Care providers win further DCS concessions
A settlement announced Tuesday between Indiana’s Department of Child Services and the agency representing foster- and residential-care providers ends another hard-fought battle for child protection advocates.
DCS will adjust cost-of-living rates to providers and pay for more staff. The agreement also includes a one-year adjustment on rates for calendar year 2013. The state estimates the adjustment will cost $15 million. DCS also has approved a cost-of-living increase of 3.22 percent in 2013 to foster families for abused and neglected children.
DCS listened to our concerns, and we came to an agreement on what are reasonable costs related to the care of these vulnerable children, said Cathleen Graham, executive director of IARCCA, an Association of Children & Family Services. There is further work to be done, and we are equally pleased that DCS agreed to meet regularly in partnership to enhance Indiana’s child welfare system. It takes both the public and private sectors working together to truly meet the complex needs of these abused, neglected and delinquent children and their families.
DCS voluntarily reverted to state coffers $104 million in fiscal year 2011 and $16.3 million in fiscal year 2012 to help build the state’s surplus. Indiana taxpayers are set to receive tax credits of $111 each next year, based on the surplus.