FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 17, 2011
(225) 342-6700 (o)
DCFS Secretary Says Cuts by House Committee to Drastically Impact Services
Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Secretary Ruth Johnson today issued the following statement regarding cuts made today by the House Appropriations Committee that would directly impact vital services to DCFS clients:
"Over the past three years, the Department of Children and Family Services, in working with the Legislature, has undertaken one of the largest reorganization and modernization efforts in state government in the past 20 years. During our transition, we have reduced our physical footprint by 42 percent, reduced the number of workers by 10 percent, and reduced our overall budget by 25 percent - all without impacting services to clients. The actions of the House Appropriations Committee today puts that work at risk, jeopardizes our modernization efforts and directly will impact the services that the public can receive. This is a 5 percent reduction, on top of the 27 percent in state general funds we have already reduced for the 2011-12 fiscal year. And when added to the millions in federal dollars the state will be giving up as a result of these cuts equals a potential disaster for Louisiana's children and families.
These reductions will impact every single person in our state. It puts children at risk, eliminates services for foster parents, impacts families receiving child support and food stamps and puts citizens in harms way during disasters by eliminating funding to United Way-211. Additionally, it indirectly impacts federally funded programs like the Nurse Family Partnership, which pairs nurses with families to help babies get a healthy start in life; Early Childhood Supports and pre-school initiatives, programs designed to boost young children's' school readiness; CASA, which provides court-appointed aids to children in the child welfare system; and domestic violence programs."