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SB-232 Parental Empowerment Pilot Project.(2017-2018)

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Date Published: 04/27/2017 09:00 PM
SB232:v97#DOCUMENT

Amended  IN  Senate  April 27, 2017
Amended  IN  Senate  March 14, 2017

CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE— 2017–2018 REGULAR SESSION

Senate Bill No. 232


Introduced by Senator Bates
(Coauthor: Senator Galgiani)

February 06, 2017


An act to add and repeal Article 3.7 (commencing with Section 11337) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, relating to public social services, and making an appropriation therefor.


LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST


SB 232, as amended, Bates. Parental Empowerment Pilot Project.
Existing federal law provides for the allocation of federal funds through the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant program to eligible states. Existing law provides for the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program under which, through a combination of state and county funds and federal funds received through the TANF program, each county provides cash assistance and other benefits to qualified low-income families.
This bill would require the State Department of Social Services, in consultation with the County Welfare Directors Association of California, no later than July 1, 2018, to design and implement a 5-year pilot project under which monetary grants are provided to organizations operating programs that assist individuals receiving CalWORKs benefits achieve economic independence. The bill would require the department, in developing the pilot project, among other things, to develop a competitive review process for all grant proposals submitted, to develop eligibility requirements for organizations seeking a grant, and to develop an ongoing evaluation of the effectiveness of an organization receiving grant funding in teaching its program participants the skills necessary to achieve economic independence. The bill would authorize the department to enter into an agreement with an academic institution or other entity with sufficient expertise for the purpose of creating, performing, or both creating and performing the evaluation.
This bill would authorize an organization receiving a grant to utilize the funds in any reasonable manner, as long as the funds are expended in furtherance of the organization’s program or other requirements established by the department. The bill would require organizations receiving grant funding to collaborate and coordinate with the county human services agency or agencies that will be asked to refer CalWORKs recipients to the program in implementing procedures for referrals, regular progress reports, and other communication, as needed. The bill would require the department, or the academic institution or other entity the department contracted with, to send a report evaluating the effectiveness of the programs funded by the grants to the relevant policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature by December 31, 2022.
This bill would appropriate $50,000,000 from the General Fund for the purpose of funding these provisions.
This bill would make these provisions inoperative on July 1, 2023, and would repeal them as of January 1, 2024.
Vote: 2/3   Appropriation: YES   Fiscal Committee: YES   Local Program: NO  

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:


SECTION 1.

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a)California is expected to spend $142 billion on health and human services programs this year, which is by far the largest state budget expenditure, while total education spending for kindergarten, grades 1 to 12, inclusive, and higher education programs is only $80 billion per year.

(b)California has the fifth largest Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) cash grant in the nation, and the second largest among the 10 largest states, yet poverty remains a persistent problem.

(c)We must recognize that California’s problems of poverty and inequality do not stem from a lack of safety net programs.

(d)California’s social safety net needs to invest in programs that elevate people out of poverty rather than helping people live better in poverty.

SEC. 2.SECTION 1.

 Article 3.7 (commencing with Section 11337) is added to Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code, to read:
Article  3.7. Parental Empowerment Pilot Project

