To hear an audio recording of the 30 minute news conference announcing this reallocation of funds, click here.
INDIANAPOLIS (June 27, 2012) – The Indiana Department of Child Services announced today it will reallocate $12.6 million of its annual budget to new and enhanced services for children and families. DCS expects to provide services for more than 11,000 additional families annually and will invest more than $37.8 million over the next three years.
“When we look across the spectrum of what really works in protecting children from child abuse and neglect, we find it’s the range of community-based services that bring the greatest gains to the effort,” said Director James Payne. “Therefore, it follows that reallocating our budget to establish new programs, and more intensely support some existing programs, is best for children and families in crisis.”
The funding will expand services to families that have open cases with DCS, and continue services for some families after their formal DCS case has closed. Funding also will cover prevention services for some families who face crises or circumstances that could put them at risk.
"The dollars that the state has given in the past for Community Partners to provide child abuse and neglect prevention has been transformative in its outreach and results,” said Ron Carpenter, Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Bureau, Inc. “Over the past six years these dollars have managed to show real outcomes in reducing the effects of abuse and neglect on the children in the state of Indiana. These new dollars will be significant in expanding services to meet a growing need for families at high risk for becoming part of the system."
DCS will reallocate existing budget funds to the following programs:
• Community Partners: DCS will reallocate an additional $5.3 million each year for the next three years to expand its services through the Community Partners for Child Safety initiative. This service will be available to support families who need more help to ensure they are able to provide a safe and stable environment for their children. DCS anticipates about 5,300 additional families can be assisted via this reallocation.
• Healthy Families: DCS will reallocate an additional $2 million each year for the next three years to provide services to high risk families with children up to three years old. DCS anticipates approximately 450 additional families will receive assistance.
• Relative Care: DCS will reallocate an additional $2 million each year for the next three years to cover additional services for relatives caring for children who have been removed from their homes. DCS anticipates 2,700 additional families can be served.
• Concrete Support Services: DCS will reallocate an additional $1.3 million each year for the next three years to families that need the basics, such as food and shelter, which can allow them to progress to other services later, such as therapy, treatment programs, domestic violence services, etc. DCS anticipates an additional 2,600 families can be served.
• After-Care Services: DCS will reallocate an additional $2 million each year for the next three years to establish a new program to provide services to families for six months after their DCS case is closed. DCS anticipates approximately 850 additional families will receive services.
Additional Funding for New, Older Foster Youth Program
DCS also will allocate $10 million to establish a new, older foster youth program, known as Collaborative Care. This program will offer housing and educational options for children who leave foster care after they turn 18 years of age. Collaborative Care will support apartment and dorm living, and will be available for older children preparing to leave foster care and those who already have left foster care but would like to return. This new program was established as a collaboration between older foster youth, Indiana court professionals, service providers and DCS.
About Indiana Department of Child Services (DCS)
DCS is committed to protecting children who are victims of abuse or neglect. The agency’s primary goal is to safely keep these children at home with their families by offering appropriate support services. If safety continues to be a concern, children are placed with relatives or in foster care. DCS also oversees adoptions from the foster care system and manages the Child Support Bureau. The Kids First Trust Fund, supported by the sale of ‘Kids First’ specialty automobile license plates, subsidizes programs designed to prevent child abuse and neglect. Indiana Child Abuse/Neglect Hotline: 800.800.5556. www.in.gov/dcs.