25      critical to the implementation of that law;


       1             The non-profit infrastructure

       2      capital-investment program established in this

       3      year's budget, which we're really excited about, and

       4      we would love to continue working with you to grow

       5      that fund, and make sure that it's reoccurring;

       6             And the stigma around indirect costs, or,

       7      overhead, which is really suffocating our sector.

       8             So, our sector has sustained, roughly,

       9      $1 billion in funding cuts since 2009, and at the

      10      same time, the cost of living, the cost of doing

      11      business, and the number of people living in poverty

      12      in the state have all increased, and the numbers for

      13      children living in poverty are really staggering.

      14             Starving the sector is a short-sighted

      15      solution.

      16             The government seems to think that it's

      17      saving money by cutting funding for human-services

      18      programs, but the reality, is that these programs

      19      actually serve (sic) the state millions of dollars

      20      every year.

      21             I won't go into the details.  I have

      22      footnotes and citations in written testimony.

      23             But the return on investment for programs,

      24      such as, supportive housing, and alternatives to

      25      education -- to incarceration, for example, is well


       1      documented.

       2             When it comes to early childhood, we know

       3      that funding early childhood services is a

       4      long-term -- it's a long-term strategy to ensure

       5      that we have sustainable communities.

       6             When organizations are not paid the full cost

       7      of the services they provide, their capacity to meet

       8      the growing demand is severely limited, and

       9      sometimes the quality and scope of their services

      10      are reduced, and when that happens it actually

      11      touches on equity; equity, in terms of access to

      12      services, equity in terms of the quality of services

      13      and the distribution of services across the state.

      14             In this environment, human-services

      15      providers, including those specializing in early

      16      childhood, can't expand their services, they can't

      17      undertake meaningful performance management, they

      18      can't engage in planning for sustainability, because

      19      they're simply too busy, trying to figure out how

      20      they're going to deliver services, comply with

      21      regulations, and raise extra funds to make up the

      22      difference that they're not getting from their

      23      government and philanthropic funders.  And they're

      24      doing all of this on a shoestring budget.

      25             And as you know, late payment, which has been


       1      well documented by the state comptroller, further

       2      destabilizes the sector.

       3             So what does this mean for early childhood

       4      services?

       5             In some cases -- and I'm sure you've heard

       6      this ad nauseam today -- in some cases, it means

       7      fragmented service delivery, no continuity of care

       8      due to high staff turnover, outdated service

       9      facilities, and a general climate of uncertainty.

      10             People don't know how long their programs

      11      will last, how long people will be employed, how

      12      long they'll be able to serve the populations they

      13      serve.

      14             And what does this mean for the state's

      15      economy?

      16             It actually means a growing class of working

      17      poor, because early childhood workers now find

      18      themselves in the same precarious financial

      19      circumstances as the populations that they're

      20      serving.

      21             So by making smart equitable investments in

      22      the human-services sector, you can help ensure that

      23      services are being delivered effectively and

      24      efficiently where they're need, so the State can

      25      carry out its constitutional mandate, which is to


       1      provide aid, care, and support for the needy.

       2             So, if there are no questions for me, I know

       3      we're in a rush here, I will turn it over to my

       4      colleagues.

       5             SENATOR AVELLA:  I think you said -- I'm

       6      missing page 5 of your testimony.

       7             I see it's page 1, 2, 3, 4, but there's no

       8      page 5.

       9             TRACIE ROBINSON:  Oh.

      10             SENATOR AVELLA:  Well, you can figure it out

      11      later.

      12             TRACIE ROBINSON:  I must have given you a bad

      13      copy.  I'm sorry.

      14             May I?

      15             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  We'll take questions at

      16      the end, I guess.

      17             TRACIE ROBINSON:  Sorry about that.

      18             SENATOR AVELLA:  No, it's all right.

      19             BETTY HOLCOMB:  My name is Betty Holcomb.

      20      I'm with the Center for Children's Initiatives here

      21      in New York City.

      22             We are a child-care resource and referral

      23      agency, so we're talking with families every day,

      24      and working with the professionals in the field.

      25             And, we're also in -- helping to lead the


       1      Winning Beginning New York coalition, and the

       2      Ready for Kindergarten Coalition.

       3             And we're so happy that you have taken the

       4      focus you have for this particular hearing, because

       5      we know that this is the most urgent need in our

       6      field, to be sure that babies, toddlers, and their

       7      families are appropriately supported.

       8             So, I have four major recommendations in

       9      this.

      10             The first one is, I'm sure repeating what

      11      everyone has said today, which is, this sector of

      12      child care, generally, and, Head Start, pre-K, the

      13      whole -- all of these funding streams are

      14      dramatically under-resourced.

      15             And the situation with infants and toddlers

      16      is now -- has been a persistent shortage over the

      17      last decade in New York.

      18             Ten years ago, the Administration for

      19      Children's and Families said they were going to make

      20      a priority to age down and serve more babies and

      21      toddlers.

      22             But with the great recession and the flat

      23      funding and cut funding in federal and state venues,

      24      we are in much worse shape than we were 10 years

      25      ago.  And, we don't have enough care, families can't


       1      afford it.

       2             I've given you some data.

       3             I have lots of footnotes I didn't put in, but

       4      I'm happy to give you, you know, song and verse.

       5             But, I mean, the basic situation is, even if

       6      you have money, there isn't enough capacity to serve

       7      everybody who needs it.

       8             Babies and toddlers, there's one regulated

       9      spot for every five families who need it in the

      10      city.  And when you get into certain parts of the

      11      city, like The Bronx, where the poverty level is

      12      very high, that shortage grows even larger.

      13             And we think of it as, you know, there's

      14      about 100,000 children in each cohort, birth to 5's.

      15      There's probably about 300,000 babies and toddlers

      16      in the city who need service.

      17             And, we're only serving about 10 percent of

      18      them right now, and we're not doing a particularly

      19      good job of it.

      20             The fact that you're holding this hearing

      21      right now is especially important because, even at

      22      the federal level, officials in Congress and

      23      advocates have recognized that we need to expand

      24      infant/toddler services.

      25             And there's even in the reauthorization of


       1      the child-care-and-development block grant, a new,

       2      broader infant/toddler set-aside, that we thought

       3      was a wonderful idea.  But you're probably all aware

       4      that, right now, there is no money to support that.

       5             The appropriations, not only doesn't cover

       6      that, but it leaves New York State with a

       7      $90 million shortfall.

       8             And our state coalition and the Ready for K

       9      campaign are both asking that we find $190 million

      10      more for child care, or, we're going to lose

      11      21,000 children, at least.

