(Hauppauge, NY-June 20, 2012) Today, County Executive Bellone announced that Suffolk County was the recipient of three 2012 National Association of Counties Achievement Awards. The three awards were for programs and initiatives developed by Suffolk County and collaborating agencies.
“While we may face difficult fiscal times, Suffolk County is continuing to be lauded for its programs and initiatives that serve for the betterment of Suffolk County and its residents,” said County Executive Bellone.
The three programs that received honors from the National Association of Counties include:
The Public Assistance Real Property Repayment System-County Clerk’s Office and the Department of Social Service
For decades, the Suffolk County Department of Social Services (DSS) has provided public assistance to those who own homes with the understanding and agreement that the public assistance recipient would repay the assistance when they sell their home. The agreement would be memorialized by the execution of a Bond & Mortgage, which would be recorded in the County Clerk’s Office, just as all property related documents are. Even in instances where the Bond & Mortgage has been recorded in the County Clerk’s Office, they were often not being accounted for during real estate transactions and the money was not being repaid to the County as agreed.
Many public assistance recipients would either neglect to notify DSS regarding the impending sale of their home or forget the existence of the Bond & Mortgage and therefore the County was unable to immediately recover monies owed.
Working in concert with DSS, the Suffolk County Clerk’s Office designed and developed the “Public Assistance Real Property Repayment System” (PARPRS), which provides DSS the ability to monitor, in near real time, any real property transfers connected to public assistance recipients. Suffolk County is now better equipped to recover these claims. The new system provides for an internet based program, allowing for access in DSS offices throughout Suffolk County. To date, the PARPRS has identified $2.3 million of potential public assistance recoveries, with $867,000 having been recovered to Suffolk County.
Developing Parent Competence and Confidence - Empowering Early Intervention Parents-Suffolk County Health Department
The Suffolk County Department of Health Services’ Early Intervention Program has trained their staff and providers in the Routine Based Intervention Model of service provision, in an effort to return to the original intent of Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), a family-centered service model. Suffolk County therapists have been trained to support and strengthen the parent’s confidence and competence to work with their child and promote learning and development. This model focuses on therapists coaching parents and caregivers. County Service Coordinators have been taught to write Individual Family Service Plans (IFSPs) that reflect the parent’s concerns and to focus on routines, natural learning opportunities and functional outcomes. Over 600 Suffolk County therapists have been trained to utilize this parent coaching model.
Long Island Unified Permit Initiative-Economic Development and Planning
Suffolk County is committed to achieving improvements in market conditions for rooftop photovoltaic (PV). Land use decisions, including solar permitting, take place at the local town and village level. As an exurb of New York City, Suffolk County continues to grow and our 1.5 million residents now exceed the population of 12 states. With 10 Towns and 33 Villages, there are a variety of permitting processes and zoning regulations. Recognizing that the largest impediment to scaling up solar in Suffolk County was the permitting process, the Suffolk County Planning Commission and the Long Island Power Authority launched the Long Island Unified Solar Permit Initiative (LIUSPI). Suffolk County’s Departments of Economic Development and Planning spearheaded the development of a model process that could be used by all municipalities throughout Long Island to effectively and uniformly handle the application for and approval of residential solar electric and solar hot water systems in each respective jurisdiction. As a result, all ten towns in Suffolk have adopted LIUSPI.
About NACo -The Voice of America's Counties
The National Association of Counties (NACo) is the only national organization that represents county governments in the United States. Founded in 1935, NACo provides essential services to the nation’s 3,068 counties. NACo advances issues with a unified voice before the federal government, improves the public’s understanding of county government, assists counties in finding and sharing innovative solutions through education and research, and provides value-added services to save counties and taxpayers money.