Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Substitute Bill No. 437

    February Session, 2018

 

*_____SB00437HS____032218____*

AN ACT CONCERNING A TWO-GENERATIONAL INITIATIVE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 17b-112l of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) There is established an initiative to foster family economic self-sufficiency in low-income households through a comprehensive two-generational service delivery approach. The initiative shall promote systemic change to create conditions across local and state public sector agencies and the private sector to support early childhood care and education, health and workforce readiness and self-sufficiency across two generations in the same household. Households may include, but need not be limited to, mothers, fathers, noncustodial parents and other primary caregivers.

(b) The Office of Early Childhood shall serve as the two-generational initiative's coordinating agency for the executive branch. The initiative may review and consider the following, within available appropriations:

(1) Improvements to the coordination and delivery of early learning programs, adult education, child care, housing, job training, transportation, financial literacy and other related support services, including, but not limited to, health and mental health services, offered at one location, wherever possible;

(2) Alignment of existing state and local support systems around the household, including how to leverage Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant funds, and services to equip such households with the tools and skills needed to overcome obstacles and engage opportunities;

(3) Development of a long-term plan to coordinate, align and optimize service delivery of relevant programs state wide. Such plan may include, but need not be limited to, (A) the targeted use of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families block grant funds, to the extent permissible under federal law, to support two-generational programming; (B) state incentives for private entities that develop such two-generational programming; (C) streamlined resource, practice and data sharing among and between agencies that serve families involved in the initiative in order to best serve such families; and (D) the development and assessment of two-generational programming outcomes; and

(4) Partnerships between state and national philanthropic organizations, as available, to provide support, technical assistance, guidance and best practices to the participating communities in the initiative and the advisory council established pursuant to subsection (d) of this section.

(c) The initiative shall foster the comprehensive two-generational service delivery approach for early care and education and workforce readiness in learning communities that may include, but need not be limited to, New Haven, Hartford, East Hartford, West Hartford, Norwalk, Meriden, Windham, Enfield, Waterbury and Bridgeport. The initiative shall be informed by members of low-income households within these communities and foster a peer-to-peer exchange and technical assistance in best practices that shall be shared with the advisory council established pursuant to subsection (d) of this section. The staff of the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors shall serve as the organizing and administrative staff to the learning communities.

(d) A Two-Generational Advisory Council shall be established as part of the initiative to advise the state on how to foster family economic self-sufficiency in low-income households through a comprehensive two-generational service delivery approach for early care and education and workforce readiness. The council shall consist of one member of the General Assembly appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives, who shall serve as a cochairperson; one member of the Senate appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate, who shall serve as a cochairperson; one member representing the interests of business or trade organizations appointed by the majority leader of the Senate; one member with expertise on issues concerning health and mental health appointed by the majority leader of the House of Representatives; one member on issues concerning children and families appointed by the minority leader of the Senate; one member of the General Assembly appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives; a member of a low-income household selected by the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors; representatives of nonprofit and philanthropic organizations and scholars who are experts in two-generational programs and policies; and other business and academic professionals as needed to achieve goals for two-generational systems planning, evaluations and outcomes selected by the cochairpersons. The Commissioners of Social Services, Early Childhood, Education, Housing, Transportation, Public Health and Correction and the Labor Commissioner, or each commissioner's designee; and the Chief Court Administrator, or the Chief Court Administrator's designee, shall serve as ex-officio members of the advisory council. The staff of the Commission on Women, Children and Seniors shall serve as the organizing and administrative staff of the advisory council.

(e) Not later than September 1, 2018, the Two-Generational Advisory Council shall consult with the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of Policy and Management and the Connecticut Preschool through Twenty and Workforce Information Network, established pursuant to section 10a-57g, to develop a uniform approach among partner agencies in the two-generational initiative to facilitate data sharing in accordance with state and federal law pursuant to subparagraph (C) of subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of this section.

[(e)] (f) Not later than December 31, 2018, the advisory council shall [submit a] report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a, to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to education, housing, human services, labor, public health, transportation and appropriations and the budgets of state agencies that includes: (1) The challenges and opportunities in working with a parent and child concurrently in a two-generational service delivery model; (2) recommendations to improve systems, policy, culture, program, budget or communications issues among agencies and service providers on the local and state levels to achieve two-generational outcomes; [and] (3) recommendations on the elimination of barriers to promote two-generational success; and (4) recommendations concerning improved data sharing developed pursuant to subsection (e) of this section across two-generational initiative partner agencies.

