COFCCA develops policy positions in a collaborative process with our member agencies based on the needs of the children and families they serve. As an organization that is in constant communication with direct services providers, we hear first about the impact on our communities caused by changes in economic downturns, youth culture, schools, drug trends, physical or mental health problems, and government budget and regulatory pressures.
After identifying concerns, we seek to quantify the extent of the problem by surveying our membership. Then we work together to determine the policy direction that best addresses the current issues. Armed with the necessary information, we advocate with officials at the New York State, City, or county level to discuss the ramifications of these changes on the goals that we share for the children and families cared for by our agencies.
COFCCA mobilizes its member agencies, which are located throughout New York State, to reach out to elected officials on all levels as well as working with the media to bring our message to the public. In the past, COFCCA has successfully advocated for reasonable trend factors in state issued rates, requirement that state rates are fully funded, lower caseloads for workers in Preventive Services programs, subsidized kinship guardianship, restoration of funding for child welfare services, changes in the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act, and re-instatement of a State match for Preventive and Aftercare services. COFCCA also works collaboratively with other coalitions and citizens’ groups to ensure that the resources needed for quality child welfare services are provided.
Some Current Issues…
Unless and until a federal solution is reached to the Federal Medicaid IMD Exclusion and residential foster care intersection, we urge New York State to cover the medical care costs of foster youth in QRTPs that the state determines are IMDs with State only Medicaid. This will ensure continuity of care for thousands of the state’s children and youth who have been determined to need residential care through the assessment process set up through Family First.
COFCCA IMD White Paper
Child welfare agencies have faced unique circumstances since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020 and continue to this day. We request that the NYS Office of Children and Family Services treat federal stimulus package assistance that some agencies have received as unique to the pandemic response and to exclude such assistance when they calculate future reimbursement rates.
Vital Federal Aid to Nonprofits in the Midst of a Pandemic: Paycheck Protection Program, Other Federal COVID-19 Funding, and Preventing Negative Impact on Future State-set Rates
To view our testimony at the NYS Budget Hearing and other recent state and NYC hearings, see our Testimony page:
2023 COFCCA Legislative Position Memos:
Foster Care Workforce: COFCCA strongly supports A.3411/S.3101 sponsored by Assemblywoman Darling and Senator Brisport which would to provide critical salary enhancements for direct care workers employed by voluntary foster care agencies across NYS.
Prevention- COFCCA strongly supports A.2807 (Hevesi)/S.5326 (Brisport), to restore the state reimbursement rate for child welfare preventive, protective, independent living, adoption, and aftercare services from the current 62% to the original 75%.
CVA: COFCCA strongly supports legislation to Create a Child Victims Act Settlement Fund as proposed in A.1279 (Lunsford)/S.4866 (Cooney) to assist with judgements or settlements issued against school districts and Voluntary Foster Care Agencies in cases where there is no insurance coverage, and where payment would negatively impact the existing population or services and the agency’s mission.
Child Welfare Housing Subsidy: COFCCA strongly supports A.2525-C (Hevesi) which would increase the upper age limit for the Child Welfare Housing Subsidy to 24 to ensure that youth “aging out” of foster care up to age 21 are able to avail themselves of the subsidy when they are transitioning to independent living.
The Working Families Tax Credit: COFCCA supports and respectfully urges passage of S.277-A (Gounardes) / A.4022-A (Hevesi) creating the New York State Working Families Tax Credit.
ACEs Taskforce: COFCCA supports A.5960 (Solages)/ S5900 (Brisport) which would establish a task force to identify evidence-based and evidence informed solutions to reduce children’s exposure to adverse childhood experiences.
Heading Upstream: Recommendations to Maintain and Accelerate Gains in Safety and Well-Being for New York City’s Families, Children and Youth: – COFCCA’s January 2022 Recommendations to Mayor Adams
Older Issues Still Trending
Medicaid Managed Care – Raising the Bar for Health and Mental Health Services for Children in Foster Care: Developing a Model of Managed Care. Children and youth in New York’s foster care system have significant health and mental health needs that are rooted in childhood trauma. New York State’s Medicaid Redesign Team recently concluded that all children and adolescents in NY’s foster care system should be enrolled in Medicaid managed care. This report looks at children, foster care services and the many complexities involved in transitioning to Medicaid Managed Care:
The Financial Health of New York State’s Child Welfare Non-Profits. A report by the Center for Nonprofit Strategy and Management – Baruch College School of Public Affairs – Updated August 2019
Baruch College Center for Nonprofit Strategy and Management conducted a comprehensive assessment of the financial status COFCCA member agencies. The intent of the report is to inform the agencies public sector funders regarding the status of the network of agencies. It also is intended to be instructive to member agencies so that that they may compare their performance against network-wide averages: