Two Stories on Impact of Social Agency Budget Cuts

Center for Child Welfare to Close
The governor’s budget would effectively kill MTSU’s Center for Child Welfare by ending a contract with the Department of Children’s Services next fiscal year, reports the Daily News Journal.
The center, which is responsible for training social workers across Tennessee, employs nearly 60 people who are based at the Bank of America building in Murfreesboro. It runs social worker training with eight universities across the state through a $14 million state contract with the Department of Children’s Services.
Interim Director John Sanborn predicted 80 to 90 people would lose jobs if the contract is not renewed. It is the center’s main contract and makes up 99 percent of its work.
“We will no longer exist if this happens,” Sanborn said.
Under Gov. Bill Haslam’s budget proposal, the state would see a savings of $11.7 million, some $3.1 million of which would be from the state level, according to a state spokeswoman.
DCS would bring the training service “in-house” and hire several positions to replace those lost through the Center for Child Welfare, Suddarth said.


Family Service Agencies Cut
Some local folks are decrying a cut in Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposed budget that could mean the end for the Family Resource Center, which provides a myriad of important services for Sevier County residents, reports the Mountain Press.
A letter-writing campaign is being mounted in support of the local agency, which is led by Kim Loveday, and the 103 other ones across the state in hopes Haslam or state lawmakers will be swayed to save the funding. If he doesn’t, it could slash a big hole in a safety net that protects at-risk children, provides education for new parents, allocates resources to help pregnant teens and watches out for the elderly.
Loveday, an eternally busy woman who speaks quickly and with deep passion about the cause she leads, says there’s no certainty what will happen if the state funding is lost. While the agency also gets money from county and federal coffers, it’s unlikely those sources would be able to step up to cover the shortfall, meaning she may have to close her doors.
“We just don’t know because there could be a way that it survives, but who has the money right now to make that up? Everybody is trying to keep their budgets tight,” she says. “Right now it looks like all the centers are likely to be closed unless something is changed.”

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