Sec. 2. Section 17b-90 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The commissioner shall adopt regulations, in accordance with chapter 54, necessary to enable him to carry out the programs the Department of Social Services is designated to administer pursuant to section 17b-2, including any regulations necessary for receiving grants from the federal government to this state if the absence of any such regulation would result in the loss of such grants and regulations governing the custody and use of the records, papers, files and communications concerning persons applying for or receiving assistance under said sections. When names and addresses of recipients of such assistance are required by law to be furnished to or held by any other government agency, such agency shall adopt regulations to prevent the publication of lists thereof or their use for purposes not directly connected with the administration of said programs.

(b) No person shall, except for purposes directly connected with the administration of programs of the Department of Social Services and in accordance with the regulations of the commissioner, solicit, disclose, receive or make use of, or authorize, knowingly permit, participate in or acquiesce in the use of, any list of the names of, or any information concerning, persons applying for or receiving assistance from the Department of Social Services or persons participating in a program administered by said department, directly or indirectly derived from the records, papers, files or communications of the state or its subdivisions or agencies, or acquired in the course of the performance of official duties. The Commissioner of Social Services shall disclose (1) to any authorized representative of the Labor Commissioner such information directly related to unemployment compensation, administered pursuant to chapter 567 or information necessary for implementation of sections 17b-112l, as amended by this act, 17b-688b, 17b-688c and 17b-688h and section 122 of public act 97-2 of the June 18 special session, (2) to any authorized representative of the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services any information necessary for the implementation and operation of the basic needs supplement program, (3) to any authorized representative of the Commissioner of Administrative Services or the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection such information as the Commissioner of Social Services determines is directly related to and necessary for the Department of Administrative Services or the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection for purposes of performing their functions of collecting social services recoveries and overpayments or amounts due as support in social services cases, investigating social services fraud or locating absent parents of public assistance recipients, (4) to any authorized representative of the Commissioner of Children and Families necessary information concerning a child or the immediate family of a child receiving services from the Department of Social Services, including safety net services, if (A) the Commissioner of Children and Families or the Commissioner of Social Services has determined that imminent danger to such child's health, safety or welfare exists to target the services of the family services programs administered by the Department of Children and Families, or (B) the Commissioner of Children and Families requires access to the federal Parent Locator Service established pursuant to [88 Stat. 2353 (1975),] 42 USC 653 in order to identify a parent or putative parent of a child, (5) to a town official or other contractor or authorized representative of the Labor Commissioner such information concerning an applicant for or a recipient of assistance under state-administered general assistance deemed necessary by the Commissioner of Social Services and the Labor Commissioner to carry out their respective responsibilities to serve such persons under the programs administered by the Labor Department that are designed to serve applicants for or recipients of state-administered general assistance, (6) to any authorized representative of the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services for the purposes of the behavioral health managed care program established by section 17a-453, (7) to any authorized representative of the Commissioner of Early Childhood to carry out his or her respective responsibilities under the two-generational academic achievement and workforce readiness initiative established pursuant to section 17b-112l, as amended by this act, and programs that regulate child care services or youth camps, (8) to a health insurance provider, in IV-D support cases, as defined in subdivision (13) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231, information concerning a child and the custodial parent of such child that is necessary to enroll such child in a health insurance plan available through such provider when the noncustodial parent of such child is under court order to provide health insurance coverage but is unable to provide such information, provided the Commissioner of Social Services determines, after providing prior notice of the disclosure to such custodial parent and an opportunity for such parent to object, that such disclosure is in the best interests of the child, (9) to any authorized representative of the Department of Correction, in IV-D support cases, as defined in subdivision (13) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231, information concerning noncustodial parents that is necessary to identify inmates or parolees with IV-D support cases who may benefit from Department of Correction educational, training, skill building, work or rehabilitation programming that will significantly increase an inmate's or parolee's ability to fulfill such inmate's support obligation, (10) to any authorized representative of the Judicial Branch, in IV-D support cases, as defined in subdivision (13) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231, information concerning noncustodial parents that is necessary to: (A) Identify noncustodial parents with IV-D support cases who may benefit from educational, training, skill building, work or rehabilitation programming that will significantly increase such parent's ability to fulfill such parent's support obligation, (B) assist in the administration of the Title IV-D child support program, or (C) assist in the identification of cases involving family violence, (11) to any authorized representative of the State Treasurer, in IV-D support cases, as defined in subdivision (13) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231, information that is necessary to identify child support obligors who owe overdue child support prior to the Treasurer's payment of such obligors' claim for any property unclaimed or presumed abandoned under part III of chapter 32, or (12) to any authorized representative of the Secretary of the Office of Policy and Management any information necessary for the implementation and operation of the renters rebate program established by section 12-170d. No such representative shall disclose any information obtained pursuant to this section, except as specified in this section. Any applicant for assistance provided through said department shall be notified that, if and when such applicant receives benefits, the department will be providing law enforcement officials with the address of such applicant upon the request of any such official pursuant to section 17b-16a.