      12             That's a very, very conservative estimate on

      13      the seats we will lose, because the new law has

      14      other requirements as well, that we have to do, we

      15      can't afford not to do, because it's inspections and

      16      other new requirements.

      17             So, we're likely to have a much worse

      18      situation if we don't act in the state to increase

      19      the investment.

      20             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  So to keep the status quo,

      21      what would the investment be?

      22             BETTY HOLCOMB:  To keep the status quo, if

      23      Congress had funded the federal block grant, it

      24      would have been 90 million, and I can give you the

      25      background on that, because -- in the first year.


       1      And that's mostly just health and safety.  And that

       2      translates into at least 21,000, maybe, more kids.

       3             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Okay.  21,000.

       4             Okay.

       5             BETTY HOLCOMB:  Starting, where we are now,

       6      the status quo is, we're only serving 22 percent of

       7      the eligible families right now, and even fewer of

       8      the babies and toddlers.

       9             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  So an additional

      10      90 million to keep the status quo, right now?

      11             BETTY HOLCOMB:  Well, the 90 million is to

      12      fund the new requirements that are coming in --

      13             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Right.

      14             BETTY HOLCOMB:  -- which includes, primarily,

      15      the health and safety requirements, the new

      16      inspections.

      17             We have to do annual inspections now of

      18      every type of care, which we don't do now in

      19      New York State.

      20             New York, Illinois, and California are the

      21      states who have the most at stake now with these new

      22      rules and without the appropriations.

      23             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  So just, very quickly,

      24      the 90 million is recurring; right?

      25             BETTY HOLCOMB:  Yes, it's recurring.


       1             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  It's not a one shot?

       2             BETTY HOLCOMB:  It's recurring.

       3             And as this new law goes into effect, it does

       4      other things, all of which we think are good and are

       5      long overdue.

       6             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  It's underfunded.

       7             BETTY HOLCOMB:  But that will be more

       8      funding.

       9             So this is very conservative.

      10             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Does the 90 million stay

      11      flat, or does it the grow?

      12             BETTY HOLCOMB:  It will probably grow.

      13             We're waiting on the Office of Children and

      14      Families Services.

      15             This is a very preliminary estimate that

      16      they've given us, and this, basically, is just a

      17      look at, in the next year, when we have to do new

      18      inspections, fingerprinting, things like that.

      19             And that's important, because the things

      20      you're thinking about in this hearing, babies and

      21      toddlers, most of them are in home-based child care,

      22      and a lot of it is informal care.

      23             So these new health and safety regulations

      24      could stand to improve that, but, we don't have the

      25      federal dollars.


       1             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  I understand.

       2             Okay.  Thanks.

       3             BETTY HOLCOMB:  The other thing to think

       4      about, in terms of the impact of the block grant,

       5      and we hope you'll join us, we're messaging, we have

       6      sign-ons, we're doing social media, and everything,

       7      to the federal delegations.  But we would hope that

       8      you would all join us in reaching out to our federal

       9      delegation.  We're doing it as advocates this month.

      10             But, as you know, with appropriations still

      11      in sequester for domestic programs, we're just going

      12      to continue on a very poor trajectory.

      13             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  I think it will be very

      14      important that we can advocate to our federal

      15      partners in government, to make sure that we're

      16      working together, and how they complement each

      17      other.

      18             And coming from, you're on the front lines,

      19      you know, educating us as well, and how we can work

      20      together, that would be extremely helpful.

      21             BETTY HOLCOMB:  Yeah.  And we do a lot of

      22      work, by the way, with Jane Brown up in Rockland,

      23      who I know you're doing lots of great things with.

      24             We appreciate everybody on the panel, and

      25      that you're having this hearing.


       1             As we advocate for these resources, as the

       2      other people on this panel, and I don't want to go

       3      too long, you know, the issues around the workforce

       4      and increasingly framed as pay equity, are just

       5      desperate for the people who are working with

       6      children under the age of 4; so, the very children

       7      that you're looking at at this hearing, and thinking

       8      about those services.

       9             And, at CCI, we think you could look to the

      10      city and state pre-K initiatives, and other pre-K

      11      initiatives around the state, as kind of a model for

      12      what we need to do; that, increasingly, in pre-K, we

      13      paid attention to the need to increase and get

      14      towards salary parity with teachers in the public

      15      school.

      16             So, both, in the city, and also in Rochester,

      17      as the pre-K funding for full-day was increased,

      18      we've seen efforts to improve the compensation, and

      19      give things like signing and retention bonuses, for

      20      teachers who are working in these programs.

      21             That's not happening for infants and toddlers

      22      yet.

      23             And, of course, if you're trying to run a

      24      program, I'm sure you heard about this already, but

      25      it creates extraordinary tensions within programs,


       1      and, it's just not right, and we aren't going to get

       2      the results we want.

       3             In New Jersey, they have now done lots of

       4      things, like, create funds to help people go to

       5      school, to support them as they pursue their degrees

       6      and get qualified to enter the field, and stay in

       7      the field.

       8             So I think, overall, this investment has to

       9      take into account the kind of rates that are going

      10      to support paying people, so they aren't themselves

      11      applying for food stamps and Medicaid.  And, of

      12      course, we have a very high turnover rate.

      13             And the third recommendation is that the

      14      State should look toward developing a qualified

      15      workforce for the future.

      16             As we all are hearing such fervor about early

      17      childhood education, and a lot of us have been

      18      cheerleading it, we don't really have the workforce

      19      trained.  And we should take on initiatives to make

      20      that happen, to support people as other states have,

      21      both, the people in the field to get their

      22      credentials, and bring new people in, and then have

      23      the rates so that they support people.

      24             Finally, we want to promote the type of

      25      services that really work, which we know are


       1      comprehensive.

       2             Early Head Start is a really good model.

       3             All the research shows that it's got built

       4      into it all the things we want to see that support

       5      the child's whole development; so, nutrition,

       6      health, mental health, parent engagement, family

       7      support, and social services when they're needed.

       8             And we really want to move toward that.

       9             And we want to also make sure that the rest

      10      of the sector that supports children and family and

      11      social services are engaged in supporting children

      12      in these programs.

      13             We can do a lot more, I know, in

      14      Rockland County.

      15             There are family resource centers.

      16             And around the state there are other examples

      17      of creating stronger linkages, so we're really

      18      building a continuum of robust services that support

      19      children, year by year.

      20             But these first three years are really the

      21      ones that are the most important.

      22             I'll stop.

      23             I'm glad to fill any of you in on any

      24      questions about the research here.

