Amendment #1030 to H3600

Task Force on Child Welfare Data Reporting

Representatives Khan of Newton, Provost of Somerville, Benson of Lunenburg, Ultrino of Malden, Keefe of Worcester, Schmid of Westport, Hecht of Watertown, Cantwell of Marshfield, O'Connell of Taunton, Donato of Medford, Lawn of Watertown, Tosado of Springfield, Williams of Springfield, Heroux of Attleboro and Farley-Bouvier of Pittsfield move to amend the bill by adding the following section:-

 

“Section XX. There shall be a task force on child welfare data reporting.  The task force shall develop basic data measures, progress measures, and key outcome measures that will inform the legislature and the public about the status and demographics of the caseload of the department of children and families, the  department’s progress in achieving child welfare goals, including safety, permanency, and well-being, the status of Juvenile Court proceedings involving children in the department’s caseload, and the status of children who are or have been involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems.

 

The task force shall develop indicators for measuring outcomes for children and families in the key child welfare domains of safety, permanency and well-being for children, including but not limited to the outcomes of: 1) protecting children from abuse and neglect; 2) safely maintaining children in their own homes whenever possible and appropriate; 3) achieving stability and permanency for children in their living situations; 4) preserving the continuity of family relationships; 5) enhancing families’ capacities to provide for their children’s needs; 6) ensuring that children receive appropriate services to meet their educational needs; 7) ensuring that children receive services needed to meet their physical and mental health needs; 8) achieving permanency and opportunity for young adults; 9) the department of children and families’ complying with timeframes and deadlines for court hearings; and, 10) minimizing the incidence of juvenile justice system involvement for children involved with the department of children and families.

 

The task force shall also make recommendations to: 1) ensure that new department of children and families’ annual, biannual, and quarterly reports include appropriate data measures that are clearly defined, placed in the context of historical or other comparative data when necessary to convey the meaning of the reported data, and include the department’s current understanding as to why certain trends may be appearing in the data; 2) eliminate reports that are no longer needed; and, 3) ensure that reports are submitted on time and posted on the department’s website.  The task force shall also make recommendations about periodic reports from the courts on cases involving children involved with the department of children and families.

 

Within 30 days of the end of each quarter, the department of children and families shall publish on its website, caseload profile reports, which are currently titled “Quarterly/Annual Data profiles.”

 

The task force shall be comprised of the following members or their designees: the child advocate who shall serve as co-chair; the commissioner of the department of children and families who shall serve as co-chair, the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on children,  families and persons with disabilities; the chief justice of the Juvenile Court; the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute; the Committee for Public Counsel Services; the Children’s League of Massachusetts; one member with expertise in child welfare data and outcome measurement to be chosen by the child advocate; and, one member with expertise in the department of children and families’ information technology, data collection and reporting systems to be chosen by the commissioner of the department of children and families. The task force shall consult with others with relevant expertise as needed.

 

The task force shall meet no less than quarterly, and in the first six months of its first year, the full task force or its working groups shall meet no less than monthly. The task force shall report to the general court its recommendations, if any. together with drafts of legislation necessary to carry its recommendations into effect, by filing the same with the chairs of the joint committee on children, families and persons with disabilities and the clerk of the senate and the clerk of the house of representatives on or before January 31st of each year.  On an annual basis, the task force shall review the adequacy of its indicators and the progress made on its recommendations, and make further recommendations as needed.”


Amendment #1030 to H3600

Task Force on Child Welfare Data Reporting

Representative:

Aaron Vega

Daniel Cullinane

Marjorie C. Decker

Hannah Kane