SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law or any rule or regulation to the contrary, chapter 23B of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 30 the following new section:-
Section 31 (a). As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:--
“Youth Serving Organization,” an organization that provides recreational, cultural, charitable, social, or other activities or services for persons under 18 years of age, and is exempt from federal income tax.
“Out of School Time Program,” an established licensed or non-licensed daily week day program for persons under 18 years of age offered by a youth serving organization, school system, or municipality, offered before and after school and during school vacation.
“Summer Programs,” an established licensed or non-licensed daily week day program for persons under 18 years of age offered by a youth serving organization, school system, or municipality, offered during the months of summer vacation.
(b) Subject to appropriation, the Department shall create a program to address the needs of children, ages five through fourteen, residing in the Emergency Assistance program, as defined by 760 CMR 67.00. The program shall from herein be known as the Home Works Program. The Home Works Program shall allow out of school time and summer programs to apply for a certain number of slots funded by the Department. Each slot shall be used to provide out of school time and summer programming for an eligible participant, including transportation to and from the program. Each Home Works Program slot shall be funded at an adequate amount not less than 75% of local market value for out of school time and summer services and will cover transportation costs associated with transporting participants to and from the program.
The Department shall keep a waitlist of eligible program participants from which the out of school time and camp programs may draw from to fill their slots.
(c) Licensed and non-licensed out of school time and summer programs may apply for program slots through the Department. Said slots shall be allotted proportionally by the areas in the Commonwealth that have the highest number of children residing in the Emergency Assistance Program and through the out of school time or summer program’s capacity. However, a program shall not be limited in the amount of allowable slots it accepts. Said out of school time and summer programs shall be able to meet the transportation requirements set out by the Department before applying for slots. These include, but are not limited to, the capacity to transport participants from their current place of residence and back to said place within the time frame set out by the Department of Early Education and Care in 606 CMR 7.13.
If the participant is no longer eligible to remain in the Home Works program, the out of school time or summer program may draw another eligible participant from the Home Works waitlist to fill the slot.
If said program is unable to meet the transportation requirements set out by the Department, said program may work with the Emergency Assistance residence to provide out of school time and summer programs on site or at another facility deemed acceptable by the Department of Housing and Community Development.
(d) Said out of school time programs and summer programs shall require that all staff members in employment and direct care of children in the program have completed satisfactorily a criminal background check that includes a comprehensive check of the National Sexual Offender Registry.
The Home Works Program shall not be funded through the already existing funds in the Emergency Assistance program.
The Department shall promulgate regulations in accordance with this section within six months of the passage of this act.
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