On January 29 the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services announced cuts to some vital programs for children, in response to a projected $86.6 million budget shortfall for the Department of Community Based Services. The planned cuts target the Kinship Care Program and the Child Care Assistance Program both of which affect thousands of families and children across the Commonwealth. Cutting the Kinship Care and Child Care Assistance Programs will cost the state more money in the long run, and make it harder for Kentucky to build a prosperous, competitive economy.
Cuts to child care subsidies will undoubtedly force some families to make drastic decisions; including quitting their job or leaving their children in inadequate and potentially unsafe care that puts them at risk of harm. These cuts further penalize the working poor-it’s taking a step backward on their quest to become self-reliant and provide a better future for their children.
Kentucky has been a national leader in helping grandparents and other relatives care for kids affected by abuse or neglect. Kids recover faster and better with relatives than with strangers even well-intentioned strangers. A kinship care subsidy for grandparents and other close relatives costs the state just $300 a month, while payments to foster care parents costs around $600 a month.
PLEASE ACT NOW TO PROTECT KIDS FROM CUTS:
- Contact Governor Steve Beshear and ask him to reprioritize state spending, support reopening the budget to find resources, or call a special session to create new revenue to support the needs of kids. Call his office at (502) 564-2611 or send a message electronically by visiting: http://governor.ky.gov/Pages/contact.aspx.
- Contact your state legislators and ask them to reopen the budget to find resources to support the needs of kids. Let them know how these cuts will affect you and your community.
- Forward this alert to others and ask them to act to protect kids from cuts.
I am writing this note in response to the email I received where the consideration of the government is to greatly reduce
the amount of federal funding for children in our early childhood programs. As a worker in the Head Start program, I can
see the basics are so necessary for these children, especially those who have learning, social and emotional difficulties.
How can the government who quoted they would cut spending and tax the rich, begin this humiliating money cuts on the
needy children, who are the basis of our United States of American. What are they thinking if some mothers cannot work
or fathers and can’t provide the adequate educational basic need of Developmentally Appropriate Practices, so needed
by our young children. Doris M. Bullington, BS
— Katie and Kramer Adventures
Doris M. Bullington BS
Family and Child Studies
2731 Kingman Loop North
Owensboro, Ky. 42301
Actually the cost differential between Kinship Card and foster care after commitment to the state is much higher.
First committed children have social workers who are responsible for monitoring their care. And those workers have supervisors.
State foster care rates begin in the low $20/day but for sibling groups the per diem is higher. Should there NOT be a state run home available for a child/ children the next option is a foster home managed by a private agency. Those rates start in the $40 range and go up according the the needs displayed by the child/ children. Sibling group incentives are often paid. That rate can get up into the $90 per day per child when a child displays significant needs, that might have been managed by a relative but not an out of family home.
Removal from family can lead to more and more need for therapy and other services.
So the $300vrs$600 comparison is missing real costs by maybe twice.
This is a great point, Lea. $600 is a conservative estimate that only takes into account the payment to foster care families and not the other costs to the state.