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Early Childhood


Statutes

Oregon Revised Statutes that relate to Early Childhood

417.727 Oregon Early Childhood System
417.728 Statewide early childhood system; requirements
417.777 Local early childhood system plan
417.788 Relief nurseries
417.793 Parents-as-teachers programs
417.795 Healthy Start Family Support Services programs; standards; coordination

417.727 Oregon Early Childhood System. Based on the findings expressed in ORS 417.708, there is created the Oregon Early Childhood System. The goals of the system are to:

 (1) Prevent child abuse and neglect;

 (2) Improve the health and development of young children;

 (3) Promote bonding and attachment in the early years of a child’s life;

 (4) Support parents in providing the optimum environment for their young children;

 (5) Link and integrate services and supports in the voluntary statewide early childhood system pursuant to ORS 417.728;

 (6) Link and integrate services and supports in the voluntary local early childhood system pursuant to ORS 417.777;

 (7) Ensure that children are entering school ready to learn; and

 (8) Ensure that children receive quality child care. [2001 c.831 §4]

417.728 Statewide early childhood system; requirements.

 (1) The State Commission on Children and Families, the Department of Education, the Employment Department and the Department of Human Services shall lead a joint effort with other state and local early childhood partners to establish the policies necessary for a voluntary statewide early childhood system that shall be incorporated into the local coordinated comprehensive plan.

 (2) The voluntary statewide early childhood system shall be designed to achieve:

      (a) The appropriate early childhood benchmarks jointly identified by the State Commission on Children and Families, the Department of Education, the Employment Department and the Department of Human Services, with input from early childhood partners, as the appropriate benchmarks; and

     (b) Any other early childhood benchmark or intermediate outcome jointly identified by the State Commission on Children and Families, the Department of Education, the Employment Department and the
Department of Human Services, with input from early childhood partners, as an appropriate benchmark or outcome.

 (3) The voluntary statewide early childhood system shall include the following components:

(a) A process to identify as early as possible children and families who would benefit from early childhood services;
(b) A plan to support the identified needs of the child and family that coordinates case management personnel and the delivery of services to the child and
family; and
(c) Services to support children who are zero through eight years of age and their families who give their express written consent, including:
     (A) Screening, assessment and home visiting          services pursuant to ORS 417.795;
     (B) Specialized or targeted home visiting services;
     (C) Community-based services such as relief nurseries, family support programs and parent education programs;
     (D) High quality child care, as defined by the Commission for Child Care
     (E) Preschool and other early education services;
     (F) Health services for children and pregnant women;
     (G) Mental health services;
     (H) Alcohol and drug treatment programs;
     (I)  Developmental disability services; and
    
(J) Other state and local services.

 (4) The State Commission on Children and Families, the Department of Education, the Employment Department and the Department of Human Services shall jointly:
         (a) Consolidate administrative functions relating to the voluntary statewide early childhood system, to the extent practicable, including but not limited to training and technical assistance, planning and budgeting. This paragraph does not apply to the administrative functions of the Department of Education relating to education programs;
         (b) Adopt policies to establish training and technical assistance programs to ensure that personnel have skills in appropriate areas, including screening, family assessment,
competency-based home visiting skills, cultural and gender differences and other areas as needed;

        (c) Identify research-based age-appropriate and culturally and
gender appropriate screening and assessment tools that would be used as appropriate in programs and services of the voluntary statewide early childhood system;
         (d) Develop a plan for the implementation of a common data system for voluntary early childhood programs as provided in section 7, chapter 831, Oregon Laws 2001;
         (e) Coordinate existing and new early childhood programs to provide a range of community-based supports;
          (f) Establish a common set of quality assurance standards to guide local  implementation of all elements of the voluntary statewide early childhood system, including voluntary universal screening and assessment, home visiting, staffing,  evaluation and community-based services;
        (g) Ensure that all plans for voluntary early childhood services are coordinated and consistent with federal and state law, including but not limited to plans for Oregon prekindergarten programs, federal Head Start programs, early childhood special education services, early intervention services and public health services;
        (h) Identify how the voluntary statewide early childhood system for children who are zero through eight years of age will link with systems of support for older children and their families;
         (i) Contract for an evaluation of the outcomes of the voluntary statewide early childhood system; and
         (j) During January of each odd-numbered year, report to the Governor and the Legislative Assembly on the voluntary statewide early childhood system. The report shall include the evaluation described in paragraph (i) of this subsection.

