Thursday, February 17, 2011

Make your voice heard...

I received this e-mail message today from our foster care agency here in TX. Right now the daily stipend for a foster child needing basic care is $23.00/day. I know that most people don't decide to become foster parents for the money but I DO know that for some people who would be open to foster care they may be turned off at the prospect of having so many out of pocket expenses for a foster child so if they decrease the daily repayment even further I really worry that the number of families willing to take on children (especially sibling groups) is going to decline. CPS is already overworked, underpaid, and undermanned. I honestly simply can NOT believe that this funding decrease is even on the table. Texas is already one of the states with the least amount of money allocated to child welfare and yet we're one of the largest states in the nation with an insane amount of children in state care.

Please read the e-mail below, and if you feel called to speak up for these innocent children who have already endured so much, and to support the people who are willing to stand in the gap for them - please send an e-mail to the address below and let them know that enough is enough. The state will spend millions to keep these kids' parents in jail (I don't mean to generalize here) but it won't cover the expenses to keep them loving homes, where they can feel safe.

Greetings Covenant Kids Family,

The House Appropriations Committee is meeting today to hear testimony about their proposed decimating cuts to funding for DPFS/CPS. Their proposed cuts would mean 800fewer staff at DFPS, most from CPS. It would mean serious case load increases in Family-based Safety Services and CVS. It would mean a significant cut in day care services for foster parents and an even worse cut for day care for relatives who care for the children. It would mean 1% cuts to adoption subsidies and no new subsidies for the next two years. It would mean a funding cut of 5 % to foster care reimbursement. It would mean no money for caseload growth even though DFPS predicts significant growth over the next two years. According to DFPS Commissioner Heiligenstein, in order to provide services to the caseload growth, she will have to use foster care reimbursement funds, thus making the cuts to foster care reimbursement 12%.

You can write your concerns and comments and email them to the House Appropriations Committee. You do not need to come to Austin to be heard. Please seriously consider writing to the committee members and ask your friends, relatives and other foster and adoptive families to do the same. Email your comments to Nelda.Hunter_hc@House.state.tx.us.

This is the worst scenario Texas foster care has ever faced. We must each speak up and speak out to advocate for the abused and neglected children of this state, those who manage and provide services to them and to those who care for them 24/7.
Thank you for your attention to this very important matter. If you have any questions regarding these concerns, please contact your CK Case Manager or Case Management Supervisor.

Covenant Kids

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