Bill S6615-2013

Expands the duties of the office of children and family services concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender runaway and homeless youth

Expands the duties of the office of children and family services concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender runaway and homeless youth.

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  • Feb 13, 2014: REFERRED TO CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6615

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to expanding the duties of the office of children and family services concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender runaway and homeless youth

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL:

Requires that all employees of programs and organizations' providing care to runaway and/or homeless youth complete training providing instruction in issues pertaining to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.

SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS:

Section 1. Section 532-e of the executive law is amended by adding a new subdivision 7, requiring all employees of approved programs providing care to runaway and/or homeless youth to complete training as set forth in regulations promulgated by OCFS. The training must place particular emphasis on appropriate terminology, particular challenges for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth, ways to address homophobia from other youth at the shelter, confidentiality, and how to properly address the families of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender youth.

Section 2 is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

The enactment of this bill would ensure that all employees of approved programs providing care to homeless youth in New York State would receive adequate and comprehensive training to allow them to be more sensitive to issues specifically affecting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender runaway and/or homeless youth.

According to the Center for American Progress, between 20-40% of runaway and/or homeless youth in the United States are LGBT, as compared to only 5- 10% of the overall youth population. Often, LGBT youth find themselves homeless because their parents do not accept their sexual or gender. orientation and throw them out of the house. This rejection from their. families leads LGBT runaway and/or homeless youth to experience increased social and personal problems, including dramatically increased rates of alcohol abuse and suicide attempts. LGBT youth are also much more likely to drop out of school due to discrimination. 86% of LGBT youth report being verbally bullied and harassed at school due to their sexual orientation. The average age that a lesbian or gay youth becomes homeless in New York is 14.4 years old, while the average age a transgender youth becomes homeless in New York is 13.5 years old.

Runaway and/or homeless LGBT youth are also disproportionately likely to suffer physical and mental abuse. 58% of runaway and/or homeless LGBT youth report being assaulted, compared to 33% of heterosexual runaway and/or homeless youth. 44% of runaway and/or homeless LGBT youth have been asked to exchange sex for money, food, drugs, shelter,

or clothes, as compared to only 26% of heterosexual runaway/homeless youth.

New York facilities providing care to homeless youth must do a better job accounting for the needs and issues of a critical segment of the runaway and/or homeless population. This bill would require all employees of approved programs providing care to runaway and/or homeless youth to complete training with instruction on the needs and issues of this community, with particular. emphasis on the correct terminology to use when talking about gender and sexual identity; addressing homophobia and transphobia from other youth in shelters; and how to deal with the families of LGBT youths.

PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the date upon which it shall have become a law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6615 IN SENATE February 13, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sens. HOYLMAN, LATIMER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Children and Families AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to expanding the duties of the office of children and family services concerning lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender runaway and homeless youth THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 532-e of the executive law, as amended by chapter 182 of the laws of 2002, are amended to read as follows: S 532-e. Powers and duties of the office of children and family services. The office of children and family services shall: [(a)] 1. visit, inspect and make periodic reports on the operation and adequacy of approved runaway programs and transitional independent living support programs; [(b)] 2. certify residential facilities providing care to runaway and/or homeless youth, provided, however, that no certification shall be issued or renewed until it can be demonstrated that a program operated pursuant to this article has consistent with appropriate collective bargaining agreements and applicable provisions of the civil service law, developed and implemented a procedure for reviewing and evaluating the backgrounds of and the information supplied by any person applying to be an employee, volunteer or consultant, which shall include but not be limited to the following requirements: that the applicants set forth his or her employment history, provide personal and employment refer- ences and sign a sworn statement indicating whether the applicant, to the best of his or her knowledge, has ever been convicted of a crime in this state or any other jurisdiction; [(c)] 3. maintain a register of approved runaway programs, transi- tional independent living support programs and runaway and homeless youth service coordinators; [(d)] 4. submit to the governor and legislature an annual report detailing the numbers and characteristics of runaway and otherwise home- less youth throughout the state and their problems and service needs;
[(e)] 5. develop and promulgate in consultation with county youth bureaus and organizations or programs which have had past experience dealing with runaway and homeless youth, regulations concerning the coordination and integration of services available for runaway and otherwise homeless youth and prohibiting the disclosure or transferal of any records containing the identity of individual youth receiving services pursuant to this section, without the written consent of the youth; [and] [(f)] 6. develop and promulgate regulations in consultation with the office of temporary and disability assistance concerning the provision of services by transitional independent living support programs consist- ent with the provisions of this article[.]; [(g)] 7. REQUIRE ALL EMPLOYEES OF APPROVED PROGRAMS PROVIDING CARE TO RUNAWAY AND/OR HOMELESS YOUTH TO COMPLETE TRAINING AS SET FORTH IN REGU- LATIONS PROMULGATED BY THE OFFICE. SUCH TRAINING SHALL REQUIRE ALL EMPLOYEES OF SUCH RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES TO RECEIVE INSTRUCTION AS SPEC- IFIED BY THE OFFICE IN THE REGULATIONS AND SHALL, AT A MINIMUM, INCLUDE INSTRUCTION IN ISSUES PERTAINING TO LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANS- GENDER YOUTH WITH PARTICULAR EMPHASIS ON: (A) APPROPRIATE TERMINOLOGY; (B) PARTICULAR CHALLENGES FOR LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER RUNAWAY AND HOMELESS YOUTH, INCLUDING WHY LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANSGENDER YOUTH ARE DISPROPORTIONATELY HOMELESS; (C) HOW TO ADDRESS HOMOPHOBIA OR TRANSPHOBIA FROM OTHER YOUTH AT THE SHELTER; (D) CONFIDENTIALITY IN THE CASES OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANS- GENDER YOUTH; AND (E) HOW TO ADDRESS THE FAMILIES OF LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, AND TRANS- GENDER YOUTH; AND 8. in conjunction with the commissioner of education, develop and annually review a plan to ensure coordination and access to education for homeless children, in accordance with the provisions of section thirty-two hundred nine of the education law, and monitor compliance of residential programs for runaway and homeless youth with such plan. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeed- ing the date upon which it shall have become a law.

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