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Indiana Department of Child Services to reinvest $10 Million to strengthen families

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INDIANAPOLIS (May 2, 2012) – The Indiana Department of Child Services announced it will issue nearly $10 million in rate increases to community-based service providers beginning this week. The agency says this is a step in making good on a commitment it made in 2010 to service providers who help to keep children safely at home or with relatives.

“When the economy created a budget crisis, many service providers helped us meet the needs of Indiana children and families by temporarily lowering their rates so we would not have to cut programs,” said DCS Director James Payne.

With the new contract adjustments, approximately 300 providers of child and family social services will receive increases from 8 to 15 percent in the rates DCS currently pays. These community-based service providers provide therapy, parenting-skill building, child development education, drug treatment, domestic-violence and other services to meet the needs of families.

DCS relies heavily on these organizations to successfully implement a best practice known as ‘safely home families first.’ “Our goal is to keep children safely in their homes, if possible, or with their own extended family members first, which lessens the disruption in their lives if they must be removed from their home,” said Payne. “This is a practice Indiana has adopted that’s proving to be more beneficial to children in the short term and long term.”

DCS has been working closely with these providers over the past year to ensure that the efforts to safely home families first are a success.

“Through our partnership, DCS has demonstrated their willingness to assist us in supporting and protecting Indiana’s most vulnerable families and children,” said Nancy Hughes, Indiana Coalition of Family-Based Services facilitator. “They listened to us, demonstrated respect, and worked internally toward successful implementation of safely home families first.”

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