ASSEMBLY, No. 1120

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  ANGEL FUENTES

District 5 (Camden and Gloucester)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Requires training for certain staff working with persons with developmental disabilities.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning training for certain staff working with persons with developmental disabilities and supplementing chapter 6D of Title 30 of the Revised Statutes.

 

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

 

     1.    a.  The Department of Human Services, in consultation with the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, shall establish a training program for staff members at State developmental centers and group homes who work or will work directly with persons with developmental disabilities to help improve the delivery of services to persons with developmental disabilities residing in these facilities.

     b.    The curriculum of the training program shall include:

     (1)   federal and State laws relating to persons with developmental disabilities, as applicable to the care of persons with developmental disabilities residing in a developmental center or group home;

     (2)   recognition and understanding of behavior that is appropriate for persons with developmental disabilities at different ages and levels of functioning;

     (3)   methods to help persons with developmental disabilities attain social, educational, and occupational skills based on the person's physical or intellectual disability, or both;

     (4)   information about adaptation of treatment and rehabilitation for a person with a developmental disability based on the person's personal history and current physical or mental condition; and

     (5)   methods to improve communications and establish better working relationships with persons with developmental disabilities, their families or guardians, as appropriate, and co-workers, through the use of empathy, positive communication skills, and active listening, and to use such techniques to communicate with parents or guardians, as appropriate, about providing care to persons with developmental disabilities.

     c.     The Commissioner of Human Services or the commissioner's designee shall annually review the training program and modify the program as appropriate.

     d.    The department shall require that:

     (1)   all applicable staff members employed on the effective date of this act, as a condition of continued employment at a State developmental center or group home, successfully complete the training program within 24 months of the effective date of this act; and

     (2)   as a condition of employment, an applicable staff member hired at a State developmental center or group home after the effective date of this act successfully complete the training program within 12 months of the staff member's date of hire.

     e.     The commissioner shall ensure that applicable staff members receive annual refresher training that includes any updated information relating to the training required pursuant to this section.

     f.     A current staff member or applicant for employment at a State developmental center or group home who refuses to participate in the training program shall be terminated or permanently disqualified from employment at a State developmental center or group home.

 

     2.    Pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), the Commissioner of Human Services shall adopt rules and regulations necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect on the first day of the seventh month next following the date of enactment, but the Commissioner of Human Services may take such anticipatory administrative action in advance thereof as shall be necessary for the implementation of this act.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes a mandatory training program for staff members at State developmental centers and group homes who work or will work directly with persons with developmental disabilities to help improve the delivery of services to persons with developmental disabilities residing in these facilities.  The Department of Human Services (DHS), in consultation with the New Jersey Community College Consortium for Workforce and Economic Development, would establish the program.

     The curriculum of the training program would include:

·      federal and State laws relating to persons with developmental disabilities, as applicable to the care of persons with developmental disabilities residing in a developmental center or group home;

·      recognition and understanding of behavior that is appropriate for persons with developmental disabilities at different ages and levels of functioning;

·      methods to help persons with developmental disabilities attain social, educational, and occupational skills based on the person's physical or intellectual disability, or both;

·      information about adaptation of treatment and rehabilitation for a person with a developmental disability based on the person's personal history and current physical or mental condition; and

·      methods to improve communications and establish better working relationships with persons with developmental disabilities, their families or guardians, as appropriate, and co-workers, through the use of empathy, positive communication skills, and active listening, and to use such techniques to communicate with parents or guardians, as appropriate, about providing care to persons with developmental disabilities.

     The bill requires the Commissioner of Human Services or the commissioner's designee to annually review the training program and modify it as appropriate, and also to ensure that applicable staff members receive annual refresher training.

     Additionally, DHS would require all applicable staff members employed on the bill's effective date to successfully complete the training program within 24 months of that date, as a condition of continued employment at a State developmental center or group home.  Staff members hired after the bill's effective date would be required to successfully complete the program within 12 months of the date of hire.

     A current staff member or applicant who refuses to participate in the training program would be terminated or permanently disqualified from employment at a State developmental center or group home.

     The bill provides for rule making by the Commissioner of Human Services, has a delayed effective date of the first day of the seventh month following enactment, and allows the commissioner to take anticipatory action in advance of the effective date as necessary for implementing the bill.