CHAPTER 177

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 57

AS AMENDED BY

HOUSE AMENDMENT NOS. 1 & 2

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 16 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE 2-1-1 INFORMATION HELPLINE.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE :

WHEREAS, individuals and families need information on government and not-for-profit services that provide a variety of programs, such as child care, early childhood education, job training, housing assistance, elder care, help for victims of domestic violence, drug or alcohol counseling, and disaster recovery; and

WHEREAS, individuals and families often find it difficult to identify an agency or program that provides a service that is immediately or urgently required; and

WHEREAS, many persons abandon their search for help because of frustration or lack of quality information; and

WHEREAS, a single source for State residents to get information on government and not-for-profit programs will help ensure individuals and families get needed assistance; and

WHEREAS, crisis counseling and intervention services are needed 24 hours a day, seven days a week; and

WHEREAS, the implementation of a single, easy-to-use telephone number, 2-1-1, for public access to information and referral for community social services and disaster-related information available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, will greatly benefit the citizens of the State of Delaware; and

WHEREAS, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has designated 2-1-1 to be the national abbreviated dialing code to be used to access non-emergency community information and referral services to enable a caller to obtain information concerning community social services; and

WHEREAS, an integrated statewide system of community social services information and referral services will build upon an already existing comprehensive database of human services resources and experienced service providers.

NOW, THEREFORE:

BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:

Section 1. Amend Title 16 of the Delaware Code by adding thereto a new Chapter to read:

“CHAPTER 102. THE 2-1-1 COMMUNITY SOCIAL SERVICES HELPLINE

§10201. Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to establish a 2-1-1 Community Social Services Helpline (2-1-1 Helpline) to provide community social services information and referral services at a centralized location, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

§10202. Definitions.

(a) ‘Director’ means the Director of the Office of Management and Budget..

(b) ‘Board’ means the 2-1-1 Advisory Board.

(c) ‘Office’ means the Office of Management and Budget.

§10203. Powers and duties of the Office.

(a) The Office shall implement the non-emergency 2-1-1 telephone number to provide human social services information concerning the availability of governmental and non-profit services and to provide referrals to community social services and disaster-related information agencies.

(b) The Office shall register the 2-1-1 Community Social Services Helpline with the 9-1-1 Committee established by 16 Del. Code §10004(e), all phone companies, the Association of Information and Referral Services, and the United Way of America.

(c) The Office shall designate the Delaware Helpline, Inc. as the primary service provider for the 2-1-1 Helpline and contract with a private phone service to ensure 24-hour operation of the 2-1-1 Helpline.

(d) The Office shall be responsible for raising community awareness about the 2-1-1 Helpline and website through, but not limited to, the use of marketing and outreach activity forums that include presentations on statewide community social services that are available through the government and non-for-profit-agencies.

§10204. The 2-1-1 Advisory Board.

(a) The 2-1-1 Advisory Board is established to advise the Governor, the Director, and the General Assembly on matters related to the 2-1-1 Community Social Services Helpline system and service.

(b) The Governor shall appoint one (1) representative from each of the following offices or agencies as a member of the Board: the Delaware Helpline, Inc., the Department of Health and Social Services, the Department of Safety and Homeland Security, the Delaware Emergency Number Association, the Department of Technology and Information, and the United Way of Delaware. The Governor shall also appoint to the Board three (3) members of the public, one (1) representing the Latino community, one (1) representing the senior citizen community, and one (1) representing persons with disabilities. The Governor shall designate a chairperson for the Board from among the Board’s members. Each member serves a term of two (2) years and may be reappointed to serve additional terms.

(c) Members of the Board serve without compensation; however, they may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incidental to their duties as members of the Commission.

(d) The Office of Management and Budget shall provide administrative support to the Board.

§10205. Duties and Responsibilities of the Board.

(a) The Board shall review the 2-1-1 Community Social Services system and services and submit recommendations to the Office for changes, modifications, or deletions.

(b) The Board shall schedule and conduct at least four (4) regular meetings during the first year of operation of the 2-1-1 Helpline. The public must be given an opportunity to express views concerning the 2-1-1 Helpline system and service. Thereafter, the Board shall meet at such times and places as the members consider necessary and at such times as requested by the Director.”.

Section 2. Effective Date.

This Act shall become effective upon appropriation of sufficient funds by the General Assembly to accomplish the purposes of this Chapter.

Approved August 1, 2007