The Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee unanimously approved a series of supplemental appropriations – allocations of funds within the current budget year – this morning, including a plan to increase the state’s child welfare staff. Caseloads have been soaring; there were 2,714 children in foster care in Idaho in fiscal year 2017, a 6 percent increase from the previous year and 13 percent higher than 2013’s count. Plus, increasingly, more kids are coming onto foster care than are leaving; last year, 184 more kids arrived in Idaho’s foster care system than left. The nationwide opioid crisis is the likely culprit, according to state budget documents, as more and more parents become drug addicts. The increase in child welfare staffing was a...
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JFAC backs boost in child-welfare staffing