Program Authorization: R.S. 36:477(B)
The mission of the Client Services Program is to help people meet basic needs and move toward self-sufficiency through the provision of direct services to applicants and recipients of benefits under the federally funded programs administered by the Office of Family Support.
The goals of the Client Services Program are:
1. Increase the efficiency and effectiveness of operations within the Office of Family Support.
2. Continue the implementation of the provisions of the Family Support Act of 1988.
3. Improve the quality of work life for OFS staff in the Client Services Program.
The program main activities include: Eligibility Determinations for FITAP (former AFDC), FINDWORK Training program (former JOBS), Food Stamps, Child Support Enforcement Services, and Disability Determinations Services.
The Financial Assistance Division was established to administer programs which recognize each individual's need for an income that will provide him with the basic necessities of life consistent with a standard of decency, and in recognition of the fact that some individuals have physical, mental or societal handicaps which effectively deny them the opportunity of achieving a goal of self-support. Programs include Family Independence Temporary Assistance (FITAP), Refugee Assistance, Disaster Relief, and Transitional Services to former FITAP recipients.
The FINDWORK Training Program was established to assure that needy families with children obtain the education, training and employment that will help avoid long-term welfare dependence.
The Food Stamp Program is a cooperative effort of Louisiana's Department of Social Services and the Untied States Department of Agriculture to provide low-income households in Louisiana an opportunity to obtain a more nutritious diet.
The Child Support Enforcement Program provides child support enforcement services on an ongoing basis to FITAP recipients and non-FITAP applicants.
OBJECTIVES AND PERFORMANCE INDICATORS
1. In FY 1998-99, the Office of Family Services, through its Entitlement Operations, will provide Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program regular benefits to an estimated caseload of 53,365 and an average monthly caseload of 131 of two-parent households.
2. The Office of Family Support, through its Entitlement Operations, will process 100% of redeterminations and 100% of applications within required time frames and reduce the agency error rate to 5% in the Food Stamp Program by June 30, 1999.
3. The Office of Family Support, through its Entitlement Operations, will maintain an overall participation rate of 35% and a two-parent family participation rate of 90% as defined by federal regulation in the FINDWORK Program by October 1, 1999.
4. In FY 1998-99, the Office of Family Support, through its Disability Determinations activity, will maintain the mean processing time (72 days for Title II and 82 days for Title XVI) and meet or exceed current level of accuracy (95.5%) in making determinations for disability benefits.
5. In FY 1998-99, the Office of Family Support, through its Child Support Enforcement activity, will maintain an overall collection rate of 13% of delinquent child support payments, and provide child support enforcement services on an ongoing basis to Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) recipients and Non-FITAP applicants in the most efficient manner possible.
RESOURCE ALLOCATION FOR THE PROGRAM
SOURCE OF FUNDING
This program is funded with general fund, interagency transfers, self-generated revenues and federal funds. The interagency transfers are from: (1) agencies within the department for joint and shared costs, and (2) the Department of Health and Hospitals for joint and shared costs for Medicaid services. The self-generated revenues are from: (1) Title IV-D Child Support Enforcement collections, (2) various other collections including the state share of recoveries, recoupments, and refunds, and (3) Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP) Child Support Collections or fees from current and/or prior fiscal year(s). The federal funds are from: (1) Social Security Act (SSA), Title IV-D, Support Enforcement, (2) Food Stamp Act of 1977 (P.L. 95-113), (3) Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980 (P.L. 212), (4) Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Grant, (5) Child Care Block Grant, (6) Social Security Act -Disabilities Determinations, (7) U.S. Citizen Repatriation (P.L. 86-571 and Section 1113 of the Social Security Act), and (8) U.S. Department of Agriculture-Food and Consumer Service.
ANALYSIS OF RECOMMENDATION
Carryforward of various equipment (file cabinets - $1,651; desk - $935; chairs - $1,994; computers, hardware, software) purchases; all are for purchases that could not be liquidated prior to June 30, 1997
Non-Recurring Carryforward for various equipment (file cabinets - $1,651; desk - $935; chairs - $1,994; computers, hardware, software) purchases; all are for purchases that could not be liquidated prior to June 30, 1997
The total means of financing for this program is recommended at 107% of the existing operating budget. It represents 92.8% of the total request ($227,046,197) for this program. The major changes reflected in the analysis of recommendation include: increased funding for the annualized cost of filing fees paid to the Clerk of Court offices totaling $1,975,549; decreased funding for District Attorney contracts for support enforcement services totaling ($1,411,326); increased funding for the annualized cost of the Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) contract totaling $771,450; increased funding for the annualization of a Food Stamps grant for employment and training totaling $3,408,966; decreased funding to Local Governments for funds that are no longer required due to the implementation of EBT totaling ($1,661,549); personnel reductions reflecting a reduction of fifty (50) positions totaling ($1,521,150); increased funding has been provided for all 3,397 recommended positions totaling $3,278,644; increased funding for the annualized cost of 11 positions that were funded for six (6) months during FY 1997-'98 totaling $87,331; increased funding to reflect an anticipated attrition factor of 3.5% totaling $432,814; increased funding for the consolidation of Child Support Enforcement collections totaling $1,655,000; and a technical adjustment transferring the Clerk of Court payments per Act 201 of 1997 from the Client Payments program to the Client Services program totaling $5,944,451.
Included as a source of funding is the TANF grant. This grant is part of a comprehensive piece of federal legislation (The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996) that will provide assistance to needy families with children so they can be cared for in their own home, and to reduce dependency by promoting job preparation, work and marriage. The legislation eliminates the open-ended federal entitlement program of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and places a time limitation on cash assistance. The legislation also makes changes to child care, the Food Stamps program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for children, benefits for legal immigrants, and the Child Support Enforcement program. States must meet an 80% Maintenance-Of-Effort (MOE) to receive their full block grant allocation. The MOE level is based upon a state's Fiscal Year 1994 spending on AFDC, now called FITAP (Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program) and JOBS, now called FINDWORK.
Legal services for state share to litigate class action and individual suits against Federal agencies; presently engaged in class and individual actions regarding quality control error rate sanctions against the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Food Stamp fiscal sanctions per a settlement between the state and the federal government for prior year error rates (year 4 of 5 year settlement totaling $2.2 million); these funds are reinvested into the state's Food Stamps program to enhance services
ACQUISITIONS AND MAJOR REPAIRS
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