MADISON – The Department of Children and Families (DCF) announced today the funding amounts for the 2019-20 Children and Families Allocation (CFA) paid to counties. The figures reflect the increase to the CFA made through the 2019-21 state budget.
The opioid epidemic has drastically impacted the need for additional county welfare services. Since 2009, referral for child protective services (CPS) increased by more than 40 percent. Over that same period, the CFA only saw an increase of 9.5 percent, forcing counties to pick up a growing share of costs associated with child welfare services. The 2019-21 budget provided a $30.5 million increase over the biennium to assist counties with increased workloads, caseloads, and out-of-home placements associated with the increase in CPS referrals.
“The department is committed to working with our partners to keep kids safe and supported in their homes, and to provide families with the services they need to be successful,” said DCF Secretary-designee Emilie Amundson. “This funding increase would not have happened had it not been for the spotlight placed on this issue by the Wisconsin Counties Association, the commitment of Governor Evers to live his values, and the legislature’s willingness to commit serious resources.”
“Wisconsin counties are on the front lines of the heroin, opioid, and meth epidemic, which has had a staggering impact on our children and families across the state,” said Wisconsin Counties Association Executive Director Mark D. O’Connell. “We commend the Governor and the Legislature for this increase in county child welfare allocations, as it will allow counties to serve even more children and families in crisis. We appreciate their commitment to the state and county partnership and are grateful for these additional resources to help many struggling Wisconsinites.”
“The allocations bring significant and much needed help to counties,” said Jason Witt, Director of La Crosse County Human Services. “These additional funds will help counties hire additional child protective services workers and assist in covering the surging costs of out-of-home placements.”
The increased dollars are distributed proportionally to counties based on past CFA methodology, with the exception being that all counties will see a minimum increase of $100,000. This amount reflects the cost of hiring at least one social worker. A full list of CFA amounts can be found by visiting the child welfare funding page on the DCF website.