2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
SAN FRANCISCO HUMAN SERVICES AGENCY
2008 STATE LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
The mission of the Human Services Agency (SF-HSA) is to promote well-being and self-sufficiency among individuals, families and communities inSan Francisco. In accordance with this mission, SF-HSA helps to shape public policy at the state and federal level through the development of an annual plan that identifies legislative priorities; through proactive collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, other City departments, the City’s lobbyists, community partners, and state, regional and other affinity groups; and through communication and outreach to elected officials and other decision makers. This document will serve as a framework to guide the Agency’s advocacy on state legislative, regulatory and budget issues in 2008.
AGING & ADULT SERVICES & LONG TERM CARE
- Support proposals that increase funding for the Adult Protective Services program and otherwise enhance the program’s ability to identify, investigate and respond to reports of abuse and neglect and provide appropriate services to elderly and disabled victims of abuse.
2. Support proposals that increase funding for the entire spectrum of community-based long term care and expand access to community-based living options and services that allow seniors and people with disabilities to avoid institutionalization and receive appropriate levels of care and support in the community.
3. Support legislation, budgetary proposals and regulatory changes that provide increased funding for Para-transit and funding of alternative transportation options for seniors and adults with disabilities.
- Support increased funding for Public Guardians in order to help meet new deadlines and levels of service mandated by the Omnibus Conservator Bill, which will result in larger court appointed caseloads and double the reporting requirements, and to avoid Superior Court-imposed penalties if the bill’s requirements are not met.
5. Support legislative and budgetary proposals that increase access to and improve the quality of services offered by the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program, including increasing the allowable IHSS asset limit, increased state participation in provider wages and benefits, and other program quality improvements.
6. Support proposals to provide flexible funding and loan assistance to support training, education and professional development for home care providers, social workers and other direct care providers in geriatric settings.
7. Support legislative and regulatory changes that streamline the process for organizations to become approved as providers of services funded through Medi-Cal Home and Community Based Services waivers. Support legislative and regulatory changes that increase the availability of local Medi-Cal Home and Community Based Services waiver and increase the value of non-distinct part waivers, which would allow persons discharged from acute care facilities, who are at risk of institutionalization, to receive waivers of a value equal to those received by persons being discharged from skilled nursing facilities like Laguna Honda Hospital.
- Support implementation of procedures to comply with the Conlon II decision, which requires timely reimbursement to eligible MediCal beneficiaries of covered services received while status is pending.
9. Support legislation to make probate court investigators mandated reporters, require court investigators to cross-report encountered incidents of abuse or neglect to the local APS agency, and require APS to cross-report to the court investigators when it is discovered that an APS referral from a third-party involves a person under conservatorship.
10. Support legislative proposals that require comprehensive hospital discharge planning, ensure that individuals are discharged into appropriate settings where they will receive adequate care and support, and prevent exits to homelessness.
11. Support tax credits or deductions for senior home modifications, health insurance and family caregivers for seniors and adults with disabilities, as well as flexible terms to Family Leave Act to enable care for chronic as well as episodic illness.
12. Support legislative and regulation to protect elders and dependent adults from neglect and abuse including financial fraud. Specifically, support proposals to create or strengthen fraud abatement programs such as statewide professional certification for brokers and marketers of annuities, reverse mortgages and other financial products to seniors. San Francisco has created an Elder Abuse Forensic Center to enhance response to reports of abuse and improve ability of law enforcement to prosecute perpetrators.
13. Support legislative and budgetary proposals that address the needs of the growing population of individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias.
- Support increased funding for programs serving seniors and adults with disabilities. Oppose reductions in funding for these categories of service.
- Support an adequate budget for the CalWORKs program that is based on actual costs, caseload projections and spending abilities across counties.
- Support proposals that promote the ability of low-income families to increase their income, build and maintain assets, and attain self-sufficiency.
