DPSS News July 2020
SPENDING TIGHTENS BUT HIRING TO CONTINUE IN BUDGET YEAR AHEAD
D espite a rocky budget year ahead, the Board of Supervisors has unanimously agreed to maintain county funding for DPSS, with the supervisors citing strong support for the organization’s mission and their appreciation for the complexity of its caseloads. Fifth District Supervisor Jeff Hewitt said he was skeptical early on about the role of DPSS and that his eyes were “opened” when he accompanied a Children’s Services social worker on a ride along to check on children and families. “This is such an emotional and demanding job,” Hewitt said during the county’s budget hearings late last month in downtown Riverside. “It is really one of the toughest jobs there is.” Sayori Baldwin, director of DPSS, said it was essential that DPSS continue to recruit and hire qualified social workers and supervisors as the department focuses on the delivery of quality services and organizational efficiencies. “I am so grateful for our Board’s support,” said Baldwin. “This crucial investment underscores our supervisors’ commitment to protecting vulnerable children and adults, and their interest in ensuring resources are available to local communities at an unprecedented economic time.” The 2020-21 fiscal year began July 1.
TOTAL APPROPRIATIONS: $1,153,288,785
THE NET COUNTY COST (NCC) ACCOUNTS FOR 5.9% OF THE DPSS BUDGET.
Most of the $1.15 billion annual budget for DPSS comes from the federal and state governments. However, just under 6% comes from Riverside County. Much of the county investment is required for DPSS to draw down funding from state and federal programs. Officials say cuts by the county would have meant much larger fiscal losses for the department. Monica Bentley, chief financial officer for DPSS, says a budget agreement from the State of California to backfill other lost revenues also helped stabilize the financial outlook for the coming year. But, she cautions, the department is “not out of the woods.” “We will be carefully considering all spending. Savings will be pursued in many areas,” Bentley said, adding that plans to close some DPSS facilities in coming months could yield some reductions in overhead costs. “As the economy recovers, it will be necessary to monitor the recovery rate and assess what our funding streams will be able to support in the future,” Bentley says. “While it appears that economic recovery has begun, it will not happen overnight.”
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