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Public Policy & Legislative Agenda

Nick Lebron delivers impactful testimony before THE MEMBERS OF THE HUMAN SERVICES SUBCOMMITTEE OF the appropriations committee on March 5th, 2019



Good evening honorable members of the Appropriations Committee. My name is Nick Lebron and I’m a Regional Coordinator in the Safety Net Program. The Safety Net Program helps families through home-based services that focus on case management, care coordination, child development and guidance to promote overall self-sufficiency to the families we serve. It is a statewide program and we work in all of the diverse communities CT has to offer.

The budgeting the state faces during these challenging times are real however the daily trials and tribulations the families face who deal with poverty can be overwhelming and traumatic. The adverse risk factors that faces these families range from being climate refugees, domestic violence victims, families who are recovering from opioid addiction or are suffering from generational poverty. We partner with the thousands of families we serve on an annually basis and I can say all of them truly benefit from this program. The success stories range on a case by case basis. One family’s success may be finding and keeping employment, connections to housing while others maybe locating child care or learning new skills that they can better support their children. The more resiliencies we build in families the better the outcomes for the families, communities and the state. The goal is always to keep their motivation levels high even though they are faced with the lowest of circumstances.

The Safety net program is a good investment for the state as it is effective, individualized and breaks the cycle of intergenerational poverty. I am asking that you support the governor’s budget for the safety net program as it is of extreme importance to all communities across the state.

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The CT Council of Family Service Agencies (CCFSA) is an innovative and efficient statewide provider network offering high quality, outcome-driven human services focused on strengthening CT’s families and communities. We support policies that strengthen the services we provide to more than 180,000 people in CT each year and the family service agencies that provide those services. As a result of CCFSA’s rigorous standards, we represent the most highly qualified of CT providers producing the strongest outcomes in the areas of child welfare, mental health, intellectual disabilities and substance use services.  CCFSA’s statewide human service delivery network strengthens communities across the state through collaboration of local service providers under one centralized administrative system for program management, fiscal oversight and data/ quality assurance.

CCFSA should be utilized by policy makers as a resource and thought-leader in issues related to the complex needs of children and families across CT. 

CCFSA strongly supports State and National public policy that promotes a partnership between government and nonprofit human service agencies that collectively provide for the stability, self-sufficiency, health and hopeful future of children and families.

CCFSA promotes the following public policy priorities for 2019: So, in order to achieve personal well-being for Ct residents, we propose the following Policy priorities:

1.    Government should support high quality programs and services that strengthen CT’s families and communities.

·         Funding should be targeted to effective statewide services that strengthen families, particularly those like CCFSA’s TANF Case Management Program, which uses a 2 Generation approach to break the cycle of poverty among the highest need families across CT;

·         Resources should be prioritized to support the health and stability of families related to housing such as the Housing Mobility Counseling Program, which helps reduce generational poverty by supporting families in accessing appropriate housing for their families.


2.    Funding should support a stable human service delivery system through reimbursement models which cover the costs of providing quality services to vulnerable children, families and individuals.

Public policy, government contracts and funding should be provided to allow individuals and families to:

·         Access vital services such as behavioral healthcare, case management, housing, employment, early care, education, child development, residential and day programming as well as adaptive technology for people with disabilities, nutrition services, foster care, healthcare and other human services

·         Move from dependence to self-sufficiency;

·         Reduce poverty and increase equity;

·         Minimize crisis by funding prevention and early intervention services.


3.    Resource allocation and program evaluation should be based on dynamic, outcome and data-driven systems.

·         Funding decisions should take into account program effectiveness and should focus on return on investment in driving towards population-level results.

·         Government should consider short-term and long-term impact on consumers and communities when making investments in programs and services.


4.    Government should invest in models of collaboration, innovation and efficiency in the delivery of human services.

·         Government policies should encourage innovative service models utilizing best practices that allow providers to achieve desired results in cost-effective ways. Public policy should support efforts to drive towards efficiency in service delivery, administration and contracting.

·         Government should be flexible and creative in its approach to service delivery to foster innovation. 


5.    Policies should support collaboration between government and human service providers as a best practice for systems improvement.

·         Administrative efficiencies should be identified and supported, such as the Licensure and Certification Work-group efforts to streamline the provider licensing process, which was a collaboration between state agencies and providers through a Lean management process to streamline and align the licensure process. 

·         Recommendations of the Governor’s Cabinet on Nonprofit Health and Human Services to improve contracting, reimbursement systems, data collection and workforce development should be supported and the model of collaboration and partnership between state agencies and providers should be more broadly utilized as a best practice.

·         Policies should provide flexibility in budgeting to allow contractors to make the best use of government funding, including reinvestment of savings to support long-term stability and sustainability of the system.

·         Maximize access to bonding and other funding for capital improvements, technology and other long-term needs.