"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Memo of Opposition to Welfare

New York Public Welfare Association

130 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12210 (518) 465-9305
Sheila Harrigan, Executive Director www.nypwa.com

Memo in Opposition to S2091/A3657

"An act to amend the social services law, in relation to eligibility requirements
for child care assistance”

The New York Public Welfare Association strongly opposes this legislation
which would eliminate the requirement to pursue a child support order as a condition of
eligibility for child care assistance. The requirement to seek child support is a key
strategy for tackling child poverty and promoting child well-being in our state and should
not be rescinded. Child support is a conduit to providing economic stability and the
establishment of paternity ensures a child’s right to inheritance and other benefits.
Every opportunity to engage a parent in seeking child support is important.
Removing this requirement would eliminate a critical time to connect each parent to the
goal of involving non-custodial parents in supporting their children. Making the pursuit
of child support optional will not achieve the same results.
It is critical to note the flexibility that already exists under current rules.
Applicants only need to be seeking a child support order – they do not have to have one
in place. They have the right to establish good cause for not actively pursuing child
support and the policy (05-OCFS-ADM-03) identifies fourteen distinct reasons that
parents can use for this purpose including domestic violence concerns. We have
supported specific changes to the ADM which would simplify the process while still
retaining the requirement to seek a child support order as an important step in engaging
non-custodial parents in the support of their children.
There is intense competition for the limited pool of child care subsidies available
in New York State. The proposed change would expand eligibility without providing
additional resources. Instead, we need to maximize income to the family so that child
care is appropriately allocated to those in truest need.
The NYPWA opposes this legislation and recommends that it not be considered
for further action.
For information contact:
Sheila Harrigan, Executive Director

Live Blogging