      25             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Great.  Thank you.


       1             DACIA REED:  Hi, my name is Dacia Reed.

       2      I serve as the senior public policy associate at the

       3      Children's Defense Fund of New York.

       4             I'm actually here today for my colleague

       5      Patty Bankhart (ph.), who serves as our director of

       6      research, and our early childhood expert, and is

       7      also currently on her honeymoon.

       8             So, I might be able to save us some time,

       9      because I might not be able to answer many of your

      10      questions.

      11             But if you want to talk about Raise the Age

      12      at any point, I am there, and I'd love to talk about

      13      it.

      14                  [Laughter.]

      15             DACIA REED:  But for the matter at hand,

      16      I wanted to just let you know that the

      17      Children's Defense Fund is very grateful to the four

      18      of you for convening this hearing today, and want to

      19      call your attention to, kind of, two issues.

      20             The first has been reiterated, I'm sure, by

      21      many, but most of the focus on gaps in services for

      22      the early childhood education.

      23             Despite recent significant investments in

      24      universal pre-K in New York City, still more than

      25      60 percent of the state's 4-year-olds do not have a


       1      seat in a full-day of pre-K, including 51,000

       2      children from low-income communities across the

       3      state.

       4             Fewer than 25 percent of all eligible

       5      low-income children receive a child-care subsidy,

       6      and only 21 percent of children under the age of 6

       7      receive the developmental screening in the state of

       8      New York.

       9             Despite eligibility and need, capacity

      10      remains insufficient.  And investments in programs

      11      and services like these during the early years of a

      12      child's life help to dismantle something we talk a

      13      lot about at the Children's Defense Fund, which is

      14      the Cradle-to-Prison (unintelligible).

      15             So we join with our partners, and I know that

      16      Patty will be in Albany this fall to meet,

      17      hopefully, with you guys, to talk more about funding

      18      streams to create sufficient capacity that's

      19      adequate, but also equitable, across the state.

      20             Secondly, and kind of more fully, I want to

      21      jump into another topic in regard to early childhood

      22      systems, coordination, and governance.

      23             And we know that kind of a robust,

      24      coordinated approach to serving children from

      25      prenatal years through age 8 is associated with


       1      improved child outcome.

       2             However, despite the benefits of service

       3      coordination, New York continues to deliver early

       4      childhood programs and services through somewhat of

       5      a fractured early childhood system.

       6             New York's early childhood system is overseen

       7      currently by three separate agencies -- OCFS, SED,

       8      and DOH -- with a myriad of funding streams,

       9      including four separate funding streams for pre-K,

      10      and six for home-visiting programs.

      11             And what this translates into is programs

      12      being left competing for different funding streams,

      13      and facing kind of the onerousness of different

      14      duplicative regulatory and reporting requirements

      15      and quality of standards that vary.

      16             For parents it creates logistical hurdles and

      17      barriers to accessing and retaining services.

      18             So as New York State continues to demonstrate

      19      leadership in funding early childhood education, CDF

      20      encourages careful attention to early childhood

      21      spending, coordination, and governance.

      22             And we know that other states have

      23      implemented governance models that allow for a more

      24      coordinated approach to early childhood services.

      25      These include creating one state agency that


       1      oversees all early childhood programming,

       2      consolidating early childhoods programs into a

       3      single existing agency, coordinating early childhood

       4      programs through one office or unit in the

       5      Governor's Office at the executive level; but then,

       6      also, local coordination with some type of state

       7      oversight, in really providing that capacity at a

       8      local level.

       9             So our conversations with other states that

      10      have implemented more centralized models reveal the

      11      following:

      12             Each of these government's models provided

      13      the benefit of seeing the early childhood system as

      14      a whole, has created more, you know, responsibility

      15      and accountability for looking at the whole early

      16      childhood system.

      17             Also, consolidation allowed for more

      18      flexibility with funding, at times blending or

      19      braiding different funding streams, to support more

      20      service provisions.

      21             Each governance model increased visibility of

      22      early childhood services, and out connection with

      23      parents and families, and created the

      24      (unintelligible) agency, or consolidated programs

      25      under one existing agency, helped to align program


       1      requirements and quality standard requirements.

       2             So we held interviews with other early

       3      childhood advocates in New York State to get their

       4      insights on needed improvements, in terms of

       5      coordination and governance in the early childhood

       6      services.

       7             And based on those, CDF New York has a series

       8      of recommendations and goals that I know Patty will

       9      be up speaking with you guys about during the

      10      session.

      11             First, is establishing a single point of

      12      accountable for early childhood programs across

      13      systems.

      14             Second, is building state and local

      15      partnerships that would allow for local-level

      16      councils to be empowered to coordinate the provision

      17      of services at the local level.

      18             Federal aligning funding streams,

      19      particularly for programs with multiple funding

      20      streams, such as State-funded pre-K.

      21             Next, is creating an integrated early

      22      childhood data system with a simpler way for

      23      programs to report program outcomes.

      24             And, finally, creating a single point of

      25      access for early childhood programs to make


       1      navigation of those programs simpler for parents.

       2             So, thank you for your time.

       3             I know I covered a lot, but definitely will

       4      be back in touch.

       5             SARAH FAJARDO:  Good afternoon.

       6             I want to echo the thanks from my fellow

       7      panelists for holding this important hearing.  We're

       8      really grateful for your time and attention to this

       9      important issue.

      10             My name is Sarah Fajardo.  I work for the

      11      Coalition for Asian-American Children and Families

      12      as a policy manager there.

      13             For nearly 30 years, CACF has been the

      14      nation's only Pan-Asian children's rights

      15      organization, and we work to improve the health and

      16      well-being of Asian-Pacific Americans in

      17      New York City, but also New York State.

      18             We're a coalition of over 40 direct-service

      19      providers who work with Asian-American communities

      20      in New York.

      21             So I just wanted to highlight a couple of the

      22      major concerns and kind of challenges facing the

      23      Asian-Pacific American community, both in the city

      24      and the state.

      25             Asian-Pacific Americans are, by percentage,


       1      the fastest-growing community in New York City, and

       2      New York State's APA population increased 35 percent

       3      from 2000 to 2010.

       4             This rapid population growth is across an

       5      incredibly diverse population, so we have folks who

       6      speak over 40 Asian languages and dialects in the

       7      city and state.

       8             Accompanying this population growth are also

       9      high rates of poverty and linguistic isolation,

      10      which are big challenges to our community members in

      11      accessing important services.

      12             And, finally, Asian-Pacific Americans have

      13      limited visibility in many of our state systems.

