This Mayor and Council Communication (M&C) is requesting that City Council adopt the attached ordinance establishing Standards of Care (Standards) for youth programs in the City of Fort Worth for 2019. The Standards set requirements for supervision of programs for youth ages 5 through 13.
In 1995, the Texas Legislature amended Section 42.041 of the Human Resources Code to exempt elementary aged (5 through 13 years) municipal youth recreation programs from the State's licensing requirement under certain conditions. This law requires that a city annually adopt standards by ordinance after a public hearing. Adopted standards must be provided to the parents of each program participant and must include, at a minimum: staffing ratios, minimum staff qualifications, minimum facility, health and safety standards and mechanisms for monitoring and enforcing the adopted local standards. State law also requires that parents be informed that the program is not licensed by the State and that the program may not be advertised as a child care facility.
The Standards are intended to be minimum standards by which the City of Fort Worth Park & Recreation, Neighborhood Services, and other potentially affected departments will operate the City's youth programs. In accordance with the current Standards, the director is required to make an annual report on the overall status of the youth programs and their operation relative to compliance with the adopted Standards.
The items listed below provide information regarding the prior year's activities:
1. Youth programs were offered at 18 community centers and two mobile sites providing services to
2. Average ratio of participants to staff during these programs was 15:1.
3. All Staff received a tuberculin test.
4. All Staff members at each facility were certified in First Aid and CPR/AED.
5. All Staff received training on the Standards of Care.
6. Safety inspections were completed at each facility on a weekly basis during youth programming.
The Standards of Care are in place year round. In accordance with the legislation, the Standards of Care and Ordinance must be submitted for adoption to the City Council on an annual basis. The 2019 Standards have six modifications, highlighted in the attached policy, including:
Program Operations section III (A), page 6, clarified statement; Activities section II (G4), page 7, added language about ozone days; section III (B), page 7, added information about parent volunteers; section V (C), page 10, added statement about child removal for safety; section V (E2), page 10, added language to clarify child's ability to remain in program after disciplinary action; Health & Safety section I (A8), page 12, added language about lice.
At its November 14, 2018 meeting, the Park & Recreation Advisory Board reviewed and endorsed staff's recommendations to the City Council to adopt these standards.This M&C does not request approval of a contract with a business entity.
The Standards affect programs in ALL COUNCIL DISTRICTS.