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A10104 Summary:

Amd 398-a, Soc Serv L
Increases salaries for foster care direct care workers; makes an appropriation therefor.
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A10104 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                     April 29, 2022
        Introduced  by M. of A. DARLING -- read once and referred to the Commit-
          tee on Children and Families -- committee  discharged,  bill  amended,
          ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee
        AN ACT to amend the social services law, in relation to increasing sala-
          ries  for foster care direct care workers; and making an appropriation

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section  1.  Legislative  findings.  The  Legislature  finds  that the
     2  COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the child  welfare  work-
     3  force  within the foster care system. Direct care workers have continued
     4  to come to work every day throughout the pandemic,  care  for  our  most
     5  vulnerable  children,  and  are  part of our essential workforce.  While
     6  other essential workers have been recognized or provided enhanced salary
     7  payments, direct care workers in the  child  welfare  system  have  not.
     8  Moreover,  the  agencies that employ the foster care workforce have been
     9  historically underfunded and as a result the  compensation  provided  to
    10  workers does not provide a living wage.
    11    Therefore,  the  Legislature proposes salaries for direct care workers
    12  be increased starting with the 2022-2023 rate year and continued for the
    13  following two years. This investment will  help  stabilize  the  current
    14  turnover  and  vacancy rates within the direct care workforce which will
    15  have a positive and beneficial impact on children  in  the  foster  care
    16  system.
    17    §  2.  Section 398-a of the social services law is amended by adding a
    18  new subdivision 2-d to read as follows:
    19    (2-d) Payments made directly by social service districts to  voluntary
    20  foster  care  agencies  to increase employee salaries during each of the
    21  two thousand twenty-two--two thousand twenty-three, two  thousand  twen-
    22  ty-three--two  thousand  twenty-four,  and two thousand twenty-four--two
    23  thousand twenty-five rate years shall be supported by increased  funding
    24  available  through  the  foster care block grant. Such payments shall be
    25  used to increase the salaries of foster care agency  employees,  includ-
    26  ing,  but not limited to, direct care staff, caseworkers, and case plan-
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 10104--A                         2
     1  ners, as well as the salaries of such workers'  supervisors  working  in
     2  such foster care agencies.
     3    §  3.  The  sum of seventeen million dollars ($17,000,000), or so much
     4  thereof as may be necessary, is hereby appropriated to the state  insur-
     5  ance fund out of any moneys in the state treasury in the general fund to
     6  the credit of the state purpose account, not otherwise appropriated, and
     7  made  immediately available for the purposes of increases in salaries of
     8  foster care agency employees, including, but not limited to, direct care
     9  staff, caseworkers, and case planners, as well as the salaries  of  such
    10  workers'  supervisors  working in such foster care agencies. Such moneys
    11  shall be payable on the audit and warrant of the comptroller on vouchers
    12  certified or approved by the department of social services in the manner
    13  prescribed by law.
    14    § 4. This act shall take effect immediately.
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