By Kevin Czerwinski, Office of Amy Paulin
Sep. 27, 2017: Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D-88) is proud to announce that two pieces of legislation that she authored were signed into law by Governor Andrew Cuomo.
1. A.474-A/S.1170-A--Financial Literacy Course for Public Assistance Participants
This legislation allows social services districts to offer recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) the option to complete a course in financial literacy and personal finance, with such instruction counting toward the 30-hour work activity requirement.
Additionally, the legislation authorizes social services districts to cooperate with the Department of Labor to provide workforce guidance and information regarding nontraditional careers for women to TANF recipients. This would help to encourage women to pursue and secure nontraditional careers, such as jobs in the trades, which pay above-average salaries.
The combination of promoting access to nontraditional careers and offering financial literacy courses will provide low-income women with the tools to attain greater economic security for themselves and their families.
"Encouraging women to pursue careers in higher-paying fields that they may not have otherwise considered can help these women to get out of poverty," said Assemblywoman Paulin. "Similarly, the financial literacy course would provide helpful information for low-income women, particularly as they transition off TANF and into the workforce."
2. A.2965/S.4172--Notice of Child Abuse in Foster Care
This legislation amends current social services law in relation to forwarding reports of abuse. The law requires that reports of suspected child abuse or maltreatment of a child be provided to the social services district charged with the care, custody, or guardianship of such child when the child has been placed in a home under the care, custody, or guardianship of an authorized agency that is not in the social services district that placed the child.
The care and custody of a child may be transferred by a social services district to an authorized agency and the child placed in foster care. There is no requirement that the authorized agency charged with the care and custody of the child and the child's foster home be located in the same social services district that transferred the care and custody of the child.
Problems arise, however, when the foster home is the subject of a report of child abuse or maltreatment and the foster home is not located in the social services district that placed the child in the foster home. Under the previous law, notice of such report was not required to be provided to the placing social services district. Absent information that the foster home was the subject of a report of child abuse or maltreatment, the placing social services district could continue to place children in the care and custody of that foster home.
"We needed to close gaps in communication between and among authorized agencies and social service districts responsible for the safety and welfare of our children," Paulin said.
"Placing agencies must be informed of reports of suspected abuse or maltreatment involving homes in which they have placed children so that they do not unwittingly place additional children in a situation that risks subjecting them to further abuse or maltreatment."
Patrick Gallivan (R-59) sponsored the bill in the Senate.
Pictured here: Assemblywoman Amy Paulin.
Photo courtesy Office of Amy Paulin