      14             Often, when New York State agencies issue

      15      reports, Asian-Pacific Americans are not mentioned.

      16      Data on APAs are suppressed.

      17             Folks are categorized as simply "Asian,"

      18      "Other," or grouped as "White," to compare with

      19      other communities of color.

      20             So this lack of specified disaggregated data

      21      fails to highlight the needs that are actually

      22      present within the Asian-Pacific American community.

      23             So we do a lot of work, trying to disrupt

      24      this idea of Asian-Pacific Americans as the model

      25      minority, folks who don't need services or help,


       1      which is simply not the case.

       2             So CACF we would like to support the

       3      recommendations advanced by my colleagues here to

       4      expand resources for early childhood education

       5      programming, especially for culturally-competent and

       6      linguistically-accessible resources.

       7             Language access is a big barrier.

       8             It's actually getting families connected to

       9      those services that are already available.

      10             And we've -- we do support the development of

      11      an early childhood education workforce that is

      12      multi-lingual and culturally-competent.

      13             And I have some specific dollar asks in my

      14      written testimony.

      15             Additionally, we would ask that funding be

      16      allocated to help providers address outreach and the

      17      need for professional development for service

      18      providers to serve our community members.

      19             And CACF has been working with

      20      Assembly Member Kim and Senator Stavisky on a state

      21      bill -- two state bills, to collect better data

      22      about our communities, because, without the data,

      23      it's really hard to target services for our

      24      communities, and make a good argument that we do

      25      need extra dollars allocated to meet our community's


       1      needs.

       2             And, finally, we would propose that the State

       3      include requirements for cultural competency and

       4      linguistic accessibility in state RPFs for early

       5      childhood services, to actually ensure that, you

       6      know, the services include the needs of our

       7      community and the APAs are served adequately.

       8             Thank you.

       9             SENATOR CARLUCCI:  Good.  Thank you.

      10             Did you want to add something?

      11             BETTY HOLCOMB:  I just wanted to add one more

      12      thing to your list, about what might help with the

      13      birth-to-three, is when we talk about data, it's

      14      very hard to find the birth-to-three data

      15      disaggregated.

      16             It's only recently that we've sort of begun

      17      to really look at what birth-to-five as being some

      18      separate stages of development.

      19             But a few years back, CCI worked with Docs

      20      for Tots, and New York Zero-to-Three, to put

      21      together a report on infant/toddler services in

      22      New York City by ZIP Code.

      23             And it's just appallingly hard to find things

      24      broken out so that you can understand where those

      25      children are.


       1             We've done that in some of our guidebooks to

       2      the services in New York City as much as we can.

       3             But, statewide, that's an important question

       4      for us to pay attention to.

       5             SENATOR AVELLA:  Well, thank you for your

       6      testimony.

       7             Assemblyman.

       8             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Thank you all.

       9             I'm going to be pretty brief.

      10             But when you talk about developmental

      11      screening, are you talking about recap (ph.)?

      12             Are there other types of screens that we're

      13      talking about?

      14             If you can answer that.

      15             DACIA REED:  I don't know.

      16             I'd have to ask Patty, who wrote my talking

      17      points.

      18             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  That's fine.  If you can

      19      get back to me on what works, I know we don't

      20      screen -- what was the number you guys said?

      21             You said it was 21 percent of the population?

      22             DACIA REED:  Yes.

      23             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Okay.  Well, that's a

      24      big problem, because you -- then later on, you're

      25      trying to teach, or, even later on in life, trying


       1      to get people to do jobs that they're just not going

       2      to be capable of doing.  They don't have the

       3      executive function to do it.

       4             So the screenings that work will be helpful

       5      to me.

       6             BETTY HOLCOMB:  So both the State Department

       7      of Education, also the Early Childhood Advisory

       8      Council, have developed a lot of protocols for that,

       9      and tools, and so we can share back to you.

      10             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  That would be great.

      11             And then just one last question, if I can.

      12             Sorry.

      13             SENATOR AVELLA:  No, go ahead.

      14             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  So the single point of

      15      access jumped out at me.

      16             As you know, the City did a single point of

      17      access with the HIV community.

      18             I am actually carrying a bill, to introduce a

      19      point of access for that community in the state.

      20             But I would like to look at a model for

      21      EarlyLearn, to see if that fits, and have a

      22      conversation about that.

      23             SENATOR AVELLA:  Yeah, absolutely.

      24      (Unintelligible.)

      25             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  So you should have just


       1      said no.

       2                  [Laughter.]

       3             SENATOR AVELLA:  Or maybe we can do something

       4      together.

       5             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  I would love that.

       6             DACIA REED:  And I think we have a meeting

       7      set up at the beginning of October, so I'll make

       8      sure Patty's there.

       9             SENATOR AVELLA:  Senator Squadron.

      10             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And actually related to

      11      that, and this is, I guess, a stupid question, and

      12      please answer it in the simple form I am asking,

      13      because (unintelligible) stupid question.

      14             I notice we use the term "early child care,"

      15      "early education," "EarlyLearn," "early child

      16      services."

      17             Just list for me specifically the programs

      18      you're talking about.

      19             Just the programs, list them.  I just want to

      20      know what we're talking about.

      21             BETTY HOLCOMB:  The funding for them is the

      22      way it gets -- the reason it gets complicated is,

      23      you know, if you want to talk about subsidized child

      24      care, the child-care and development block covers

      25      care --


       1             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Right, so I'll get

       2      started.

       3             So, Head Start --

       4             BETTY HOLCOMB:  -- for birth to 12.

       5             And then Head Start is only for three and

       6      five -- I mean, four and --

       7             SENATOR SQUADRON:  I know.

       8             So --

       9             BETTY HOLCOMB:  And then there's --

      10             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Pre-natal to pre-K.

      11             We've got a bunch of the prenatal stuff.

      12             BETTY HOLCOMB:  There's home visiting, that

      13      sort of gets included, and early Head Start includes

      14      that.

      15             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.

      16             BETTY HOLCOMB:  And there's early

      17      intervention, which is education funding.

      18             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Great.

      19             BETTY HOLCOMB:  And there's also special

      20      education, of course, and, you know, other things

      21      that come into play.

      22             And I think one of the things that makes

      23      getting to the goals that we all share about

      24      coordination, is each of those has its own history,

      25      because every ten years we decide it's the best


       1      thing.  Right?

       2             So some social services funding.

       3             Some is education funding.

       4             And there are pros and cons of all of those,

       5      even if you talk about single point of access.

       6             Like, right now, we have pre-K, with

       7      education money, so any family can get access.

