Kinship Care Support Programs Lose $1 million in 2021 State Budget

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

First and foremost, we hope that you are all safe and at home with your families.

We are writing to inform you about kinship funding in the final NYS budget, which passed yesterday, April 1. Below is a copy of the actual budget provisions.

The budget legislative add for the local kinship programs is down $950,000 from last year’s funding of $1,900,000. This is alarming and distressing. 

How did this happen? This year, the budget process was not “as usual.”  From the advocacy side, we did our job, got assurances from our “legislative champions” that they’d do all they could to maintain funding.  We held a successful education day in late February and also made sure that our budgets were included in chair letters to leadership. 

Why the shortfall is not yet known in full, but we have some idea as to what happened. 

This year, instead of both houses passing their own bills and then reconciling them, there was only one bill that was the same bill in each house.  There should have been $1,900,000 for local kinship services in the final budget add which would supplement the $338,750 in the Governor’s budget. We have confirmation from our Assembly champion that they added half of the expected $1.9 million ($950,000), and while they looked for a Senate partner to add in the other half, that effort failed in the end.

While the budget is done, other mechanisms might exist that could add the funds.  We are doing our part to find out more about what happened and what can be done, and welcome your thoughts and suggestions.

Sincerely,

Jerry, Rae, and Ryan

Aid to Localities

For  services  and  expenses of kinship care

    36    programs. Such funds are available  pursu-

    37    ant  to  a  plan prepared by the office of

    38    children and family services and  approved

    39    by  the director of the budget to continue

    40    or expand existing programs with  existing

    41    contractors    that   are   satisfactorily

    42    performing as determined by the office  of

    43    children and family services, to award new

    44    contracts  to  continue programs where the

    45    existing contractors are not satisfactori-

    46    ly performing as determined by the  office

    47    of  children  and  family  services and/or

    48    award new contracts through a  competitive

    49    process.  Such contracts shall provide for

    50    submission   of   information    regarding

    51    outcome  based  measures  that demonstrate

     1    quality of services provided  and  program

     2    effectiveness  to the office in a form and

     3    manner  and  at  such times as required by

     4    the office (14077) ……………………….. 338,750

     5  For  additional  services  and  expenses  of

     6    not-for-profit   and   voluntary  agencies

     7    providing support services to the caretak-

     8    er relative of a  minor  child  when  such

     9    services are provided to eligible individ-

    10    uals  and  families. Such funds are avail-

    11    able pursuant to a plan  prepared  by  the

    12    office of children and family services and

    13    approved  by the director of the budget to

    14    continue or expand existing programs  with

    15    existing  contractors  that  are satisfac-

    16    torily performing  as  determined  by  the

    17    office of children and family services, to

    18    award  new  contracts to continue programs

    19    where the  existing  contractors  are  not

    20    satisfactorily performing as determined by

    21    the office of children and family services

    22    and/or  to  award  new contracts through a

    23    competitive process ………………………. 950,000

40  For services and expenses  of  the  Catholic

    41    Family  Center  in Rochester to establish,

    42    operate,  and  administrate  a   statewide

    43    kinship  information,  education,  program

    44    services and referral network (14013) ………. 220,500

    45  For additional services and expenses of  the

    46    Catholic  Family  Center  in  Rochester to

    47    establish and operate a statewide  kinship

    48    information and referral network …………… 100,000

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