CWB Update - April 2017

Key Highlights This Month:  

  • New guidance being developed by DHS for 24/7 CP response, including removal of prohibition on contracting, & requiring access to SSIS for screening of imminent danger reports to review  past history. 
  • Bridge funding for potential loss of MA funding of Rule 5s if deemed IMDs is in Governor, House and Senate budgets.
  • ESSA/school transportation pilot & funding in Senate Education budget.  Must have MOU with school to get funding. 
  • CMH clarification counties NOT required to do SDQ or CASII, only the mental health professional.  Question still on what’s needed for Rule 5 screenings if we can’t obtain the documents from the Mental Health Professional.
  • Collaborative Safety Leadership and Orientation Meetings to occur in April and May.  Counties and court partners encouraged to attend.  SEE HANDOUT.

Requested Actions Needed From MACSSA:  

  • Continued testimony of MACSSA on legislative issues related to children/CMH.
  • Collaborative Safety—Support of presentation at a forum this summer and/or conference in fall.

New Trends in This Area:  

  • All DHS policy and funding requests from the Child Safety and Permanency Division proposals did not make it through the legislature, including any new positions to actions/requirements from the CP Legislative Task Force.
  • Continued concerns regarding lack of residential beds and foster homes.
  • Legislative emphasis on improvements and funding of child protection seems to have subsided with little moving forward this year in terms of funding or policy.

Issues/Concerns Regarding This Topic:  

  • Unknown expectations from DHS regarding screening for residential placements for CMH if the SDQ and CASII aren’t accessible from the mental health provider.  Seeking further clarification.
  • Legislative bill regarding recodification of the Child Maltreatment Act (626.556) did not make it.  The task may now be given to the CP Legislative Task Force.  Concern what the process of recodification will be and who will be involved in the process. 
  • Need to look at how to engage with DHS on statewide recruitment efforts to address the current needs for foster care and residential beds. 

Legislative Impacts:  

  • Potential funding for pilots regarding transportation for children in shelter and foster care.
  • Northstar Care Preschool Age Children proposals for increased funding did not move forward in the legislature. 
  • DHS recommendations for changes in the Child Protection funding withholds based on performance measures is not moving forward per DHS.  (We are working to verify this). There is still a separate bill reducing the amount of the withholds to 5% per performance measure but it is unknown whether this will continue to advance. 
  • Bill requiring social workers to discuss with children over age 10 their right to an attorney and to secure signed waivers if children decline this right is a concern as it conflicts with Rules of Juvenile Procedure, has fiscal implications, and may be a conflict of interest. 
  • Multiple bills continuing regarding changes in child care regulations and requirements, most with no funding attached. 

Supporting Materials:  

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