 (5) The State Commission on Children and Families, the State Board of Education, the Employment Department and the Department of Human Services when adopting rules to administer voluntary early childhood programs under their individual authority shall adopt rules that are consistent with the requirements of the voluntary statewide early childhood system created under this section.

 (6) Information gathered in conjunction with the voluntary comprehensive screening and assessment of children and their families may be used only for the following purposes:
        (a) Providing services to children and families who give their express written consent;
        (b) Providing statistical data that are not personally identifiable;
        (c) Accomplishing other purposes for which the family has given express written consent; and
       
(d) Meeting the requirements of mandatory state and federal disclosure laws. [Formerly 417.748; 2003 c.293 §2]

417.777 Local early childhood system plan.

 (1) Each local commission on children and families, as part of the local coordinated comprehensive plan developed under ORS 417.775 for the county or region, shall lead and coordinate the development of a voluntary local early childhood system plan that shall focus on the needs of children who are zero through eight years of age and their families.
      Local Oregon prekindergarten programs, early childhood special education programs and early intervention services shall collaborate and participate with the local commission in the development and implementation of the voluntary early childhood system plan.

 (2) In the process of developing the voluntary local early childhood system plan, a local commission shall include parents, youth, community representatives and representatives of local providers of early childhood services that reflect the diversity of the county or region, including but not limited to representatives from:
         (a) Hospitals and the health professions;
         (b) Local interagency coordinating councils;
         (c) Oregon prekindergarten programs;
         (d) Contractors who are designated by the Superintendent of Public Instruction to be responsible for the administration of early childhood special education and early intervention services in a service area;
        (e) Community corrections agencies;
        (f)  Mental health services;
        (g) County health departments;
        (h) Healthy Start Family Support Services programs;
        (i)  Alcohol and drug treatment programs;
        (j)  Local child care resource and referral agencies;
        (k) Child care providers;
        (l)  Developmental disability services;
        (m) The kindergarten through grade 12 education community;
        (n) Faith-based organizations; and
        (o) Other providers of prenatal and perinatal services.

  (3) A voluntary local early childhood system plan shall:
        (a) Provide for the coordination of early childhood programs by creating a process to connect children and families with the most appropriate supports;
        (b) Include a description of how the components of the voluntary statewide early childhood system specified in ORS 417.728 will be implemented in the county or region;
        (c) Build on existing programs;
        (d) Identify ways to maximize the use of volunteers and other community resources; and
       
(e) Ensure that the diverse populations within a community receive services that are culturally and gender appropriate.

  (4) Local communities are encouraged to:
         (a) Use private nonprofit organizations to raise community awareness and support for the voluntary local early childhood system; and
         (b) Involve the medical community to ensure appropriate referrals to services and supports that are provided through the voluntary local early childhood system. [2001 c.831 §9; 2003 c.293 §6]

417.788 Relief nurseries.

  (1) The State Commission on Children and Families shall support relief nurseries statewide through local commissions on children and families as funding becomes available. Local commissions may establish relief nurseries for young children who are at risk and their families. Local commissions in adjoining counties may choose to establish regional relief nurseries. The relief nurseries shall:
         (a) Be consistent with the voluntary early childhood system plan that is part of the local coordinated comprehensive plan; and
         (b) Involve the parents of children served by the relief nurseries.

   (2) Programs at the relief nurseries shall include:
        
(a) Therapeutic early childhood education programs; and
         (b) Parent education, training and support.

   (3) Each relief nursery that receives state funding shall have financial support from the community that is at least equal to 25 percent of any state allocation. [1999 c.1053 §22; 2001 c.831 §12]

417.793 Parents-as-teachers programs.

The State Commission on Children and Families shall support parents-as-teachers programs statewide through local commissions on children and families as funding becomes available. If a local commission offers a program, the program shall be part of a comprehensive, research-based approach to parent education and support. The program shall be consistent with the voluntary early childhood system plan that is part of the local coordinated comprehensive plan. [2001 c.831 §12b]

417.795 Healthy Start Family Support Services programs; standards; coordination.

  (1) The State Commission on Children and Families established under ORS 417.730 shall establish Healthy Start Family Support Services programs through contracts entered into by local commissions on children and families in all counties of this state as funding becomes available.

