2022 FTNYS End of Session Legislative Priorities

Families Together in New York State is a family-run organization that represents families of children with social, emotional, behavioral health and cross-systems challenges. Our goal is to ensure that ALL children and youth have the support they need in order to succeed. We represent thousands of families from across the state whose children have been involved in many systems including mental health, substance abuse, special education, juvenile justice, and foster care. Our board and staff are made up primarily of family members and youth who have been involved in these systems.

Juvenile Justice:
Youth Justice and Opportunities Act S5749A/ A3536A: This bill would expand sealing protections for youth age 25 and younger who face the threat of permanent criminal convictions and adult prison sentences. See the one pager. 

Youth Interrogation Bill S2800C/A5891C: This legislation would require that all youth under 18 be provided an attorney before they can waive their right to remain silent. Sign the petition. See our memo.

Solutions Not Suspensions Act S7198/A5197. This bill requires schools to use proven alternatives to suspension that correct misbehavior and keep kids in the classroom by requiring school codes of conduct to include restorative justice, prohibit suspensions of most K-3 students, and shorten the maximum suspension length from 180 days to 20. Sign on and act. 

Mental Health:
Create a Black Youth Suicide Prevention Task Force (S3408/A1716). This legislation will create a Black suicide prevention task force to examine, evaluate and determine how to improve mental health and suicide prevention for New York’s Black residents aged 5 through 18.

Merger of OASAS and OMH S5084C/A8379This bill establishes the Office of Addiction and Mental Health Services.

Form A Maternal Mental Health Workgroup S.7752/A.9085: This bill will direct the commissioner of mental health to establish a maternal mental health workgroup to study and issue recommendations related to maternal mental health and perinatal and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. See our memo.

Create Joint OMH and DOH Disparate Impact Study on Post Partum Depression Screenings S.7753/A.9102: This bill would require the office of mental health and the department of health to conduct a study on the disparate impacts regarding postpartum depression screening tests.

Require Providers to offer Maternal Depression Screening S.7865/A.5076-A: This bill would require maternal health care providers to offer a maternal depression screening to new mothers when providing prenatal, postnatal, and pediatric care for the mother’s child.

Child Welfare:
Anti-Harassment in Reporting Act S7326/ A7879A. This bill will substantially cut down on malicious false reporting by requiring callers who make allegations of child abuse and neglect to provide their names. The law provides strict confidentiality to those who make reports and will deter some of those who would otherwise make false reports.

Miranda Bill of Rights for Parents S5484B/A6792A: This bill would require CPS to inform parents and caretakers of their rights at the start of child protective investigations. This common-sense bill does not create any new rights. It simply ensures that parents and caregivers have information about existing rights so that they can make informed decisions for their families.

Family Assessment Response Mandate in All Counties S5674/A7067: This bill would require counties to establish differential response programs for child protection assessments or investigations. Family Assessment Response is an alternative approach to child maltreatment that does not require an investigation and determination of allegations, but instead assesses the family’s needs and offers supports.

Assign Counsel to Indigent Kinship Caregivers in Family Court S6074A/A2581AThis bill would provide a free assigned counsel to indigent kinship caregiver petitions in custody and guardianship proceedings.

Update the Child Welfare Preventive Housing Subsidy S.5419-B/A.1777-B: This bill updates the value of rent subsidies available to families involved in the child welfare system and youth exiting the child welfare system from $300 to $725, including annual increases based on calculations tied to inflation, and extenda the upper age limit that a young person exiting foster care can receive the benefit to 24.

Informed Consent drug testing for Mother’s and Newborns S4821A/A4285A: This bill would require healthcare providers to obtain informed consent before testing pregnant and perinatal people and their newborns in medical settings.

For more information, please contact: Brad Hansen at bhansen@ftnys.org.