SECTION 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, this act provides that there shall be established within the Department of Public Health pilot programs serving Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Fall River, Holyoke, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, New Bedford, Springfield and Worcester to demonstrate a coordinated, comprehensive youth development services delivery system to improve and promote good health, life and academic outcomes among youth. All programs and activities established or integrated by the pilot programs shall be coordinated with Executive Office of Health and Human Services state agencies with other youth-serving programs, agencies and funded programs in each city in order to optimize the coordination and allocation of resources.
(b) Programs and activities shall be provided outside of school hours, year-round, including weekends for individuals who are enrolled in school, with programs and activities for individuals not enrolled in school available on a daily basis.
(c) Programs and activities shall be designed based on youth development research findings, with emphasis directed toward the development and enhancement of social emotional development, anti-violent and anti-gang behaviors, positive social behaviors, local and statewide labor pools, job opportunities and career options, civic engagement, financial literacy, positive future outlook, community-building, the performing and creative arts, and preventing teen-age pregnancies.
(d) Pilot program staff and staff at contracting organizations shall reflect the participant population of the program.
(e) The programs and activities provided by the pilot programs shall include but not be limited to the following: (i) a research component to track outcomes and effectiveness of program design and direct services, identify successful practices and make recommendations for replication and scaling of successful practices, or modification of unsuccessful practices as indicated by analysis; (ii) a community coordination function to assure that service delivery is coordinated in order to limit unwanted duplication or overlapping; (iii) data collection to support the research reference in item (i); (iv) identification of the services needed to advance the goals of the program; (v) consideration of the impact of youth worker certification or credentialing on both inputs to and outcomes of the youth participating in the pilot program (vi) an enhanced management information system to support a common intake and data tracking systems to increase the use of services, share resource information, avoid duplication and to allow participants to engage in, hands-on applications and learn state-of-the-art computer use; (vii) court diversion; (viii) mini-grants to community agencies; (ix) coordination with already-established organizations and agencies; and (x) development of new services required for the success of the program to the extent that program managers identify gaps in the existing direct service landscape for youth.
(f) There is hereby established and set up an account with the department of public health to be known as the Youth Development Fund. There shall be credited to said account an amount sufficient to sustain such the pilot program herein described in fiscal year 2022 commonwealth’s budget, and thereafter for a period of 5 years. Amounts credited to the fund shall not be subject to further appropriation. Money remaining in the account at the end of a fiscal year shall not revert to the General Fund and shall be available for expenditure in subsequent fiscal years. An amount not to exceed $100,000 shall be spent each year for each pilot program. The fund shall be credited with: (i) revenue from appropriations or other money authorized by the general court and specifically designated to be credited to the fund; (ii) interest earned on such revenues; and (iii) funds from public and private sources such as gifts, grants and donations. Annually, not later than October 1, the department of public health shall report to the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate, the house and senate committees on ways and means and the joint committee on children and families and persons with disabilities on the pilot programs’ activities.
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