On November 12, the House of Representatives passed the FY21 budget. I am sharing with you a summary of a few sections, compiled by House Chair of the Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities Committee, Representative Kay Khan.
FY21 House Budget:
Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities Funding Highlights
Office of the Child Advocate
- Administration, 0930-0100, $2.1M, a $700K increase from FY20 to fund its broadened responsibilities to ensure effective cross-agency collaboration of early childhood and school-aged student wellness efforts to address barriers to student academic success, including access to social services mental health and behavioral resources.
Department of Children and Families
- Administration, Clinical Support Services, 4800-0015, $114.7M, a $4.9M increase from FY20.
- Foster Care Review Services, 4800-0025, $4.53M , about a $50,000 increase from FY20.
- Family Stabilization and Support Services, 4800-0040, $67.1M, a $3.6M increase from FY20 to provide services and in-home support that keeps children in their homes or reunifies them safely after they have been placed in foster care.
- Group Residential (Congregate) Care Services, 4800-0041, $293.4M, level funding for congregate care including the analyzation of Chapter 257 rate increases. Though fewer children are placed in congregate care than in family foster homes, congregate care is significantly more expensive. Every 10 children in congregate care costs over $1M a year. Requires DCF to evaluate the feasibility of maintaining the child in the community before placement.
- Foster Care Recruitment Campaign, 4800-0058, $750K, level funding for a campaign to find potential adoptive and foster parents. Report required to the Jt. Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities by March 12, 2021 on the number of new foster parents and by what method they were recruited.
- Child Welfare Training Institute, 4800-0091, $2.8M, level funding for training new DCF hires and current staff.
- Family Resource Centers, 4800-0200, $16M, a $1M increase from FY20 for state-wide centers serving at-risk youth and families, CRAs (Children Requiring Assistance) and survivors of natural disasters. These centers connect families to community and state services and provide educational programs, counseling, recreation activities and peer support.
- Social Workers 4800-1100, funded at $265.3M, an $9.9M increase from FY20 to increase staffing and lower caseloads in order to better monitor and serve families.
- Homeless Youth Shelter and Assistance, 4000-0007, $8M, a $4.7M increase from FY20.
Commission on the Status of Grandparents Raising Grandchildren
- Grandparent Commission, 0950-0030, $163.7K, a $49.7K increase from FY20 to support grandparents raising grandchildren.
Department of Developmental Services
- Administration, 5911-1003, $78.1M, a $3.4M increase from FY20 for the administration and operations.
- Transportation Services, 5911-2000, $33.3M, a $3.8M increase from FY20 to provide transportation for clients to community-based day and work programs.
- Community Residential Supports, 5920-2000, $1.3B, level funding for community-based residential programs, including intensive individual supports for adults with developmental disabilities.
- State-Operated Residential Supports, 5920-2010, $236.3M, a $4.8M increase from FY20 for state-operated community-based residential programs for adults with developmental disabilities including community health services.
- Community Day and Work Programs, 5920-2025, $239.6M, a $3.3M increase from FY20 to provide day and work programs to encourage independence and maximize community involvement.
- Respite Family Services, 5920-3000, $77.9M, a $7.8M increase from FY20 to provide needed respite for families and intensive family support.
- Autism Waiver Division and Reporting, 5920-3010, $7.4M, a $400k increase from FY20.
- Autism Omnibus Services, 5920-3020, $38.6M, a $11.1M increase from FY20 to provide autism services to families.
Department of Early Education and Care
- Center-Based Child Care Rate Increase, 3000-1042, $20M, level funding, to support high-quality programs.
- Child Care Resource and Referral Centers, 3000-2000, $11.1M, a $2.4M increase from FY20 for regional administration and coordination of services.
- Children’s Trust Fund, 3000-2050, $1.2M, level funding to support at-risk parents of young children through intensive home visits.
- Supportive and TANF Childcare, 3000-3060, $315.8M, a $39.8M increase from FY20 for Early Education and Care services for children with active DCF cases and for families currently involved with, or transitioning from, Transitional Aid to Families with Dependent Children. This appropriation includes funds for classroom stabilization and incentive pay due to COVID and requires the guidelines for these to be filed with the Jt. Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities by December 30, 2020.
