New York States Welfare Reform Act of 1997 contained several new components, including the Family Violence Option which addresses the safety needs of domestic violence victims and their children who are applicants or recipients of public assistance. The Family Violence Option includes procedures for screening for domestic violence, assessment, services referrals and temporary waivers of public assistance requirements, which would place the victim at further risk. The regulation implemented on April 1, 1998 requires:
- All applicants for and recipients of public assistance receive information about domestic violence and the protections and services available
- As part of the application and re-certification process, applicants/recipients are screened to determine those currently affected by domestic violence
- Disclosure is voluntary and confidential and
- Individuals who self-identify as victims must be referred to a specially trained domestic violence liaison who assess whether the domestic violence claim is credible and whether it impacts the individuals ability to meet the PA program requirements such as child support cooperation requirements, work activity requirements and other PA program mandates.
For further information visit: http//www.otda.state.ny.us/otda/domv/default.htm