ASSEMBLY, No. 104

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

213th LEGISLATURE

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2008 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman VALERIE VAINIERI HUTTLE

District 37 (Bergen)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman Cruz-Perez

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

Establishes "Grandparenting Resource Center Pilot Program"; appropriates $1,500,000.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel


An Act establishing a "Grandparenting Resource Center Pilot Program" and making an appropriation.

 

Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

1. There is established in the Department of Human Services a "Grandparenting Resource Center Pilot Program" for grandparents raising their grandchildren. The Commissioner of Human Services, in accordance with the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), shall adopt rules and regulations for the creation of a two-year pilot program establishing three regional resource centers, one of which shall be in each of the northern, central and southern regions of the State. The resource centers shall be available to grandparents who are raising their grandchildren who reside in these regions.

 

2. The resource centers shall be designed as single point-of-service entities to assist grandparents raising their grandchildren by: acting as a clearinghouse for information; providing free legal advocacy and assistance; helping grandparents navigate the social services, educational, health care and court systems; and providing staff to act as liaisons between grandparents and other agencies for the provision of transportation, counseling, support and other needed services.

 

3. A public or private organization that seeks to operate a resource center shall apply to the Commissioner of Human Services for a grant from funds made available to the department pursuant to this act, which application shall be in the form prescribed by the commissioner.

 

4. The commissioner shall apply for and accept any grant of money from the federal government, private foundations or other sources, which may be available for programs for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren to supplement State funds appropriated pursuant to this act.

 

5. No later than six months before the expiration of this act, the Commissioner of Human Services shall report to the Legislature and the Governor on the effectiveness of the pilot program and present recommendations for continuing and, if appropriate, expanding the pilot program.

 

6. There is appropriated from the General Fund to the Department of Human Services $1,500,000 for grants to resource centers established pursuant to this act.


7. This act shall take effect on the 90th day following enactment and shall expire two years thereafter, but the commissioner may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

The bill directs the Commissioner of Human Services to adopt rules and regulations for the creation of the pilot program establishing three regional resource centers, one each in the northern, central and southern regions of the State, which will be available to grandparents who are raising their grandchildren who reside in those regions.

The resource centers will be designed as single point-of-service entities to provide "one stop shopping" assistance to grandparents who are raising their grandchildren by:

      acting as a clearinghouse for information;

      providing free legal advocacy and assistance;

      helping grandparents navigate the social services, educational, health care and court systems; and

      providing staff to act as liaisons between the grandparents and other agencies for the provision of transportation, counseling, support and other needed services.

The bill further directs the commissioner to apply for and accept any grant of money from the federal government, private foundations or other sources, which may be available for programs for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren and which will be used to supplement the funds appropriated in this bill.

The bill stipulates that any public or private organization that seeks to operate a resource center shall apply to the commissioner on forms prescribed by the commissioner for a grant of funds to do so. The bill appropriates $1,500,000 from the General Fund to the department for the operation of the two-year pilot program.

Finally, the bill provides that no later than six months before its expiration, the commissioner shall report to the Legislature and the Governor on the effectiveness of the pilot program and present recommendations for continuing and, if appropriate, expanding the pilot program.