- Support proposals to provide additional supports to low-income families for whom housing instability is a barrier to employment, including proposals to allow families to retain income-exempt savings for housing-related expenditures.
- Support legislation that would exempt caregivers in CalWORKs child only cases from having to be re-fingerimaged and re-interviewed when relocating to another county.
- Support legislative and budgetary proposals that will result in improvements to the state’s TANF work participation rate, including implementation of a work incenctive nutritional supplement program.
- Oppose legislation that makes CalWORKs recipients subject to random drug testing as a condition of maintaining eligibility.
- Oppose legislative and budget proposals that weaken the safety net for low-income families and children, including proposals to implement full family sanctions or time limit CalWORKs safety net and child-only grants.
- Support budget and legislative proposals that maintain or increase funding for child care, expand access to subsidized child care for working families and families on welfare, reimburse providers for their actual costs, and promote high quality child care programs through investments in the early education workforce, facilities and other quality improvement activities.
- Support legislation guaranteeing continuity of care for children in locally-subsidized child care programs when they transfer from a local voucher into a state or federally-funded program.
- Support proposals that give local jurisdictions flexibility to maximize resources in order to meet locally-identified child care needs. Specifically, support implementation of pilot program in San Francisco that uses a tiered rate structure to incent high-quality programs, remedies inequities in the reimbursement system for licensed and license-exempt family child care homes and rewards higher quality Title 5 centers that are otherwise subject to suppressed Standard Reimbursement Rates.
- Support proposals to adjust the Standard Reimbursement Rates (SRR) to account for regional differences in the cost of providing child care, and to implement catch-up and annual cost-of-living adjustments to the SRR.
- Support inclusion of homelessness as a priority for enrollment into child care programs without having to designate the child as being at risk for maltreatment.
- Support increased funding for Community Care Licensing to improve frequency of site visits for monitoring compliance. California is last in the nation in center monitoring, with inspections currently conducted once every five years.
- Support regulatory and legislative proposals to better align the administration of child care subsidy programs that sit under the Department of Social Services and the Department of Education. Specifically, align CalWORKs Stage 1 and Stage 2 administration in order to maximize ease of access and retention of child care subsidies for low-income families and to better support work participation; and streamline the eligibility process for families who have existed aid by reducing the frequency and complexity of reporting and documentation requirements.
FAMILY & CHILDREN’S SERVICES
- Support legislation that promotes child safety, reduces the number of children in long-term foster care, promotes adult connections and permanency, and helps foster children to sustain family ties.
- Oppose reductions in Child Welfare Services (CWS) funding. Support legislation that requires the state to budget child welfare services in accordance with optimal caseload standards recommended by the SB 2030 CWS Stakeholders Group and adopt an appropriate methodology for budgeting to meet child welfare program requirements and outcomes.
- Support legislation and augmented funding to expand services for emancipated foster youth, including extension of Independent Living Services to former foster children placed with non-related legal guardians.
- Support proposals that expand educational opportunities and supports for current and former foster youth.
- Support proposals that enhance foster and adoptive parent recruitment, retention and training.
- Oppose reductions in payment rates for foster and adoptive caregivers.
- Support legislation that provides special allowances in meeting child welfare mandates when the parent is incarcerated.
- Support legislation that would grant county welfare agencies access to the Child Abuse Central Index (CACI) for purposes of conducting background checks on prospective employees and volunteers who would have direct contact to minors.
- Support legislation that enables the state and county welfare agencies to comply with federal Adam Walsh Act and related requirements related to background checks for foster and adoptive caregivers.
- Oppose legislation that restricts existing parental rights as related to relinquishment of a child for adoption.
- Support legislative and budgetary proposals that expand access to nutrition benefits for low-income families and individuals, including former drug felons.
- Oppose reductions in Food Stamp benefits for legal non-citizens and other low-income beneficiaries and oppose reductions in county funding to administer the Food Stamps program
- Support legislation that allows counties to optimize their use of all available technology to make the Food Stamps program more efficient, accessible and customer friendly.
