February 13, 2023 – COFCCA Budget Testimony for Human Services Hearing
COFCCA submitted testimony to the Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees for the Joint Legislative 2023/24 Budget Hearing on Human Services. We advocated in support of meaningful investment in the full continuum of care in child welfare to help children thrive, promote family stability, and strengthen communities through a variety of initiatives, including, but not limited to:
- Full funding of the Maximum State Aid Rate (MSAR) for the remainder of the foster care programs’ fiscal year (April 1-June 30, 2023).
- Restoration of the MSAR methodology to restore a predictable funding mechanism for supporting children and youth in foster care.
- Investments in the Child Welfare Workforce:
- An expanded and improved Human Services Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) which:
- Grows consistent with the Consumer Price Index, this year at 8.5%; and
- Ensures equitable investment across the human services workforce by including prevention workers and health home care managers.
- Investments in foster care workforce salaries in response to inflation and the rising minimum wage to ensure the sector has the workforce needed to care for our most vulnerable children and youth as proposed in S.3101 (Brisport) /A.3411 (Darling).
- Increased funding for the Child Welfare Worker Incentive Scholarship Program and the NYS Child Welfare Worker Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program by increasing the funding for these programs to $1 million each, to create meaningful career pathways in child welfare.
- An expanded and improved Human Services Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) which:
- Increased prevention funding to support families safely remaining together: COFCCA urges the state to increase reimbursement to counties for uncapped prevention investment, to 75%, as proposed in A.2807 (Hevesi).
October 18, 2022
COFCCA submitted testimony to the Assembly Children and Families Committee Hearing on Primary Prevention to highlight the importance of primary and general prevention in providing critical community services that meet families’ basic needs to reduce the risk of entry into or escalation within the child welfare system; and the critical need for investment in the Child Welfare workforce.
February 2, 2022
COFCCA submitted testimony to the Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees for their Joint Legislative Hearing about the New York State 2021/2022 budget. We advocated in support of the proposed 5.4% Human Services Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA), increased funding to raise foster care worker wages, annual increases for the state-set foster care rate, and funding for the NYS Child Welfare Worker Scholarship and Loan Forgiveness programs.
New York Human Services Testimony 2/2/22
For video of our oral testimony, see our Facebook page: Budget Testimony Feb 2 2022
October 25, 2021
COFCCA submitted testimony to the New York City Council General Welfare Committee’s Hearing on pending legislation. We spoke of agencies’ need for advance notice of visitors to maintain safety in juvenile justice placement and detention programs and encouraged the Council to “count” time spent in Runaway/Homeless Youth and Transitional Independent Living programs when determining rental assistance eligibility.
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June 14, 2021
COFCCA submitted testimony to the New York City Council General Welfare Committee’s Oversight Hearing on The Child Welfare System During COVID-19. We requested the Council look at how contracts could be restructured to offer line-item flexibility during emergencies, add funding to allow contract agencies to pay their workers on par with the City workforce by restoring the 3% COLA, and provide financial resources to support City racial equity and social justice mandates.
Testimony NYC City Council General Welfare 6 14 21 Child Welfare During COVID-19
May 25, 2021
COFCCA submitted testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Finance on the Final Executive Budget for Fiscal Year 2022. We requested the Council invest more in the Human Services workforce, increase and baseline Fair Futures funding, and thanked the Council for their support in increasing the number of Family Enrichment Centers and baselining the Indirect Cost Rate.
COFCCA City Council testimony on final FY22 executive budget 5 25 21pdf
March 17, 2021
COFCCA submitted testimony to the New York City Council Committee on General Welfare Oversight Hearing on the Preliminary Budget for Fiscal Year 2022. We advocated for committing to level funding (at a minimum) for Prevention services, supporting and expanding the availability of Family Enrichment Centers, reinstating the COLA for city human services contractors at a minimum of 3%, fully restoring and funding the Indirect Cost Rate, and baselining Fair Futures at $20M, along with a few additional issues.
NYC General Welfare FY22 Budget Testimony 3 17 21
March 2, 2021
COFCCA submitted testimony to the New York City Council Committee on Finance Hearing, held jointly with the Committee on Contracts and the Subcommittee on Capital Budget, regarding the New York City 2020/2021 budget. We advocated for reinstating the 3% COLA for city human services contractors, providing funding for emergency pay for front-line workers, and reinstating Indirect Cost Rate funding.
NYC 2021 Contracts and Finance 3 2 21 COFCCA Testimony
February 9, 2021
COFCCA submitted testimony to the Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committees for their Joint Legislative Hearing about the New York State 2020/2021 budget. We advocated for protecting state preventive services funding and for ensuring that the state continues to support staff working in child welfare and juvenile justice programs, among other items.
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For the video of the testimony and Q & A, see our Facebook page: Budget Testimony Feb 9 2021
November 25, 2020
COFCCA submitted testimony to the NYC Council Committee on Contracts for their hearing about the Indirect Cost Rate Initiative During the COVID-19 Pandemic. We supported the full payment of agencies’ approved indirect costs (items and staff that support agencies’ direct service programs), as promised, in fiscal years 2020 and 2021.
NYC Committee on Contracts testimony 11 25 20 – COFCCA
November 24, 2020
COFCCA submitted testimony to the NYC Council General Welfare Committee for their hearing on the Foster Care Task Force and Int. No. 148, a bill to increase access to housing vouchers for youth transitioning from foster care. COFCCA testimony supported the bill and encouraged the City to also include Runaway/Homeless Youth (RHY) service recipients who have the same needs.
NYC General Welfare oversight testimony 11 24 20 – COFCCA
October 28, 2020
COFCCA testified at the NYC Council General Welfare Committee’s hearing on Racial Disparities in the Child Welfare System. COFCCA advocated for more supports to families to prevent child welfare involvement while maintaining child and family safety and well-being.
Testimony NYC City Council 10 28 20 Racial Equity
November 21, 2019
COFCCA testified at a NYS Assembly hearing on “Family Involvement in the Child Welfare and Family Court System.” The hearing was convened by Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, Chair of the NYS Assembly Committee on Children and Families, and Assemblywoman Latrice Walker, Chair of the NYS Assembly Task Force on Women’s Issues. COFCCA advocated for:
- restoration of state funding for preventive services to 65%, up from the current commitment of 62%, and a request to use that money (about $20 million) to support counties that want to use evidence-based models available for partial federal funding under the Family First Act;
- increased state funding for primary prevention, including the Community Optional Preventive Services (COPS) program;
- removal of KinGAP from the Foster Care Block Grant, making KinGAP its own stand-alone funding stream and therefore incentivizing counties’ use of it; and
- raising pay of our child welfare staff statewide, citing low salaries and high turnover.
October 31, 2019
Testimony regarding a raft of bills to monitor and make some changes to the manner in which ACS does their work. COFCCA testimony focused on the proposed changes to legal services for parents.
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March 25, 2019
Testimony regarding how to provide services to the highest needs youth in our care in response to concerns about the Children’s Center.
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January 28, 2019
COFCCA testified at the Higher Education Budget Hearing; COFCCA requested increased funding for The New York State Child Welfare Worker Loan Forgiveness Incentive Program and The NYS Child Welfare Worker Incentive Scholarship Program, programs funded through the Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) to support our child welfare workforce in its pursuit of higher education.
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January 24, 2019
COFCCA testified at the Human Services state budget hearing; COFCCA’s testimony centered around the need to invest in the state’s child welfare workforce, to support the field’s implementation for the new federal child welfare law, the Family First Prevention Services Act, and to make necessary capital investments for health and safety improvements in residential programs, and expressed support for other related child welfare budget priorities.
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