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DCFS Announces Reduction of $2.2 million in 2013 Mid-Year Budget

BATON ROUGE - The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services today announced a reduction of $2.2 million in state general funds for FY 2013, as well as the reallocation of $5.5 million in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding to achieve additional general fund savings.

"These reductions continue to build on our streamlining efforts that DCFS has taken over the past four years while at the same time ensuring that our core mission of making sure children are safe, helping individuals reach self-sufficiency and providing shelter during disasters is maintained," DCFS Secretary Suzy Sonnier said.

Reductions in state general funds (SGF) identified include:

  • $2.1 million -- Reduction of 114 vacant positions. These reductions will not result in any layoffs, as the positions are currently vacant.
  • $120,000 - DCFS is currently in negotiations with a potential mass shelter site to replace the Accent Building in Monroe, resulting in a lower lease amount.
The reallocation of $5.5 million in TANF funding includes:

  • $900,000 -- Community Supervision Program -- This is a new TANF initiative first funded in FY12. Savings will be realized by these services being funded through the Louisiana Behavioral Health Partnership for Medicaid eligible children under OJJ supervision.
  • $998,413 -- Family Violence Prevention and Intervention Program -- The current service delivery model for domestic violence services is moving away from costly residential care to more productive and less costly community-based services such as short-term hotel stays, resources to support family care and other alternatives. Other sources of funding for domestic violence services include a federal grant and a statutory dedication from fees on marriage licenses.
  • $529,445 -- Substance Abuse Treatment Program - DHH-OBH provides intense substance abuse screenings of Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) and other TANF eligible recipients as part of a pilot in nine parishes. The pilot will be discontinued and recipients will be screened utilizing the tool used in all other DCFS offices. DCFS will continue to work with DHH to ensure treatment continues to be provided.
  • $2,775,000 -- Early Childhood Supports and Services -- DCFS is working with DHH to identify Medicaid eligible services and other community resources to sustain services. Recipients currently served who have more intensive needs will be able to seek access and referral of services through the Louisiana Behavioral Health Partnership (LBHP). DCFS also will integrate into its early childhood training for providers the core components on how to identify risks and support families with resources in their community.
  • $212,500 -- Homeless Initiative -- Louisiana Housing Cooperation (LHC) has assumed responsibility for all statewide housing programs and is moving the service delivery model away from shelter care and toward programs to quickly move individuals and families to temporary and then permanent housing. DCFS is currently transitioning its housing program to LHC, resulting in savings of $212,500 in SFY13.
  • $140,000 -- Alternatives to Abortion -- DCFS is realizing savings as a result of a transition in contract services. Services still are being provided totaling more than $742,000 to individuals in SFY 13.
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