WALKER -- The Cass County Board voted Tuesday to support the effort of 55 churches in the county to seek a grant for volunteers to offer care services to people of all ages.
LuAnn Fransen of Hackensack said the "Faith in Action" program will offer transportation, respite care, friendly visits and simple homemaking to Cass County residents if the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grant is received.
The county board offered to write a letter of support, make client referrals for services and offer in-kind county staff support to the program if it becomes operational.
In other health and human services business Tuesday, Director Dorothy Opheim reported the department has expended 2 percent less than budgeted for social services the first third of the year.
Though there were the same number of children placed outside their own homes in March and April, 114, costs were lower in April.
Those placements cost the county $262,708 in March and $210,011 in April.
Kay Ahles, child support collections supervisor, reported the county is much more successful in collecting child support from non-custodial parents to pay to custodial parents than 10 or 20 years ago.
Last year, $2,041,343 was collected from 1,587 non-custodial parents, compared with $1,197,189 from 1,265 parents in 1995, $522,186 from 872 parents in 1990 and only $146,911 from 820 parents in 1981, she reported.
At the end of 2000, there were 498 cases involving people receiving family assistance benefits, 723 non-public assistance cases and 107 involving children in foster care, Ahles said. There also were 259 cases of parents in arrears on their payments for children who now are over age 18.
As of May 1, the department has 1,673 child support cases, up 86 from the first of this year.
Child support collections department is funded 66 percent by federal funds. The remaining county cost actually is about 10 percent, Ahles explained, because the staff works to earn federal and state bonuses.
These are paid for adjudicating paternity, establishing child support orders, modifying orders, obtaining additional medical support for children, collecting arrears payments and operating the office in a cost effective manner.
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