Agencies react to DHS reduction cuts

Agencies react to DHS reduction cuts
(Source KSWO)
(Source KSWO)

LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - A local Youth and Family Service Center is reacting after The Oklahoma Department of Human Services announced 30 million dollar reductions over the next fiscal year.

The reductions were announced last Tuesday. They include a six-month freeze on new applications for child care subsidies, reductions to certain types of services for seniors and those with disabilities, nutritional programs, and a five percent rate cut to foster home and adoption assistance payments.
The Oklahoma State Legislature increased DHS funding by 18 million dollars this year, but DHS officials said it's not enough.
Here in Lawton, there are several agencies that receive funding through DHS.

The Marie Detty Youth and Family Services has two programs that are contracted through The Department of Human Services.
The Parker Pointe Girls Group Home, which helps girls with counseling after they have been abused and neglected in their lives, and there Resource Family Assessment helps people become potential foster care parents could possibly be affected.

Clinical Director for Marie Detty Linda Griffith-Lambert knew funding cuts could come at any time.

"At this point we are dedicated to make it work, you know whatever we have to do to continue to provide services....we are just going to try to do the best with the services that we have," said Griffith-Lambert.

The Marie Detty Youth and Family Services has several funding sources to keep the program going, which include United Way and community fundraisers. They have contracts with The Oklahoma Office of Juvenile Affair,The Oklahoma Healthcare Authority, and The Department of Human Services that help fund some of their programs.

"Our girls group home Parker Pointe is pretty much exclusively DHS custody kids so that would possibly be affected and then our contract to complete home studies for Perspective Foster Parents," said Griffith-Lambert.

Griffith-Lambert has seen cuts happening in other programs happening in the state. She said the DHS reductions are devastating for kids and families.

"DHS has to have places for kids to go when they have been in a neglectful home or abusive situation and services that exist are valuable and if we lose would be a real detriment to the community," said Griffith-Lambert.

She only wishes legislatures could find another solution to the reductions.

"These services are valuable and important and that losing them would create bigger problems for the state," said Griffith-Lambert.

Griffith-Lambert said she is a little nervous about the future and what will happen if cuts continue to happen, but she is confident they will be able to work it out and manage any circumstances they face. She adds they are always looking for volunteers, board directors, and donations. More information can be found on their website.

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