       8             And, actually, immigrant families realize

       9      this, and now we're doing that for 3-year-olds.

      10             Every other form of early childhood service

      11      is needs-based.

      12             SENATOR SQUADRON:  So I know it's

      13      complicated.

      14             That's kind of why I'm asking the simplified

      15      version of the question, and I appreciate just --

      16      I appreciate the complexity.

      17             And I appreciate that somebody told me.

      18             Just so I understand:  If home visiting,

      19      Head Start, early Head Start, early intervention,

      20      special-education needs, child-care subsidy, pre-K,

      21      obviously, big headline-getter, and any -- what's

      22      being missed in those seven things I just said?

      23             And, again, I have to admit, I've never

      24      gotten my head fully around this.

      25             I think I -- I've served for eight years


       1      using euphemisms.

       2             I have this great panel here, and if I can

       3      just get past the euphemisms, as briefly as possible

       4      in the next minute or two, it would be really

       5      helpful to me (unintelligible).

       6             So, I appreciate it.

       7             BETTY HOLCOMB:  Well, that's why we say

       8      "early care and learning."

       9                  [Laughter.]

      10             SENATOR SQUADRON:  So I'm glad to know that

      11      I'm not the only one --

      12             BETTY HOLCOMB:  Eight agencies that programs

      13      answer to in the city (unintelligible) --

      14             SENATOR SQUADRON:  So just from any of the

      15      four of you, in those seven that I just listed, was

      16      there anything being missed?

      17             I know some of it was redundant.

      18             Was anything being missed?

      19             And I know we have another panel to come in

      20      and fill in, but, that sort of jumps to mind?

      21             Anyone?

      22             Okay, good.

      23             Well, that's a starting point, anyway.

      24             We're not closing the list off, by any means.

      25      I'm just trying to gather it.


       1             So, we'll start with those seven.  And you,

       2      or the single person watching at home, I'd love to

       3      continue to sort of understand, in this category,

       4      the universe of what programs we're talking about.

       5             So thank you very much for that.  I really

       6      appreciate it.

       7             BETTY HOLCOMB:  I can send you some things

       8      too.

       9             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you.

      10             SENATOR AVELLA:  Well, send it to the entire

      11      panel.

      12             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  One last question?

      13             Cultural competency and RFPs, what are we

      14      doing about that?

      15             SARAH FAJARDO:  At the state level?

      16             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Yes.

      17             Is there anything we could work together on?

      18             SARAH FAJARDO:  So the language that I've

      19      seen in state RFPs have -- you know, there have

      20      been mentions of cultural competency and linguistic

      21      accessibility as an important criteria.

      22             But actually allocating points in the point

      23      system to those factors, I haven't -- I haven't seen

      24      it.

      25             Perhaps it's happened, but --


       1             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Can we have a

       2      conversation about that post to hearing at some

       3      point?

       4             SARAH FAJARDO:  Absolutely.

       5             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Thank you very much.

       6             SENATOR SQUADRON:  That's an important one.

       7             SENATOR AVELLA:  Yeah, that's a good one.

       8             Thank you.

       9             The last panel, Stephanie Gendell, the

      10      associate executive director of policy and

      11      government relations at the Citizens' Community for

      12      Children;

      13             Randi Levine, policy coordinator and early

      14      childhood education project director for Advocates

      15      for Children.

      16             STEPHANIE GENDELL:  We appreciate you saving

      17      the best for last.

      18             SENATOR AVELLA:  We appreciate you staying.

      19             STEPHANIE GENDELL:  I'm Stephanie Gendell.

      20      I'm the associate executive director at

      21      Citizens' Committee for Children.  It's a

      22      multi-issue child-advocacy organization.

      23             And I'm definitely not going to read my

      24      testimony to you, but we really appreciate you

      25      holding this hearing, and you paying special


       1      attention to the needs of the youngest New Yorkers.

       2             It's not an overstatement to say that what

       3      happens to children between prenatal and pre-K

       4      changes the whole life outcome, their entire life

       5      outcomes.

       6             As has been said earlier, we know what places

       7      these young children at risk, and we know how to

       8      mitigate those risks, but what we don't seem to know

       9      how to do is support the services that we know make

      10      a difference for these young children.

      11             In my testimony, it's divided, essentially,

      12      into two parts: one is about the data, and one is

      13      our recommendations.

      14             And I'm definitely not going to read the data

      15      to you.

      16             But when you look in the data, you can see in

      17      the numbers, the sheer volume of children that we're

      18      talking about, and all of the risk factors that

      19      we're facing.

      20             And just to put a little context around it,

      21      there are 4.2 million children in New York State,

      22      and about a million of them are living in poverty.

      23             And in New York City, there's 1.8 million

      24      children that live here, and that is more than

      25      double the number of children that live in the next


       1      largest city of Los Angeles.  And it's about half

       2      the children in New York State, and about 500,000 of

       3      them are living in poverty.

       4             And then one other piece of data that I'll

       5      just mention is that, just to note that there were

       6      almost 19,000 children in New York City who spent

       7      one night in a homeless shelter last year, and there

       8      were, roughly, 1800 babies born into the shelter

       9      system.

      10             So we know that there are just a tremendous

      11      number of children in the state, in the city, who

      12      are born into high-risk situations, and we know how

      13      to help them.

      14             And so I'm just going to run through some of

      15      our recommendations, and I won't go into detail

      16      about the ones that have already been spoken about.

      17             But to start with, we feel that improving the

      18      economic security of pregnant and parenting --

      19      parents would help, so we support raising the

      20      minimum wage, living wage.

      21             We've been supporting a proposal to allow

      22      families to be able to split a portion of their tax

      23      refund or their tax credit, and put a portion in a

      24      529 college-savings account.

      25             And we've also then wanted the savings in a


       1      529 to be removed from the asset-limit test, or to

       2      eliminate the asset test altogether.

       3             We know from looking at the data that, if you

       4      go to college, it improves your median income.  And

       5      we know that just a little bit of savings gives a

       6      young person a college identity, and so they don't

       7      need to have a tremendous amount saved.  But just a

       8      little makes someone think they're going to college

       9      and improves their likelihood of going to college.

      10             We also want to ensure pregnant women have

      11      access to prenatal care.

      12             We are grateful to the Chairman for

      13      co-sponsoring the bill to make pregnancy a

      14      qualifying event (unintelligible) for the state

      15      health exchange, and we hope that bill will be

      16      signed into law, and we will be more than happy to

      17      do what we can to help move it along.

      18             We believe New York needs to pass paid family

      19      leave.  This is an economic issue.