- Income Eligible Child Care, 3000-4060, $286.7M, a $10.2M increase from FY20 providing childcare subsidies for low and moderate income families not eligible for other child care assistance, as well as classroom stabilization and incentive pay due to COVID. Guidelines for the same are to be filed with the Jt. Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities by December 30, 2020.
- Head Start, 3000-5000, $15M, a $4.5K increase over FY20.
- Home Visiting, 3000-7000, $16.4M, a $1M increase over FY20 for home visiting programs that provide guidance on effective parenting, child development and connections to other services.
Department of Housing and Community Development
- Emergency Assistance Family Shelter and Services, 7004-0101, $180M, a $14.3M increase from FY20 to provide emergency shelters for families. Language was also retained requiring advance notice to the Legislature of any negative changes to the Emergency Assistance program.
- Eligibility/Benefits Restriction Reporting, 7004-0101, requires 90-day notice to the Jt. Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities before imposing any new eligibility or benefits restrictions as in past years.
- Shelters and Services for Homeless Individuals, 7004-0102, $56.4M, a $2M increase over FY20.
- Home and Healthy for Good, 7004-0104, $3.9M, a $1.5M increase from FY20 that helps chronically homeless individuals to remain housed including $250K for housing LGBTQ+ homeless youth.
- Tenancy Preservation Program, 7004-3045, $1.5M, a $200K increase from FY20 to help preserve the tenancy of an individual with disabilities through the Housing Court.
Department of Transitional Assistance
- Administration, 4400-1000, $67.8M, a $219M increase over FY20.
- Healthy Incentives Program, 4400-1004, $13M, a $8.5M increase from FY20 to enable SNAP participants to purchase fresh fruit and vegetables at Farmers Markets throughout the state. Senior citizens comprise 50% of program participants.
- Caseworkers, 4400-1100, $80.4M, a $1.1M increase from FY20 for additional staff to efficiently process cases.
- TAFDC – Children’s Clothing Allowance, 4403-2000, $241M, a $36.5M increase from FY20 to fund transitional assistance for families with dependent children and a $350 Clothing Allowance to help very low-income families purchase back-to school and winter clothes for their children.
- Eligibility/Benefit Restriction Reporting, 4403-2000, 4408-1000, maintains language to give 75 day advance notice to the Legislature before implementing eligibility or benefit restrictions and requires clients to be notified of their eligibility for child care benefits. This provides time for the Legislature to act to prevent or modify proposed cuts in benefits or eligibility rules.
- Emergency Aid to Elders, Disabled and Children (EAEDC), 4408-1000, $90M, a $13.7M increase from FY20 to provide emergency cash assistance to qualifying elders, individuals with disabilities and children.
Department of Youth Services
- Administration, 4200-0010, $4.5M, a $100K increase from FY20.
- Enhanced Teacher Salaries, 4200-0500, $3.1M, level funding.
MA Commission for the Blind
- Administration, 4110-0001, $1.5M, level funding.
- Turning 22, 4110-2000, $14.1M, a $200K increase from FY20 for individuals who are aging out of services for youth.
MA Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
- Administration, 4125-0100, $6.9M, a $800K increase from FY19 for the Commission’s operation and services.
MA Rehabilitation Commission
- Independent Living Centers, 4120-0200, $7.1M, level funding for Independent Living Centers for persons with multiple disabilities.
- Administration, 4120-1000, $401K, a $4K increase from FY20.
- Head Injury Treatment, 4120-6000, $21.7M, a $1.3M increase from FY20 to provide services for individuals who have experienced serious head trauma.
Department of Agriculture
- Emergency Food Assistance, 2511-0105, $30.2M, a $11.3M increase from FY20.
Department of Mental Health
- Forensic Services, Juvenile Court Clinics, 5055-0000, $11.1M, a $100K increase from FY20.
Disabled Persons Protection Commission
- Administration, 1107-2501, $7.9M, a $3.3M increase from FY20 to fund the new Nicky’s Law Abuse Registry. DPPC is required to develop a 2-year hiring plan to address caseload reduction and a backlog by March 1, 20201.
Office of the Commissioner of Probation
- Juvenile Justice Diversion Programs, 0339-1005, $350K, level funding.