- Support repeal of requirement that Food Stamps clients be fingerimaged as a condition of receiving benefits.
HOUSING & HOMELESSNESS
- Support legislative and budget proposals that enhance San Francisco ’s ability to provide integrated, appropriate and high quality housing and supportive services for the homeless and people at risk of homelessness.
- Support restoration of AB 2034 (Integrated Services for Homeless Adults with Serious Mental Illness Program) funding that was eliminated in the FY 07-08 budget.
- Support stable or increased funding for the Transitional Housing Placement Program and the Transitional Housing Placement Program Plus for foster youth.
- Support proposals that would maintain and expand the supply of housing in San Francisco. Monitor legislation and administrative rules and adopt positions as appropriate to ensure that implementation of Proposition 1C, the Housing and Emergency Shelter Trust Fund Act, is consistent with the intent of the Act and that allocation methodologies do not disadvantage San Francisco.
- Monitor legislation and administrative rules and adopt positions as appropriate to ensure that implementation of Proposition 63, the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA), is consistent with the intent of the Act and that allocation methodologies do not disadvantage San Francisco.
- Support healthcare reform proposals that expand access to coverage and health care, subsidize coverage for low income families and individuals, fairly allocate costs to all stakeholders and streamline eligibility and enrollment procedures for public programs.
- Support extension of the 250% Medi-Cal Working Disabled Program, which promotes self-sufficiency by allowing people with disabilities to be employed and earn up to 250% of the federal poverty level while continuing to receive medical care. Amend the program eligibility rules to allow temporarily unemployed beneficiaries to maintain their coverage.
- Support legislation to increase the Medi-Cal Maintenance Need Level (MNL), which is intended to determine the required share of cost for Medi-Cal coverage while still allowing the beneficiary to retain enough income to meet basic needs such as food, clothing and shelter. The current MNL is set too low because it has not been increased since 1989 and does not account for increases in the cost of living. This results a high share of cost or radical increases in the share of cost for beneficiaries who do not qualify under a specialty program and creates a particular hardship for elderly and disabled recipients.
- Oppose reinstatement of quarterly status reporting for Medi-Cal recipients and oppose elimination of continuing eligibility for children enrolled in Medi-Cal. Both proposals are likely to result in discontinuances and disruptions in care for Medi-Cal eligible children and adults.
- Support legislation to eliminate the state requirement that Medi-Cal beneficiaries submit a signed annual redetermination form, and permit counties to complete redeterminations by telephone, using either a live worker or automated system.
- Support efforts to interpret the federal citizenship documentation regulations in such a way as to reduce the administrative burden of compliance on counties and Medi-Cal applicants.
- Oppose reductions in Medi-Cal base funding, administrative allocations and caseload growth funding.
- Support legislative and budget proposals that support San Francisco ’s efforts to build a coordinated and integrated system for the delivery of workforce services.
- Support expansion of workforce development efforts that help move low-income people toward self-sufficiency. Particularly support enhanced workforce services for welfare-to-work clients and transitional aged youth.
OTHER NON-PROGRAM SPECIFIC PRIORITIES
- Support cost-of-doing-business increases to address the cumulative deficit in funding for human service programs and oppose all proposals to reduce administrative allocations for county social service agencies. Among other things, these allocations fund front-line staff who provide critical services to abused and neglected children, vulnerable senior and adults and other low-income populations.
- Support proposals that reduce barriers to enrollment in human services programs and make it easier for families and individuals to retain benefits and receive services once they are found eligible. Examples of specific proposals to be supported include but are not limited to those that: enable the use of technology to facilitate program enrollment and service delivery; streamline or eliminate duplicative administrative procedures; and eliminate excessive documentation requirements.
- Support restoration of IT hardware replacement funding for county social services agencies.
- Oppose any legislation that would reduce Realignment funding for San Francisco.