Consortium Legislative Priorities Flyer
Pending Legislative Bills - Consortium Position
Revised May 21, 2013
|SB 125 - Public Access to
Employees Performance Appraisals
|Oppose||Concern that employees' privacy rights would be violated|
|HB 147 - Amend Adoption Laws||Support||No Concerns at this time|
|SB 140 - Financial Exploitation of Older Adults||Support||Capacity concerns to comply with the law; Amend to streamline process of obtaining records from financial institutions through NC FAST and include Powers of Attorney in legislation|
|HB 189 - Amend Info Prov./Noncust. Parent/Child Supp.||Oppose||Amend for judge to make decision upon the request of the noncustodial and after hearing arguments from the custodial parent.|
|HB 149 - Caylee's Law||Support with word substitution||Amend to change wording from "knowingly" to "deliberately". Where is accountability for Division of Child Development?|
|SB 277 - Require Educ. Development Plan/Foster Care||Oppose||Amend to make local DSS and schools jointly responsible for the Education Development Plan; many of these foster children are not living in foster homes. What about birth parent involvement? Agency involvement? Kids in group settings? When a child moves?|
|HB 68 - Establish Ombudsman/Foster Care/Gaston County||Oppose||Do not see the need for this legislation - Guardian Ad Litem Programs in each county utilize community volunteers to advocate with the court on behalf of foster children; foster parent association in counties advocate on behalf of foster parents as well as the state foster parent association.|
|HB 343/SB 385 - Courts/Procedure and Fee Amendments||Support provided DSS fees are waived, Opposed otherwise||Major Unfundated Mandate on Counties; Strongly oppose unless fees to counties are waived for child support, child welfare, adult protective services, and guardianship petitions.|
|HB 434 TANF Funds for Boys and Girls Clubs||Oppose until mandated services are fully funded||Fully fund mandated TANF core services first before funding optional programs through the federal TANF Block Grant, otherwise the costs of fully funding mandated services is shifted to counties.|
|SB 594 - Require drug testing/Work First Benefits||Oppose||Cost concerns for both applicants and conties|
|SB 650 - Require drug screening/Work First Benefits
SB 447 - Eligibility Requirements/Public Assistance
|Oppose||Provisions are already in place for drug screenings of public assistance applicants based upon reasonable suspicion; massive drug testing of all recipients is cost prohibitive.|
|SB 554 - Amend Child Welfare & Public Health Law||Support||No concerns|
|SB 466 - Establish Alzheimer's Disease Task Force||Support||No concerns|
|SB 415 - Define Min. Qualifications/Local DSS Director||Support||This is one of the Consortiums legislative priorities; this legislation has been requested to be put on hold pending collaborative efforts with NC Association of County Commissioners|
|HB 805 - Ban Smoking in Foster Care Setting/Infants||Support||Many counties already have this as part of their foster care policy.|
|HB 825 - Minor Can't Be Prosecuted for Prostitution||Support||Legislation appears to be consistent with local DSS child protective services mandated mission to protect children. Reports of allegation of a violation to DSS Director shall commence on initial investigation within 24 hours (concerns with time frame?)|
|HB 399 - Amend Laws Pertaining to DHHS - AB||Support||No concerns|
|HB 670 - DSS Study/Extend Foster Care to Age 21||Support||Support study to determine benefits to foster children; Fiscal Note is recommended|
|HB 945 - House DRH70323 - MGa-125 - Funds/Enforce Adlt Protective Services Laws||Support||Additional funding in Adult Protective Services is critically needed and we strongly support this bill.|
|HB 605 - Establish Aging Subcommittee/HHS Oversight||Support||Recommend adding a county social services director as a member of the aging sub-committee|
|HB 510 - Foster Care Children's Bill of Rights||Neutral||Bill appears consistent with current foster care policy and practices. Change wording to identify and locate all kin (to cast a wider net).