11337.
 (a) The State Department of Social Services, in consultation with the County Welfare Directors Association of California, shall, no later than July 1, 2018, design and implement a five-year pilot project under which monetary grants are provided to organizations operating programs that assist individuals receiving CalWORKs benefits achieve economic independence.
(b) In developing the pilot project described in subdivision (a), the department shall, at a minimum, do all of the following:
(1) Develop a competitive review process for all grant proposals submitted and a methodology to determine grant amounts. To the extent possible, the competitive review process shall ensure that funding is granted to programs that are located in three total regions: one urban, one suburban, and one rural.
(2) Develop eligibility requirements for organizations seeking a grant. The eligibility requirements shall, at a minimum, require an organization’s program to include all of the elements specified in subdivision (d). The eligibility requirements for organizations seeking a grant do not affect an individual’s eligibility for CalWORKs benefits, as determined by the county.
(3) Develop an ongoing evaluation, utilizing objective criteria, of the effectiveness of an organization receiving grant funding in teaching its program participants the skills necessary to achieve economic independence. The evaluation criteria shall, at a minimum, include an examination of all of the following:
(A) The number and percentage of participants that complete the program.
(B) The number and percentage of program participants that begin the program with a high school diploma or equivalent.
(C) The number and percentage of program participants that achieve a high school diploma or equivalent while in the program.
(D) The number of program participants that obtain nonsubsidized employment of at least 20 hours per week by the time of program completion, with regular followup to determine if this minimum level of nonsubsidized employment is maintained for the duration of the ongoing evaluation required by this paragraph.
(E) The attainment of academic stability for the children of program participants. The department shall develop a definition of academic stability for purposes of this section.
(F) The number and percentage of program participants still receiving CalWORKs benefits upon completion of the program.
(G) The average income of program participants at the time of program completion.
(H) The number and percentage of program participants that achieve family reunification, when applicable.
(c) The department may enter into an agreement with an academic institution or other entity with sufficient expertise for the purpose of creating, performing, or both creating and performing the evaluation required by paragraph (3) of subdivision (b). The department and any academic institution or other entity the department contracts with to create, perform, or both create and perform the evaluation shall seek input from stakeholders during the development process.
(d) In order to be considered for a grant, an organization shall, at a minimum, include all of the following elements in its program:
(1) Education focused on the attainment of a high school diploma or its equivalent.
(2) Mental health services.
(3) Employment training.
(4) Financial training.
(5) Parenting skills training.
(6) Life skills training.
(7) Child care services. Each participating child care provider shall obtain a criminal record clearance pursuant to Section 1596.871 of the Health and Safety Code. For purposes of this section, “child care provider” includes a paid employee or a volunteer. If the organization serves only pregnant women, the organization shall not be required to provide child care services to be eligible for grant funding.
(8) A clean and sober environment. environment in a manner that is consistent with federal guidance and state law relating to the core components of Housing First, as described in Sections 8255 and 8256.
(9) Comprehensive, targeted case management to assist program participants.
(10) Ongoing monitoring of program participants for at least five years after they have completed the program for purposes of measuring long-term program effectiveness.
(11) Trauma-informed social work.
(12) Temporary housing on a 24-hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week basis, including food facilities.
(e) The organization shall demonstrate in its grant application how it will coordinate its program with CalWORKs requirements. In considering the applications received and determining which organizations shall be awarded grants, the department shall take into consideration the extent to which an organization seeking funding has conferred with, and is collaborating with, the county human services agency or agencies that would be asked to refer CalWORKs recipients to its program.
(f) An organization receiving a grant may utilize the grant funds in any reasonable manner, as long as the funds are expended in furtherance of the program elements or other requirements the department establishes. Housing, transportation, and child care expenses for program participants shall be considered an allowable use of grant funds.
(g) An organization receiving a grant shall not limit the participants’ ability to access a full scope of physical, psychosocial, and mental health services.
(h) An organization receiving a grant shall comply with Section 11135 of the Government Code.
(i) (1) The benefits an individual may receive through participation in a program receiving grant funding are in addition to any other public assistance benefits for which the individual may be eligible.
(2) Organizations receiving grant funding may set their own eligibility criteria for their programs as long as the eligibility criteria are consistent with the goals of this pilot project. The criteria for eligibility set by the organization do not affect an individual’s eligibility for CalWORKs benefits, as determined by the county.
(3) Organizations receiving grant funding shall collaborate and coordinate with the county human services agency or agencies that will be asked to refer CalWORKs recipients to the program in implementing procedures for referrals, regular progress reports, and other communication, as needed.
(j) Participation in a program administered by an organization receiving grant funding pursuant to this section is voluntary.
(k) (1) No later than December 31, 2022, the department, or the academic institution or other entity the department contracted with pursuant to subdivision (c), shall send a report evaluating the effectiveness of the programs funded by the grants to the relevant policy and fiscal committees of the Legislature. The report shall also be posted on the department’s Internet Web site.
(2) The report required by paragraph (1) shall not reveal the identity of any program participant, nor shall it contain any personally identifiable information.
(3) The report required by paragraph (1) shall be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.

11338.
 This article shall become inoperative on July 1, 2023, and, as of January 1, 2024, is repealed.

SEC. 3.SEC. 2.

 The sum of fifty million dollars ($50,000,000) is hereby appropriated from the General Fund to the State Department of Social Services for purposes of funding the pilot program developed pursuant to Article 3.7 (commencing with Section 11337) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of Division 9 of the Welfare and Institutions Code.