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RBC | Rio Blanco County held the budget workshop for the Department of Human Services on Oct. 28. Making budget cuts to DHS is “tricky” because many of the programs, like food assistance, are at least partially reimbursed by the State of Colorado.
“If you really want to meet that 5% mark, you have to go through program by program to decrease costs,” Finance Director Janae Stanworth told the board.
Ways to collaborate and share services with Moffat County as a way for both counties to save money and help address staffing shortages and get programs operating smoothly had been mentioned in prior work sessions.
“Getting these programs strong is more important than the savings,” said Commissioner Jeff Rector.
An investigation by the state into Moffat County’s DHS program about caseworkers allegedly falsifying reports was reported on by the Colorado Sun last month. A second article by the Sun published Wednesday states Moffat County’s DHS Director left her position the day after the original article was published, and, according to documents from a Moffat County Commissioner meeting, said Moffat was looking for a new director to oversee departments in Moffat and Rio Blanco Counties.
Moffat County Commissioners met on Oct. 27 and, according to an article in the Craig Press, “…agreed to a Personnel Requisition Form for a dual-county DHS Director. Whomever fills the position would work in Moffat County 60% of the time, with the other 40% spent in Rio Blanco.”
That position has been advertised on the State of Colorado’s website, and the state reimburses the DHS Director’s salary 80/20.
Staffing and training are an ongoing challenge for human services departments, which handle child welfare and adult protective services, nationwide.
By NIKI TURNER | firstname.lastname@example.org