      20             Those who don't have this through their

      21      employer are typically low-income families, and so

      22      those parents need to either go to work or miss

      23      12 weeks of pay.

      24             Many of them can't afford that.  It impacts

      25      their bonding with their children, it impacts the


       1      likelihood of breastfeeding, and it impacts the

       2      health care, the well-child visits, immunizations of

       3      their children.

       4             As has been discussed a lot, we want to

       5      maintain and expand access to home-visiting

       6      programs.

       7             We support anything Senator Squadron wants to

       8      do to make home visiting universal.

       9             We support all of that.

      10             SENATOR AVELLA:  (Unintelligible.)

      11                  [Laughter.]

      12             STEPHANIE GENDELL:  We agree.

      13             And we've also been interested in more

      14      home-visiting programs for families in the shelter

      15      system, because we know they're a good group to

      16      target, and that there are 1800 babies born there.

      17             And, also, allowing some of the hours of home

      18      visiting to count towards the work requirement for

      19      families on public assistance.

      20             With regard to early education, I'll just add

      21      that we need -- we may have every 4-year-old having

      22      access in New York City, but outside New York City

      23      that is not the case for pre-kindergarten.

      24             We need to actually expand pre-K outside

      25      New York City.


       1             The estimate of the $90 million shortfall for

       2      child care, my understanding of that is that that's

       3      the minimum amount of the shortfall.  It just

       4      includes the health and safety standards, and that

       5      there are other assets that they haven't been able

       6      to come up with an estimate for.

       7             And I'm very concerned that they will try to

       8      resolve that through cutting subsidies to children,

       9      increasing -- some of it they might charge the

      10      providers to have inspections, because part of it's

      11      inspections.  But these are low-income family

      12      providers that we're talking about, or, that they

      13      may increase parent fees, none of which would be a

      14      step in the right direction.

      15             We actually need to increase the capacity.

      16             We're part of the Campaign for Children.

      17             In a few weeks, we're going to be issuing a

      18      report that's going to show that, in New York City,

      19      only 14 percent of income-eligible infants and

      20      toddlers are served in the city's child-care system.

      21             And so we need to do much more to be able to

      22      serve infants and toddlers in child care.

      23             On the housing side, we support the calls for

      24      supportive housing, for at least 35,000 new units.

      25             We hope that some of those units can be


       1      preserved as set-asides for families, and also for

       2      youth aging out of foster care.

       3             And also on housing, we've been advocating

       4      for an increase to the child-welfare housing

       5      subsidy.

       6             It is currently $300 a month for up to

       7      three years.  It has been that since the 1980s.

       8             $300 does not stabilize a housing situation.

       9             If you adjust that for inflation, it's about

      10      $602, so we'll take 600.

      11             And on the child-welfare side, which I would

      12      say is the -- of the package of seven, child welfare

      13      and mental health are sort of the last part of that

      14      bundle.

      15             In addition to child-welfare preventative

      16      services, if the State opens up a case -- the county

      17      opens up a case to get payment from the State, at

      18      62 percent, even though it's in statute at

      19      65 percent, and then -- but the family has to agree

      20      and open up a case.

      21             Aside from home-visiting programs, we don't

      22      really have what I would call "primary preventive

      23      services," where you target communities, or it could

      24      be a school, or it could be a homeless shelter,

      25      where you've seen a high number of reports about


       1      something, and so you target with an intervention

       2      that anybody can attend without opening up the case.

       3             We could use more of that.

       4             We used to have a funding stream called

       5      "COPS," that was open-ended.

       6             We now have only $12 million left in COPS.

       7             The problem with COPS is, for starters, the

       8      "O" in COPS is community "optional" preventive

       9      services.

      10             So, it needs a new name so that it doesn't

      11      get cut.

      12             But, it used to allow counties to be

      13      creative, and target.  And so some counties have

      14      actually done home-visiting programs with that

      15      limited money.  And in New York City, we've used it

      16      for -- on the juvenile justice side, but it used to

      17      be open-ended, or at least not capped at

      18      $12 million.

      19             And then, lastly, on the mental-health side,

      20      we need more behavioral-health services for

      21      children, zero to five, which I realize is sort of

      22      outside the scope of this Committee.  But we have

      23      very little behavioral-health services available for

      24      very young children.

      25             And then I'm sure Randi's going to do a much


       1      better job about talking about EI than I will, but

       2      we would support whatever Randi says about EI.

       3                  [Laughter.]

       4             RANDI LEVINE:  Just a quick mention of that,

       5      actually.

       6             Thank you for the opportunity to speak with

       7      you today, and for holding a hearing on this

       8      important topic.

       9             My name is Randi Levine, and I'm the policy

      10      coordinator and early childhood education project

      11      director at Advocates for Children of New York.

      12             For more than 40 years, Advocates for

      13      Children has worked to promote access to the best

      14      education New York can provide for all students,

      15      especially students from low-income backgrounds and

      16      students of color.

      17             Every year we work with thousands of families

      18      in New York City to help them navigate the education

      19      system, and use the information we learn on the

      20      ground to help promote systemic change.

      21             We're also a proud member of the

      22      Winning Beginning New York Coalition on the state

      23      level, as well as the Campaign for Children in

      24      New York City.

      25             As an education advocacy organization, we


       1      know that the first five years of children's lives

       2      have a profound impact on their education and

       3      future.

       4             And we know the significant academic gap that

       5      already exists when children enter kindergarten,

       6      between children who come from lower-income families

       7      and have not had access to early childhood education

       8      programs, as compared with children who have had

       9      these opportunities.

      10             We have research in our written testimony.

      11             I won't go through it, because I know you've

      12      heard today about the tremendous impact that early

      13      childhood education programs have on children's

      14      academic success, as well as a host of other factors

      15      in their lives and their family's lives.

      16             I do want to acknowledge, since we're here in

      17      New York City, that the beginning of this school

      18      year marked an important milestone, as we were able

      19      to offer full-day pre-K to every 4-year-old in

      20      New York City for the first time.

      21             And, we appreciate the State Legislature's

      22      investment and support of that program, in

      23      partnership with the City, that allowed that to

      24      happen.

      25             At the same time, we know that there is a lot


       1      more work to be done.

       2             You've already heard a lot today about home

       3      visiting, but we just want to reiterate that

       4      home-visiting programs, such as a Nurse-Family

       5      Partnership have demonstrated impressive results in

       6      helping young children develop, and prepare for

       7      school.  And it's time to make a substantial

       8      investment to expand those programs.