  (2) These programs shall be non-stigmatizing, voluntary and designed to achieve the appropriate early childhood benchmarks and shall:
        
(a) Ensure that express written consent is obtained from the family prior to any release of information that is protected by federal or state law and before the family receives any services;
        
(b) Ensure that services are voluntary and that, if a family chooses not to accept services or ends services, there are no adverse consequences for those decisions;
       
(c) Offer a voluntary comprehensive screening and risk assessment of all newly born children and their families;
       
(d) Ensure that the disclosure of information gathered in conjunction with the voluntary comprehensive screening and risk assessment of children and their families is limited pursuant to ORS 417.728 (6) to the following purposes:
                (A) Providing services under the programs to children and families who give their express written consent;
               
(B) Providing statistical data that are not personally identifiable;
               
(C) Accomplishing other purposes for which the family has given express written consent; and
               
(D) Meeting the requirements of mandatory state and federal disclosure laws;
       
(e) Ensure that risk factors used in the risk assessment are limited to those risk factors that have been shown by research to be associated with poor outcomes for children and families;
        
(f) Identify, as early as possible, families that would benefit most from the programs;
       
(g) Provide parenting education and support services, including but not limited to community-based home visiting services and primary health care services;
       
(h) Provide other supports, including but not limited to referral to and linking of community and public services for children and families such as mental health services, alcohol and drug treatment programs, child care, food, housing and transportation;
         (i) Coordinate services for children consistent with the voluntary local early childhood system plan developed pursuant to ORS 417.777;
        
(j) Provide follow-up services and supports from birth through five years of age;
        
(k) Integrate data with any common data system for early childhood programs implemented pursuant to section 7, chapter 831, Oregon Laws 2001;
       
(L) Be included in a statewide independent evaluation to document:
              
(A) Level of screening and assessment;
              
(B) Incidence of child abuse and neglect;
              
(C) Change in parenting skills; and
              
(D) Rate of child development;
       
(m) Be included in a statewide training program in the dynamics of the skills needed to provide early childhood services, such as assessment and home visiting; and
       
(n) Meet voluntary statewide and local early childhood system quality assurance and quality improvement standards.

   (3) The Healthy Start Family Support Services programs, local health departments and other providers of prenatal and perinatal services in counties, as part of the voluntary local early childhood system, shall:
         
(a) Identify existing services and describe and prioritize additional services necessary for a voluntary home visit system;
         
(b) Build on existing programs;
         
(c) Maximize the use of volunteers and other community resources that support all families;
         
(d) Target, at a minimum, all first birth families in the county; and
         
(e) Ensure that home visiting services provided by local health departments for children and pregnant women support and are coordinated with local Healthy Start Family Support Services programs.

  (4) Through a Healthy Start Family Support Services program, a trained family support worker or nurse shall be assigned to each family assessed as at risk that consents to receive services through the worker or nurse. The worker or nurse shall conduct home visits and assist the family in gaining access to needed services.

  (5) The services required by this section shall be provided by hospitals, public or private entities or organizations, or any combination thereof, capable of providing all or part of the family risk assessment and the follow-up services. In granting a contract, a local commission may utilize collaborative contracting or requests for proposals and shall take into consideration the most effective and consistent service delivery system.

  (6) The family risk assessment and follow-up services for families at risk shall be provided by trained family support workers or nurses organized in teams supervised by a manager and including a family services coordinator who is available to consult.

  (7) Each Healthy Start Family Support Services program shall adopt disciplinary procedures for family support workers, nurses and other employees of the program. The procedures shall provide appropriate disciplinary actions for family support workers, nurses and other employees who violate federal or state law or the policies of the program. [1993 c.677 §1;  1999 c.1053 §21; 2001 c.831 §14; 2003 c.14 §209]