PA 11-109—sHB 6282

Select Committee on Children

Human Services Committee

Government Administration and Elections Committee

AN ACT REQUIRING AN ANNUAL RESULTS-BASED ACCOUNTABILITY REPORT CARD EVALUATING STATE POLICIES AND PROGRAMS IMPACTING CHILDREN

SUMMARY: This act requires the Children's Committee to (1) maintain an annual report card evaluating the progress of state policies and programs affecting children; (2) develop, with a working group, progress indicators and measures related to issues affecting children; and (3) consult with the Appropriations Committee's results-based accountability (RBA) subcommittee to identify child welfare system programs that must prepare their own annual report cards. The act specifies (1) the progress indicators that must be included in the Children's Committee's report card along with relevant data and (2) the report card's distribution requirements. It identifies the participants in the working group, the issues for which indicators and measures must be developed, and the subsequent review process the committee must conduct.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2011

REPORT CARD

The Children's Committee, in consultation with the offices of Fiscal Analysis and Legislative Research and the Commission on Children, must maintain an annual “report card” that evaluates state policies and programs that affect children.

Indicators

The report card must use progress measures based on those previously identified in the Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee's RBA Pilot Project Study 2009: DCF Family Preservation and Supports and The Social State of Connecticut 2008.

The Program Review report's five indicators are the rates of child abuse, low birth weight, child poverty and third-grade reading proficiency, and an overall indicator of well-being, which is referred to as Connecticut's social health index. The five social health report index indicators for children and youth are infant mortality, child abuse, youth suicide, high school dropouts, and teenage births. The act requires that the data for each indicator be presented by ethnicity or race; gender; geography; and, where appropriate, age and other characteristics.

Distribution

The committee must complete its first report card by January 15, 2012, and prepare one annually after that. The report must be available on the General Assembly's website, and on the Internet, and sent electronically to:

1. members of the Appropriations and Human Services committees;

2. the children and families, education, and public health commissioners;

3. the child advocate;

4. the Office of Policy and Management secretary; and

5. the chief court administrator.

WORKING GROUP

Responsibilities

By January 15, 2012, the Children's Committee must consult with a working group to identify or develop:

1. an indicator to measure whether children are living with their families in stable environments;

2. secondary well-being indicators to measure progress in children's health, safety, stability, education, and future success, including food security; and

3. performance measures for the state's child welfare system that include (a) rates of repeat maltreatment among victims of child abuse and neglect, (b) out-of-home placements for children at risk of abuse and neglect, (c) child fatalities involving child abuse and neglect, (d) rates of reunification and permanency for children removed from their homes, and (e) the developmental and health status and educational progress of children served by the child welfare system and other appropriate measures of well-being and success in life.

At least once per year, the Children's Committee, with the working group's assistance, must review the primary and secondary indicators and performance measures described above and their data resources to determine whether there are more appropriate ways to monitor progress toward the result that all the state's children grow in a stable living environment, safe, healthy, and prepared to lead successful lives.

Composition of Working Group

The working group must include representatives of:

1. state agencies and departments,

2. community organizations,

3. private provider agencies operating programs for children and families,

4. parents and other child caretakers,

5. child advocacy organizations,

6. health care professionals that serve children and families,

7. schools, and

8. child care providers.

CHILD WELFARE SYSTEM PROGRAMS

The act also requires the Children's Committee to consult annually with the Appropriations Committee's RBA subcommittee to identify programs within the child welfare system that significantly contribute to achieving the result described above. The entities that administer these programs, in turn, must prepare annual report cards using the RBA format.

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