       9             I want to talk a little bit about child care,

      10      and I know that child care has also come up several

      11      times today, but I think we're feeling such urgency,

      12      that I want to repeat it.

      13             Due to limited funding, only 22 percent of

      14      income-eligible children have access to subsidized

      15      child care in New York State.

      16             A few panels ago, you asked my colleague

      17      Gregory Brender how many children we're currently

      18      serving.  And it's 130,000, which is 22 percent of

      19      those who are income-eligible.

      20             For many families with low-incomes,

      21      subsidized child care provides the only opportunity

      22      to access early childhood education for their

      23      children.

      24             We're pleased that the recent federal

      25      reauthorization of the child-care and development


       1      block grant included new quality standards; however,

       2      as you've heard, it will cost an estimated

       3      $90 million for New York State to implement the new

       4      health and safety standards alone.

       5             This $90 million cost does not include a

       6      number of the other new federal requirements.

       7             Given the significant unmet need that already

       8      exists, we want to ensure that the State does not

       9      fund these new requirements by decreasing the number

      10      of children accessing child care, or making it

      11      harder for families to access it, through things

      12      like increased fees.

      13             Rather, the state and the federal government

      14      need to work together to provide increased funding

      15      for these new requirements, and provide additional

      16      funding to increase the number of children who have

      17      access to child-care subsidies.

      18             And as you've heard, Winning Beginning

      19      New York is asking, in addition to the $90 million

      20      for the health and safety standards and any other

      21      costs associated with implementing, for at least

      22      $100 million in new funding to provide subsidies to

      23      an increased 13,000 children.

      24             While New York City now has universal pre-K

      25      for 4-year-old children, we want to ensure that the


       1      State continues to move toward full access for

       2      3- and 4-year-olds across the state, and to ensure

       3      that the various pre-K programs are funded in a

       4      coherent manner and provide high quality.

       5             As you consider expanding, coordinating, and

       6      strengthening the continuum of early childhood

       7      education programs that Senator Squadron outlined,

       8      we urge you, for all of these, to think about how to

       9      ensure that programs have the support they need to

      10      enroll and serve those children who are often left

      11      behind: young children with delays and disabilities,

      12      including with mental-health or behavioral

      13      challenges, young children of immigrant parents, and

      14      young children living in temporary housing or foster

      15      care.

      16             Just last week, Advocates for Children

      17      received a call from a frantic parent whose

      18      subsidized child-care program had told her that she

      19      had to remove her son from the program because of

      20      his disability, depriving the child of an

      21      educational opportunity, and causing a crisis for

      22      this low-income single-working parent.

      23             Well, early intervention and pre-school

      24      special-education services are available for young

      25      children with delays or disabilities.


       1             We have to strengthen these programs as well,

       2      and there needs to be better coordination between

       3      these services and other early childhood education

       4      programs, so that early childhood programs have the

       5      support they need to serve all children.

       6             In any conversation that follows from this

       7      hearing about increasing investments in early

       8      childhood education programs, we urge you to ask:

       9             How children with delays and disabilities,

      10      children of immigrant parents, children living in

      11      temporary housing, children in foster care, will

      12      access these programs.

      13             How legislation can help ensure that these

      14      children are served well, and how legislation can

      15      help eliminate barriers to their full inclusion.

      16             Advocates for Children would be pleased to

      17      partner with you in thinking through these issues,

      18      to ensure that the children who need these programs

      19      most can access and benefit from them.

      20             Thank you for the opportunity to speak with

      21      you, and I'm happy to answer any questions.

      22             SENATOR AVELLA:  Well, thank you both.

      23             Questions?

      24             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you very much.

      25             And -- you know, so, behavioral health, we


       1      left out.

       2             That was really helpful.

       3             Anything else that I missed, sort of, as

       4      we're actually trying to create a list of what we're

       5      talking about when we talk about prenatal and pre-K?

       6             RANDI LEVINE:  I know in the city, in child

       7      welfare, they have targeted preventive services that

       8      are created specifically for the toddler.

       9             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Yes, that was a great

      10      point.  Thank you for that.

      11             And thank you, both of you, for your

      12      testimony, and what you provided us, a list of

      13      prescriptions is very helpful, as in the context.

      14             Let me just ask a question.

      15             22 percent are served.

      16             What do the other 78 percent do?

      17             RANDI LEVINE:  That's a great question.

      18             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Any idea?

      19             RANDI LEVINE:  We have --

      20             STEPHANIE GENDELL:  We know the reverse.

      21             So when Bloomberg was going to cut

      22      47,000 child-care and after-school slots, we

      23      surveyed the parents who were going to lose child

      24      care, and asked them what they would do if they lost

      25      child care, and whether or not they relied on child


       1      care to be able to go to work or to go school.

       2             So 96 percent of them said they relied on it,

       3      to be able to work or go to school.

       4             And then the answers to what they would do,

       5      I don't remember the percentages, but it was a mix

       6      of quitting their job, finding a relative, or,

       7      leaving their child home alone, which is more on the

       8      after-school side.

       9             But even some of the early childhood said

      10      that.

      11             But the answers were concerning.

      12             We could share that report with you.

      13             SENATOR SQUADRON:  That would be great.

      14             RANDI LEVINE:  And in terms of our

      15      on-the-ground work in Advocates for Children, we get

      16      calls from families who are desperate to find a free

      17      or low-cost early childhood education program

      18      because the parent does want to return to work or

      19      school, and is the one, at this point, taking care

      20      of the child.

      21             We also get calls where there was a -- an

      22      informal child-care arrangement with a relative,

      23      where that's not viable anymore.

      24             SENATOR SQUADRON:  And do we know anything

      25      about kids who -- about those 22 percent of kids,


       1      and sort of how they do in school, or how their

       2      families do over time, as compared to the overall

       3      eligible population?

       4             STEPHANIE GENDELL:  We know the research

       5      outside of New York shows that they do better.

       6             I don't know if we've done a study of how --

       7             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Well, the research outside

       8      of New York would be great to --

       9             RANDI LEVINE:  Yeah, I mean, certainly these

      10      child-care programs do have quality standards.

      11             And as we said, the federal reauthorization

      12      increases those quality standards.

      13             And we know that there is --

      14             SENATOR SQUADRON:  (Unintelligible) see the

      15      impact of those, because not all federal standards

      16      have an impact, unfortunately, as we know.

      17             So I would just love to see that impact.

      18             That's great.

      19             And then, finally, one way to deal with the

      20      hardest to access or engage communities is -- as you

      21      speak about, is step one, any way, is universal

      22      access, isn't it?  That helps a lot; right?

