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SENATE DOCKET, NO. 420         FILED ON: 1/16/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 32

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts

_________________

PRESENTED BY:

John Hart, Jr.

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To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
              Court assembled:

              The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:

An Act relative to strengthening early support and education .

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PETITION OF:

 

Name:

District/Address:

John Hart, Jr.

First Suffolk

Michael J. Rodrigues

First Bristol and Plymouth

Michael F. Rush

Norfolk and Suffolk

Sean Garballey

23rd Middlesex

Michael Barrett

Third Middlesex

James B. Eldridge

Middlesex and Worcester

Martin J. Walsh

13th Suffolk

Thomas M. Stanley

9th Middlesex


SENATE DOCKET, NO. 420        FILED ON: 1/16/2013

SENATE  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  No. 32

By Mr. Hart, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 32) of John Hart, Jr., Michael J. Rodrigues, Michael F. Rush, Sean Garballey and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to strengthening early support and education .  Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. 


The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
 

_______________

In the Year Two Thousand Thirteen

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An Act relative to strengthening early support and education .
 

              Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
 

              Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary there shall be established in the General Laws a new Chapter, Chapter 15F; Home Visiting 

              Chapter 15F: The Children’s Trust Fund shall collaborate with the Departments of Early Education and Care and Public Health to coordinate and deliver evidence-based and promising practice home visiting services to eligible families. 

              (1) Funding for Home Visiting programs shall be directed to evidence-based or promising practices models that provide culturally sensitive services to parents, infants and children (0-5); maintaining high quality consistent and continuous training and supervision and provide evaluation with measurable outcomes proving the efficacy of the program.

              (1a) Home Visiting programs shall be evidence- based or promising practices  models that provide culturally sensitive services to parents, infants and children to age 5, using strength based and relationship focused curriculum; maintaining high-quality, consistent and continuous training and supervision; providing program evaluation to assess efficacy; and engaging in ongoing process and participant outcomes measurement to assess effectiveness.

              (2) As used in this section the following words have the following meanings, unless the context clearly requires otherwise;

              Home Visiting; a voluntary home-based  service delivery strategy for  families  with children from conception to age 5  that provides culturally sensitive face to face visits by trained and supervised workers to promote positive parenting practices, improve maternal, infant and child health outcomes, build healthy child and parent relationships, support cognitive development of children, improve the health of the family, empower families to be self-sufficient, reduce child maltreatment and injury and increase preparation for a continuum of learning. 

              Evidence-based programs are based on a clear consistent program model that do all of the following;

              (a) Provide researched-based services, grounded in relevant, empirical knowledge with measurable outcomes. Evidence- based programs are linked to program-specific outcomes and are associated with a national organization or institution of higher education. Evidence-based programs have comprehensive home visiting standards that ensure high quality service delivery and continuous quality improvement, have demonstrated significant , positive outcomes, and have been either evaluated using rigorous randomized controlled research designs, and evaluation results have been published in a peer-reviewed journal or are based on quasi-experimental research using 2 or more separate, comparable client samples.

              (b) Governed by a program manual or design that specifies the purpose, outcomes, duration, and frequency of service that constitutes the program.

              (c) Employ well-trained and competent staff and provide continuous professional development and supervision relevant to the specific program model being delivered.

              (d) Demonstrate strong links to other  community based services; focusing on early childhood and family support  programs

              (e) Operate within an organization that ensures program fidelity.

              Promising practices programs do not meet the criteria of evidence based programs but do all of the following;

              (a) Have data or evidence demonstrating effectiveness at achieving measurable outcomes for pregnant women, infants, children and their families. Promising programs are or will be evaluated on program data.

              (b) Have a manual or design that specifies the program’s purpose, outcomes, duration and frequency of service.

              (c) Employ well-trained and competent staff and provide continuous professional development and supervision relevant to the specific program model being delivered.

              (d) Demonstrate strong links to other community based services.

              (e) Operate within an organization that ensures compliance with home visiting standards.

              (f) Operate with fidelity to the program model.

              Measurable Outcomes: Measurable outcomes shall allow for assessment of process and participant outcomes, including but not limited to the following;

              Process Outcomes

              (a) Improve maternal mental health by providing access to screening and services for both parents

              (b) Develop and maintain centralized participant data system that can be shared with and used by community providers

              (c) Involvement of both parents in the program

              Participant Outcomes

              (a) Reduction in child maltreatment numbers

              (b) Children will, on average, meet developmentally appropriate expectations

              (c) Parents will have access to knowledge of positive parenting and child development

              (d) Families will have access to and use of health care

              (e) Families will be referred to different programs to encourage further growth and development

              Reporting

              (3) The Children’s Trust Fund in collaboration with the Departments of Early Education and Care and Public Health shall submit a report on both evidence- based and promising practice programs to the Clerks of the House of Representative and the Senate, the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Committee on Ways and Means and the Joint Committees on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities, Education and Public Health no later than December 1 of each year with the first report due no later than December 1, 2013.

              The report shall include but is not limited to: locations of programs, numbers of families served, length of stay of families in program, referrals of families to other programs, percentage of participants who graduate from the program, percentage of families accessing health care,  percentage of parents in positive parenting process, readiness of child/children to participate in a continuum of learning, reduction of child maltreatment numbers, professional development progress of staff, reports of ongoing evaluation and modifications made to promising programs to elevate them to evidenced-based programs.

              Non evidence- based or promising practice programs will have five years to reach standards of evidence-based or promising practice models to qualify for funding under this chapter.

              (4)No later than 180 days after this legislation is signed into law The Children’s Trust Fund in collaboration with the Departments of Early Education and Care and Public Health shall develop standards and regulations deemed necessary to implement the New Born Home Visiting protocol.

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