(c) In IV-D support cases, as defined in subdivision (13) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231, in addition to the prohibitions of subsection (b) of this section, no information shall be released concerning the whereabouts of one party to another party (1) against whom a protective order, a restraining order or a standing criminal protective order with respect to the former party is in effect, or (2) if the department has reason to believe that the release of the information may result in physical or emotional harm to the former party.

(d) The Commissioner of Social Services shall provide written notice to a person applying for or receiving assistance from the Department of Social Services or a person participating in a program administered by said department that such person's address and telephone number may be provided to the Department of Children and Families pursuant to subdivision [(2)] (4) of subsection (b) of this section.

(e) Penalties prescribed by subsection (b) of section 17b-97 shall apply to violations of this section.

Sec. 3. Subsection (b) of section 10-500 of the 2018 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(b) The office shall be responsible for:

(1) The delivery of services to young children and their families to ensure optimal health, safety and learning for each young child, including, but not limited to, coordinating agency efforts and data sharing in the two-generational initiative established pursuant to section 17b-112l, as amended by this act;

(2) Developing and implementing the early childhood information system, in accordance with the provisions of section 10-501;

(3) Developing and reporting on the early childhood accountability plan, in accordance with the provisions of section 10-503;

(4) Implementing a communications strategy for outreach to families, service providers and policymakers;

(5) [Not later than September 1, 2014, beginning] Beginning a state-wide longitudinal evaluation of the school readiness program examining the educational progress of children from prekindergarten programs to grade four, inclusive;

(6) Developing, coordinating and supporting public and private partnerships to aid early childhood initiatives;

(7) Developing a state-wide developmentally appropriate kindergarten entrance inventory that measures a child's level of preparedness for kindergarten, but shall not be used as a measurement tool for program accountability;

(8) Creating a unified set of reporting requirements for the purpose of collecting the data elements necessary to perform quality assessments and longitudinal analysis;

(9) Comparing and analyzing data collected pursuant to reporting requirements created under subdivision (8) of this subsection with the data collected in the state-wide public school information system, pursuant to section 10-10a, for population-level analysis of children and families;

(10) Continually monitoring and evaluating all early care and education and child development programs and services, focusing on program outcomes in satisfying the health, safety, developmental and educational needs of all children, while retaining distinct separation between quality improvement services and licensing services for child care centers, group child care homes and family child care homes;

(11) Coordinating home visitation services across programs for young children;

(12) Providing information and technical assistance to persons seeking early care and education and child development programs and services;

(13) Assisting state agencies and municipalities in obtaining available federal funding for early care and education and child development programs and services;

(14) Providing technical assistance to providers of early care and education programs and services to obtain licensing and improve program quality;

(15) Establishing a quality rating and improvement system developed by the office that covers home-based, center-based and school-based early child care and learning;

(16) Maintaining an accreditation facilitation initiative to assist early childhood care and education program and service providers in achieving national standards and program improvement;

(17) Consulting with the Early Childhood Cabinet, established pursuant to section 10-16z, and the Head Start advisory committee, established pursuant to section 10-16n;

(18) Ensuring a coordinated and comprehensive state-wide system of professional development for providers and staff of early care and education and child development programs and services;

(19) Providing families with opportunities for choice in services including quality child care and community-based family-centered services;

(20) Integrating early childhood care and education and special education services;

(21) Promoting universal access to early childhood care and education;

(22) Ensuring nonduplication of monitoring and evaluation;

(23) Performing any other activities that will assist in the provision of early care and education and child development programs and services;

(24) Developing early learning and development standards to be used by early care and education providers; and

(25) Developing and implementing a performance-based evaluation system to evaluate licensed child care centers, in accordance with the provisions of section 17b-749f.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

17b-112l

Sec. 2

from passage

17b-90

Sec. 3

from passage

10-500(b)

HS

Joint Favorable Subst.