      23             UNIDENTIFIED SPEAKER:  It does.

      24             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Then you have to do

      25      aggressive outreach.


       1             RANDI LEVINE:  That does, exactly.

       2             I think that's --

       3             SENATOR SQUADRON:  So once you're something

       4      less than universal, then those folks who have the

       5      most ability to access the programs tend to.  Isn't

       6      that what we find?

       7             RANDI LEVINE:  I think that that's true.

       8             I think that what we've learned from the

       9      recent expansion of universal pre-K is that, by

      10      making it universal, we have ensured that there's a

      11      right for every single child, regardless of

      12      circumstance, to attend, but that there also needs

      13      to be some focus on:

      14             How are we going to do that outreach to

      15      families in shelters? to children in foster care?

      16             How are we going to ensure, through

      17      legislation, as well as otherwise, that these

      18      children are able to access the program, and are

      19      well-served once they get there?

      20             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Okay.  Thank you.

      21             It's an important point to raise at the

      22      close.

      23             Thank you.  I really appreciate

      24      (unintelligible).

      25             I know we're not done, but, thank you.


       1             SENATOR AVELLA:  Okay.

       2             Assemblyman Hevesi.

       3             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  So I should know the

       4      answer to this question, but maybe you can help me.

       5             Included in the $90 million, the health and

       6      safety requirements, that's just for regulated care;

       7      right?

       8             STEPHANIE GENDELL:  It's actually for the --

       9      it's for the people who get subsidies, who are -- we

      10      call them now: the informal family, friend, or

      11      neighbor care.

      12             They're going to become slightly regulated,

      13      and part of the cost -- a large part of the cost is

      14      that there will have to be checks, both

      15      clearances -- the child-abuse/neglect clearances,

      16      fingerprints, and also something going to their

      17      home, which, statewide, you know, especially

      18      upstate, that's expensive.

      19             And in New York City, it's a lot of people --

      20             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  That's one of the big

      21      problems, and why you had two levels of care.  You

      22      have regulated and unregulated because not everybody

      23      can afford regulated care.

      24             So this is pulling people out of the

      25      unregulated pool into --


       1             STEPHANIE GENDELL:  No, they would still be

       2      considered informal care, and still family, friend

       3      or neighbor care.  It would still be the same cost.

       4      It would be -- usually these are vouchers.  It's a

       5      voucher as opposed to contracts.

       6             It would cost the City more to license them,

       7      but it wouldn't cost the parent more.

       8             There's the potential that some of these

       9      family, friends, or neighbors aren't going to want

      10      to do child care because they don't want to have the

      11      checks.

      12             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Background checks, or

      13      whatever, so they drop off?

      14             STEPHANIE GENDELL:  Yeah.

      15             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Okay.  There's a danger.

      16             And then just one other topic, if I can.

      17             You mentioned access to services for kids in

      18      foster care and, you know, homeless shelters.

      19             You know, if I had my -- if I had my way,

      20      we'd phase out all the homeless shelters and we'd be

      21      in supportive housing.

      22             But until that happens, is that a gap in our

      23      services, a huge gap, for kids who are in these kind

      24      of temporary housings, and something we should focus

      25      on?


       1             STEPHANIE GENDELL:  I think the City has two

       2      really interesting new programs that are just

       3      starting, particularly for young children.

       4             One is through working with the Department of

       5      Health.  They have their, what they call, "newborn

       6      home visiting," which is like two to three visits,

       7      and they're targeting the babies born in shelter.

       8             That's not the full-package home visiting,

       9      but it's something.

      10             And they are also starting, the city council

      11      is funding a new initiative of, sort of, trauma,

      12      risk, working with families with young children, but

      13      we haven't really seen the impact of that.

      14             But I think those are good places to start,

      15      and these are particularly vulnerable children.

      16             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Statewide?  Because the

      17      homelessness crisis particularly is a statewide

      18      problem?

      19             STEPHANIE GENDELL:  Yeah.

      20             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Anything --

      21             STEPHANIE GENDELL:  I mean, I would think we

      22      would want the same types of services statewide,

      23      especially if we show that they work.

      24             I don't know of any pilots like that outside

      25      the city.


       1             RANDI LEVINE:  And we've seen the City take

       2      some important steps.

       3             And with the rollout of pre-K, for example,

       4      this year's city hall formed a task force to figure

       5      out how we're going to do appropriate outreach and

       6      ensure that children in homeless shelters, that

       7      their families apply to pre-K and enroll them in

       8      pre-K.

       9             I think there is more we can do at the state

      10      level, including in legislation.

      11             For example, there are a number of state-law

      12      provisions around students in temporary housing, but

      13      they start when students enter kindergarten.

      14             And so, certainly, there's more work we can

      15      do to age down some of those rights and protections

      16      to younger children.

      17             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  Great.

      18             Can you follow up with us?

      19             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Yes, please.

      20             ASSEMBLYMAN HEVESI:  I mean, great, let's

      21      follow up on that one.

      22             Okay.  Thank you.

      23             SENATOR AVELLA:  Thank you both.

      24             I want to thank everybody who came to testify

      25      today, and, of course, on behalf of my colleague who


       1      is chairing this Committee, Senator Carlucci.

       2             I want to thank my colleagues in government,

       3      especially Assemblyman Hevesi and Senator Squadron,

       4      for staying for the entire hearing.

       5             But we do appreciate all the testimonies that

       6      we heard today, and, obviously, we will be taking

       7      that into account, not only for budget requests, but

       8      also for possible legislation.

       9             And I do urge everybody that has testified

      10      today to stay in touch with all of us, because these

      11      are issues that are very important to the

      12      Legislature, to you, to all New Yorkers.  And the

      13      more that we can do for these families in need, the

      14      better.

      15             Any closing statements?

      16             Senator Squadron.

      17             SENATOR SQUADRON:  Thank you very much.

      18             It was a fantastic hearing, and great to have

      19      (unintelligible) conversation with my colleagues at

      20      the level that we did.

      21             And thank you, both Chairs.

      22             SENATOR AVELLA:  Thank you both.

      23             And the reason I stayed, just for the record,

      24      is you put my name on the sign.

      25                  [Laughter.]


       1             SENATOR AVELLA:  So I felt like I was trapped

       2      from the beginning.

       3             It worked.

       4             Anyway, thank you, everybody.

       5             I appreciate it.

       6                  (Whereupon, at approximately 2:19 p.m.,

       7        the joint public hearing held before the New York

       8        State Senate Standing Committee on Social Services

       9        and the Senate Standing Committee on Children and

      10        Families concluded, and adjourned.)


      12                            ---oOo---