H. B. 4401

(By Delegates Amores, Compton, Rowe,
Leach, Capito, Spencer and Jenkins)
[Introduced February 12, 1998; referred to the
Committee on Government Organization then Finance.]

A BILL to amend article twenty-six, chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, by adding thereto three new sections, designated sections nine, ten and eleven, all relating to family resource centers; requiring the governor's cabinet on children and families to develop and implement a pilot plan establishing a system of family resource centers; providing for grants to local centers; and requiring oversight and monitoring.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That article twenty-six, chapter five of the code of West Virginia, one thousand nine hundred thirty-one, as amended, be amended by adding thereto three new sections, designated sections nine, ten and eleven, all to read as follows:
§5-26-9. Formulation of pilot program for implementing family resource centers.
(a) The cabinet shall formulate and implement a pilot plan to encourage the establishment of a system of local family resource centers designed to meet the needs of children and their families in the ten neediest counties in the state. The plan, at a minimum shall provide:
(1) For centers that provide services to support families, that are preventative in nature, respond to local crisis and enhance students' abilities to succeed in school;
(2) Students and families who are the most economically disadvantaged receive priority status for receiving services, when resources are limited;
(3) The centers are operated in collaboration with local schools and local service providers;
(4) That existing resources be identified and coordinated to avoid the duplication of services;
(5) Each center's program follows standard guidelines approved by the cabinet;
(6) Centers provide services the community needs, which may include:
(A) Day care for children from birth though five years of age;
(B) After school child care and educational activities for children ages five through fifteen;
(C) Full-time child care during the summer and on other days when school is not in session;
(D) Programs to encourage parent involvement as the child's first teacher;
(E) Information and referral services;
(F) Drug and alcohol abuse counseling and education;
(G) Referrals to health and social services;
(H) Employment counseling, training and placement;
(I) Summer and part-time job development;
(J) Nutritional counseling and related services;
(K) Assistance in transportation;
(L) Senior citizen programs;
(M) Family crisis and mental health counseling and referral;
(N) Adult basic education programs, including computer training and coordination with the West Virginia works program;
(O) Summer developmental programs;
(P) Preschool programs;
(Q) Outreach services for the children's health insurance project; and
(R) Coordination of welfare-to-work efforts.
(b) The cabinet shall appoint an executive director and two regional coordinators to implement and administer its plan and to coordinate activities with the local centers.
§5-26-10. Grants to support family resource centers.
(a) A pilot grant program is established to provide financial assistance to entities in establishing family resource centers in the ten neediest counties, as designated by the cabinet. The cabinet shall award the grants pursuant to this section and reasonable criteria it develops. The cabinet may use any funds made available from state, federal or other source in making grants to a center.
(b) The cabinet shall prepare and make grant applications available through family resource networks to local nonprofit organizations, schools and other qualified entities. The application shall contain detailed instructions. The cabinet shall provide assistance in preparing grant applications to entities requesting assistance. The grant application shall require, at a minimum, the applicant submit:
(1) A statement establishing need for the grant;
(2) Proposed goals and outcomes;
(3) A description of the services and programs to be provided by the center;
(4) A description of how the services and programs will be provided;
(5) A description of how the families and children with the most urgent needs will be served first;
(6) A description of how the director and staff will insure universal access for all families, despite socioeconomic background;
(7) Written agreements with other service providers that the center will use in providing services;
(8) A description of the center's local advisory board;
(9) A description of procedures to be followed to obtain parental permission for services and for sharing confidential information with other service providers. Procedures shall be developed pursuant, but not limited to, federal and state laws; (10) A plan to minimize stigma attached to children and other persons using the services provided by the center;
(11) A work plan for addressing how it will address the factors contained in subsection (a), section nine of this article;
(12) Job descriptions for staff;
(13) A description of the center location and school accessibility;
(14) A description of the hours of operation;
(15) A description of self-evaluation procedures the center will use to determine it is meeting its goals and the universal guidelines; and
(16) Letters of endorsement and commitment to the center from community leaders.
(c) The cabinet shall establish grant application review procedures and guidelines to ensure that applications for grants are fairly reviewed and scored. At a minimum the cabinet shall provide for grant proposal review teams of at least four individuals. The cabinet shall appoint the reviewers. The reviewers shall review and score grant applications submitted and recommend action to the cabinet. The cabinet shall make the final decision on grant applications. The director shall notify each applicant of the decision of the cabinet on its application. Grant scoring procedures shall be made available to all applicants.
§5-26-11. Oversight and monitoring of family resource centers.
(a) The cabinet shall provide, or provide through contract, technical assistance and training for the centers receiving financial assistance from the cabinet. The director and the regional coordinators shall assist the centers with staff development. The director may provide centrally located workshops to provide training or other educational assistance for the staff of the centers. Technical assistance and training provided shall be documented and reported to the cabinet. The director shall submit quarterly written reports to the cabinet on the status of the centers.
(b) The cabinet shall monitor the effectiveness of the programs provided by and the administration of the family resource centers receiving assistance based on grant approval documents and predetermined quality indicators, which shall include, at a minimum, whether the center is providing children with:
(1) Ongoing mentoring or tutoring relationships with adults;
(2) Safe places to learn and grow;
(3) Marketable skills through effective education;
(4) A healthy start to life; and
(5) An opportunity to help others.
(c) The cabinet shall monitor those entities receiving grants to ensure that all grant funds are expended in accordance with the provisions of the grant application and any grant approval document.

NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require the Governor's Cabinet on Children and Families to establish a pilot project encouraging the establishment of family resource centers in the ten neediest counties in West Virginia.

§§5-26-9, 10 and 11 are new; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.