Meaning participation should be legally mandated for all youth with respect to their age/ability in court appearances/case planning - not just youth who are transitioning.
|HB 831 - ED, Services for Children in PRTFs||Neutral||No position at this time|
|HB 504 - Local Electronic Notice||Neutral||No position at this time|
|HB 699 - Clerk Summons Jurors/Magistrate Eligibility||Neutral||No concerns|
|HB 923 - Specify Time/Reinstate License/Child Support||Neutral||No concerns at this time|
|HB 786 - RECLAIM NC Act.||Neutral||No position at this time|
|HB 811 - Amend Practice of Funeral Services||Neutral||No concerns at this time|
|HB 873 - Workforce Development/CC||Neutral||No concerns at this time|
|HB 392/SB 401 - State Arrest Warrant Status/Public Assistance||Neutral provided cost concerns continue to be addressed||Cost Concerns - Creates administrative hardships. Federal checks unavailable to local DSS at present - Possible discouragement of clients from applying for public assistance.|
|*SB 589/HB 452 - 2013 School Safety Act||Neutral||No known connection to local DSS|
|*SB 186/SB 287 - Notice Publication by Counties and Cities/Notice Publication by Some Local Governments||Neutral||No position at this time|
No concerns at this time
|*SB 453/HB495 - Modify NC Human Trafficking Comm. Membership||Neutral||Recommend a county director of social services be added as a member of the commission.|
|*SB 472/HB 350 - Court Improvement Project Juv Law Changes - AB||Neutral||No concerns at this time|
|*SB573 - MHDDSA Provider/Guardianship Issues||Neutral||Would the provision pertaining to a corporation of not being allowed to be appointed as guardian when receiving compensation from LME not also apply to a disinterested public agent?|
|*SB 683/HB 855 - Safe Harbor/Victims of Human Trafficking||Neutral||No position|
|*SB 75 - Onslow Public-Private Partnership||Neutral||No position at this time; unclear as to the impact this law would have on the federal particiation in the cost of space|
|HB 385 - Youth Accountability Task Force||Neutral||No concerns|
|SB 302/HB 456 - DV Fatality Review Team/Mecklenburg Co.||Neutral||No concerns|
2013 Long Session - N.C. General Assembly
Social Services Consortium Legislative Priorities
Fully Fund Mandated Services First from Federal Block Grants (TANF and SSBG)
Why is this important?
- As federal SSBG and TANF Block Grants decrease and mandated services costs increase, we call upon our legislative leaders to prioritize full funding for federal and state mandated services prior to funding optional services out of the federal block grants.
- These mandated services include County Work First Block Grants (putting people to work), TANF cash, Child Welfare Services (Child Protective Services) and Adult Protective Services Programs. For a list of Mandated Services, click HERE.
- Federal Block Grants are appropriated to states to fund federally mandated services.
- Federal Block Grants are subject to reductions due to the federal budget crisis.
- Mandated services are not optional for states to provide.
- Mandated services are provided by all 100 NC counties versus optional services that are provided only in designated legislative districts of the state.
- In NC, counties share in the cost of administering mandated services.
- Any federal cuts in mandated services without additional state funding results in an automatic cost shift to counties to fund.
- To not cut TANF/SSBG funds to mandated services.
- To reallocate additional TANF/SSBG funds to fill the current federal funding cuts for child protective services and guardianship services, both of which are mandated services.
Fund Mandated Guardianship Services to Protect Seniors and Disabled AdultsWhy is this important?
- Public agent guardianship services are mandated services for North Carolina's disabled citizens who have no family member to fulfill this important role.
- The 2012 General Assembly under Session Law HB950 and SB191, changed current assignment of public agent guardianship responsibility from LMEs, local Health Departments and local Departments of Social Services making the local Departments of Social Services the sole public guardian option mandated by the state of NC for future public guardianship appointments.
- We call upon the NC General Assembly to appropriate funding to support guardianship services to all incapacitated wards appointed to local Departments of Social Services at a 50% match rate with NC County Governments for the non-federally funded share of guardianship costs for both current and future public guardianships managed by local Departments of Social Services.
- We call upon the NC General Assembly to appropriate additional federal SSBG dollars to fund public guardianship services as part of fully funding mandated services first out of federal block grants.
- Additional funding is required to meet the needs of this expanding population. The North Carolina Social Services Consortium is requesting $3.9 million in state or additional SSBG funding to provide this important mandated service.
What are we asking?
