Section 7: Commissioner; powers and duties
Section 7. (a) The commissioner shall establish reasonable caseload rates and shall report these caseload rates to the general court in the budget estimates of the department.
(b) The commissioner shall develop and implement a management information system that shall contain fiscal and personnel data, client data, and program data necessary for the ongoing administration or effective service delivery. The information system shall include, but not be limited to, a service plan for each client, with provisions for periodic review thereof. The commissioner shall adopt such rules and regulations as are deemed necessary to ensure the confidentiality of client data collected by the department.
(c) The commissioner shall develop and implement a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system for all services under the control of the department and shall collect the necessary program and fiscal data annually.
(d) The commissioner shall conduct an annual needs assessment for all services under the control of the department.
(e) The commissioner shall report to the general court and to the child advocate: (i) annually on all services, including program and client data and unit costs, and on residential care pursuant to section 23; (ii) semi-annually on high-risk children, racial disproportionality and disparity, and service procurement pursuant to section 24; and (iii) quarterly on multiple 51A reports pursuant to section 25.
(f) The commissioner shall develop and implement a plan for the orientation and training of area-based and other staff. The plan shall require all employees be issued photo identification to be used in the performance of their duties, including for display upon introduction.
(g) The commissioner shall coordinate the overall service planning of the department with planning under Title XX of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 1397 et seq.
(h) The commissioner shall be authorized to apply for and accept on behalf of the commonwealth federal, local or private grants, bequests, gifts or contributions.
(i) The commissioner, subject to chapter 30A, shall adopt rules and regulations necessary to carry out this chapter and chapter 119.
(j) The commissioner shall include in the budget estimates of the department funds for the development and implementation of the aforementioned management information system, monitoring and evaluation system, annual needs assessment, and staff training plan.
(k) The commissioner shall, subject to appropriation, enter into contracts with nonprofit organizations to provide services for families and individuals in emergency and transitional housing; provided, that the department, in entering into such contracts, shall provide $3 for each dollar of donated funds which have been committed to such nonprofit organizations from any non-state source. For the purposes of this subsection, a non-state source may include private donations or monies from city, town or county governments but shall not include funds from other state agencies.
(l) Prior to undertaking any activity or implementing any policy which would affect expenditures for medical assistance under chapter 118E including, but not limited to, identifying individuals eligible for such assistance under said chapter 118E, the commissioner shall assure that such activity or policy is reviewed by the director of Medicaid.
[Subsection (m) added by 2008, 176, Sec. 32. See also, subsection (m) added by 2008, 321, Sec. 7, below.]
(m) Not more than 3 per cent of the department's annual budget shall be appropriated in a separate account and expended for the purposes of subsections (b), (c) and (d).
[Subsection (m) added by 2008, 321, Sec. 7. See also, subsection (m) added by 2008, 176, Sec. 32, above.]
(m) The commissioner shall consult with the commissioner of mental health prior to taking any action substantially affecting the design and implementation of behavioral health services for children under guidelines established by the secretary of health and human services under section 16S of chapter 6A.
(n) Upon receipt of a completed review of multiple 51A reports required under subsection (r) of section 51B of chapter 119, the commissioner shall immediately notify: (i) the district attorney for the county in which the child resides and for the county in which the event giving rise to a report occurred, (ii) local law enforcement authorities in the city or town in which the child resides and in the city or town in which the event giving rise to a report occurred, and (iii) the office of the child advocate.
(o) The commissioner shall require social workers employed by the department to obtain a license as a social worker pursuant to section 131 of chapter 112 within the first 9 months of employment. The commissioner shall require social workers employed by the department to participate in not less than 30 hours per year of paid professional development training; provided, however, that such training shall be consistent with applicable collective bargaining agreements. The commissioner may grant a social worker employed by the department a 1-time 6-month hardship waiver from the licensing requirement under this section to ensure access for underserved populations.