State budget cuts harm states most vulnerable citizens: Children

As states propose their budgets for fiscal year 2012, there is a grown trend. Iowa, Texas and Nevada are just a few of the states who are cutting funds to social services.

In Nevada, state lawmakers are proposing a 16 percent cut to family services. This could reverse the years of progress the state has made since 2006.

Iowa Governor Terry Brandstand already cut $240,077 from the Iowa Child Advocacy Board, which oversees the Iowa Court Appointed Special Advocate and Foster Care Review Board programs, in 2011. He is proposing to cut another $160,817 from their budget.

And in Texas, lawmakers are proposing a 13 percent cut, which equates to a reduction of $2.2 billion to programs like child protection services and investigations, foster care and adoption payments, child abuse or neglect prevention programs, family violence services and communities in schools.

These proposed cuts can and will harm these states most vulnerable citizens: foster care children. Many of these cuts will lead to social workers with overloaded cases, shortages in workers and cutbacks in needed services to children. In Nevada, the proposed cuts would skyrocket case worker’s case loads, allowing them to only spend 20 minutes with each child.

As more states propose budget cuts to social services time will only tell what these cuts will do to children in the foster care system. CASA Advocates are needed now more than ever. Join the cause and speak up for a child today before it is too late. Log onto to find a local CASA for Children in your area or click here to volunteer in Atlantic and Cape May Counties.

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