Fill the Gap Created by Federal Funding Cuts That Fund Protective Services for North Carolina's Abused ChildrenWhy is this important?
- During 2012 NC experienced staggering federal cuts to its child protective services funding. Projected cuts next year total $21 million from federal IV-E, TANF and Medicaid Case Management funding.
- Protecting children from child abuse and neglect must remain one of North Carolina's highest priorities.
- Providing effective child protective services in the home prevents children from being removed from their parents and placed in foster homes or more expensive arrangements. These in-home services protect children, strengthen families, and save taxpayer dollars!
- We call upon the State to partner with counties in filling funding gaps of mandated services and assuring that North Carolina's strong child protective services system is maintained.
- We call upon the NC General Assembly to appropriate additional federal TANF and/or SSBG dollars to fund child protective services as part of a commitment to fully fund mandated services first out of federal block grants.
- If federal block grant funds are not rebased to fully fund mandated services first, then State funds will be required in order to avoid shifting 100% of the additional costs to counties to maintain the current level of protective services and fill the funding gap created by the reduction in federal funding.
- We call upon the NC General Assembly to appropriate funding for the protection of abused children to the County Departments of Social Services at a 50% match rate with NC County Governments for the non-federal share of child protective services funding that has been cut.
- The North Carolina Social Services Consortium is requesting $10.5 million in additional federal block grant funding or additional state funding to help counties fill the $21 million funding gap in child protective services.
Maximize Child Care Subsidy Funding to Benefit NC's Eligible ChildrenWhy is this important?
Every child care subsidy dollar in North Carolina must be utilizied as efficiently as possible to benefit eligible children and support employment for working parents.
- During the past 38 years, County Departments of Social Services have stood as leaders in creating access to child care for low income families.
- County Deparments of Social Services have worked with low income families to help make work pay. In other words, by going to work, many North Carolina families have been able to sustain employment by receiving child care subsidy for their children.
- Child Care Subsidy serves as a vital part of work support services such as supplemental food assistance, Health Choice and Medicaid. These work support services are provided seamlessly to low income families within the local departments of social services.
- Child Care Subsidy has been well coordinated within local departments of social services to provide protection and refuge for abused and neglected children within the child protective services and foster care systems.
- Strongly recommend that all child care subsidy funding (Smart Start Subsidy and DSS Subsidy) be consolidated into one uniform funding stream and be administered at the local level by the County Departments of Social Services. This cuts wasteful spending on duplicate administration and streamlines services to low income families and provides for services in the same location families come for Work First, Food Assistance, and Medicaid.
- In order to increase program integrity and reduce the significant fraud rate in the child care program and serve more eligible children off the 40,000 child waiting list:
- Increase subsidy support from 4% to 6% so counties can effectively implement fraud prevention, including conducting up-front fraud prevention investigations.
- Require child care subsidy applicants to apply for and maintain child support services as an eligibility requirement for child care subsidy.
Define Minimum Qualifications of DSS Director in NC General StatutesWhy is this important?
- North Carolina's County Directors of Social Services lead complex social services organizations that provide a wide range of social work and public welfare services to North Carolina's citizens.
- County DSS Directors must make critical social work decisions daily regarding the well-being and protection of children, families and adults in North Carolina.
- The leadership and management of County Social Services Departments requires that County DSS Directors have substantial program knowledge, working experience within the county DSS, and social work skills in order to effectively lead and direct social services staff.
- The leadership and management of County Social services Departments requires that County DSS Directors have program knowledge and sufficient expertise to make critical final case decisions in DSS cases.
- Curretnly, state-wide minimum qualifications for North Carolina's County Directors of Social Services exist in the NC Office of State Personnel Job Specifications.
- The state-wide qualification standards for the DSS Director Position have helped ensure a consistent level of competency of candidates hired for this very important human services position.
- With the possibility that some counties might exempt their social services directors from the coverage of the State Personnel Act, it is increasingly important to maintain current OSP minimum qualifications for DSS Directors by having the current OSP minimum qualifications passed into law as are other critical county leadership positions such as Public Health Director.
- That the current OSP minimum qualifications for the County Director of Social Services Position be passed into law by inserting the OSP qualifications into GS 108-A of the NC General Statutes.