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How Boards of Directors Can Play a Key Role Advocacy to Obtain Interim Increase in Funding for Social Workers in FFAs.

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Presentation on theme: "How Boards of Directors Can Play a Key Role Advocacy to Obtain Interim Increase in Funding for Social Workers in FFAs."— Presentation transcript:

1 How Boards of Directors Can Play a Key Role Advocacy to Obtain Interim Increase in Funding for Social Workers in FFAs

2 How Can You Help? 1. Write letters of support to your legislators 2. Meet with legislators and/or staff in district 3. Meet with county Boards of Supervisors and/or staff 4. Meet with legislators and/or staff at the Capitol in Sacramento 5. Testify at budget hearings (Assembly: April 9. Senate: May 1.) 6. Testify at policy hearings for the Assembly Bill (no date scheduled yet).

3 The Alliance will provide you with: 1. Template of a Support Letter 2. Meeting Request Script 3. Talking Points 4. Charts, graphs, statistics and background material 5. FAQs 6. All day 24/7 assistance to help write, call and answer anything

4 The Problem

5 $15/hour for Social Worker pay The amount built into the FFA Rate for a Social Worker = $15.13/hour Social Work component of the rate has been frozen since 2001 – 13 years – and was cut additional 10% in 2009 FFA Social Workers are required by law to be Master’s level professionals Lower than wages of all other publicly funded Social Worker positions offered by schools, counties, prisons, the state, group homes and hospitals.

6 Compare wages and salaries PositionHourly WageAnnual Salary FFA Social Worker: MSW (rate)$15.13$31,470 Group Home Social Worker: MSW (rate) ,590 Child, family, & school Social Workers (EDD avg.) ,373 LA Co. DCFS Social Worker II (actual mid-point) ,936 CDSS Adoption Specialist (actual) ,320 Medical & Public Health Social Workers (EDD avg.) ,350 Sacramento Co. Human Services SW (actual mid-point) ,534 San Mateo Co. Social Worker III (actual mid-point) ,032 Alameda Co. Child Welfare Worker II (actual mid-point) ,056

7 Can’t compete Increasingly difficult for FFAs to recruit, hire and retain qualified social workers FFAs are competing with hospitals, counties, schools and many other fields that offer social work positions with better wage and benefit packages and more convenient working hours. FFA social workers must be available when it best serves the foster youth and families; not just days, but weekends, evenings, holidays, 24/7 on call, and with no hope of significant salary increases. Especially difficult to hire and retain bilingual and bicultural social workers.

8 Can’t keep qualified staff Turnover rates as high as 50%/year in some FFAs Lack of competitive wages leads to low morale and burnout, forces skilled staff to look elsewhere for employment, and results in extremely high social worker turnover Not uncommon for social workers to take on second full time jobs, as documented by the Los Angeles Times.

9 Turnover disrupts family-child-Social Worker bonds of trust Families and children lose trusting and committed working relationship with Social Worker Family and children lose Social Worker who understands complex needs and challenges of child and family Foster children re-experience grief and trauma of loss of trusted adult Not uncommon for a disruption in permanency plans to occur.

10 The solution

11 Increase Social Work component of FFA rate The Legislature should adopt budget trailer bill language directing the California Department of Social Services to adjust the Social Work component in the FFA rate by 47% to reflect CNI adjustments back to July 1, 2001, increasing the funding for the average hourly wage for FFA social workers to $23.91 ($49,732 annually), with automatic annual CNI indexed increases until a new rate system is implemented.

12 What does that mean? 4 components of FFA rate 1. Basic Rate 2. Increment for the Child 3. Social Work 4. Recruitment/Training/Certification/Support/Administration Social Work component may only be used for social work activities We’re asking the legislature to raise Social Work component of the rate Increase would be interim until new rate system is implemented Passed through directly to foster parents for care of child

13 Some of our Social Workers make more than $31,000 Q: Where does the money come from to pay our Social Workers more? A: Recruitment/Training/Certification/Support/Administration; private fundraising; operating reserves Q: What does that usually pay for? Recruitment, screening, training and certification of foster families Administrative overhead including rent, telephone, IT, HR, etc. Transportation of children to family visits Supervision of family and sibling visits Respite for foster parents Any other costs that are not social work related or paid to the foster family. Q: What’s sacrificed if this money’s used for Social Work? A: See above

14 How did we get here?

15 Brief history 1985 FFAs created by statute “to encourage the development of private, nonprofit foster family agencies which recruit, screen, certify, train, and provide professional support services to foster parents.” Current rate system implemented 1990Annual CNI increases made discretionary FFA rates frozen FFA rates frozen % cut to entire FFA rate Court mandated increases to Basic Rate to families other components of FFA rate frozen, including Social Work

16 Purchasing power of Social Work component

17 What can you do right now?

18 Do you know any of these Democratic leaders? SENATE President pro Tempore: Darrell Steinberg Majority Floor Leader: Ellen Corbett ASSEMBLY Speaker: John Perez Speaker Elect: Toni Atkins Speaker pro Tempore: Nora Campos Assistant Speaker pro Tempore: Kevin Mullin

19 Do you know any of these Republican leaders? SENATE Minority Floor Leader: Bob Huff ASSEMBLY Minority Floor Leader: Connie Conway

20 Do you know any of these key Senators on the Budget and Fiscal Review Committee and Subcommittee? Full Senate Budget and Fiscal Review Committee Chair: Senator Mark Leno (D) Vice-Chair: Senator Jim Nielsen (R) Senate Budget Subcommittee #3 on Health and Human Services Chair: Senator Ellen Corbett (D) Members: Senators William Monning (D), Mimi Walters (R)

21 Do you know any of these key Assembly members on the Budget and Fiscal Review Committee and Subcommittee? Full Assembly Budget Committee Chair: Assembly member Nancy Skinner (D) Vice-Chair: Assembly member Jeff Gorrell (R) Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services Chair: Assembly member Shirley Weber (D) Members: Assembly members: Wes Chesbro (D); Roger Dickinson (D); Shannon Grove (R); and Allan Mansoor (R)

22 Do you know any other legislators? Senators? Assembly members?

23 What you can do 1. Get a meeting with the legislator 2. The ask: Put the “Interim Increase in the Social Work Component of the FFA Rate” on the agenda for hearing in Assembly Sub #1 and Senate Sub #3 Vote for/support the “Interim Increase in the Social Work Component of the FFA Rate” so FFAs can pay their Social Workers a living wage 3. Follow up letter/ Thank-you for the meeting Thank-you for your help Urge support of the “Interim Increase in the Social Work Component of the FFA Rate” so FFAs can pay their Social Workers a living wage

24 The more participation, the greater the odds of success!


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