WALKER --The Cass County Human Services 2001 budget is running as projected, despite the fact the county share of out-of-home child-care placements was 10 percent over budget at the end of August.
Health and Human Services Director Dorothy Opheim reported Tuesday out-of-home child-care costs were 73 percent of budget after 67 percent of the year.
Because the county has collected less than projected from SSI, Social Security, non-custodial parent child support and other possible reimbursements, the county share of those expenses was actually at 77 percent of projected costs.
Part of the reason, she said, is that group home correctional facility and miscellaneous costs (including transportation to facilities) all have risen this year.
Less expensive emergency services and foster home care are the only out-of-home placement costs to have dropped compared with 2000 costs, she said.
This summer, there were 134 children in placement in June, 126 in July and 105 in August. Last year for the same months there were 113, 81 and 123 children in placement.
Costs last year for those months were $269,237, $172,463 and $259,414. This year, costs for the summer months rose to $297,219, $298,360 and $280,476.
Through August, Opheim reported correctional costs are $189,420 higher than last year, group home costs $112,612 higher and miscellaneous costs $11,754 higher.
She told the board probation officers and health and the human services children services division supervisor will advise the board in October some of the reasons they see for these increases.
Opheim reported state reimbursements to the county for health and human services programs would not be made if there is a state employee strike, beginning Oct. 1.
She said the social services fund does have a two to three month cash balance cushion, but health services does not.
Commissioners expressed concern over potential interest income losses on the human services fund.
Commissioners Glenn Witham and Jim Demgen suggested the board cut services rather than use county reserves during the strike period. No action was taken Tuesday on this issue.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.