Essentially, the Department of Economic Security’s (DES) key option is providing a permanent residency for children. Moreover, the benefits attributed to the children include increased well-being through permanent home, consequently reduced caseloads for the court system, case administrators and the cost per child. It is imperative to note that this agency collaborates with the government financing bodies to carry out the operations. It is notable that the cost savings and workload reductions allied to this process are fundamental since the state struggles with the limited resources to ensure that children get permanent homes (Arizona, 2009). It is imperative to note that the adoption program enhances adoption maintenance payments, which are given to the adoptive parents with children who have special needs. This is done pursuant to the state law. It is notable that DES has been a state leader in raising the number of finalized exceptional needs adoptions.
It is approximated that the current subsidy rate is $700 monthly, which adds up to the $8400 per year. This rate has been in operation since FY 09 up to FY 13. DES requests an increase of $175 to add up to $875 per month in the FY 2014 (Arizona, 2009). The cost of homes is more than $3000 per month, which is significantly higher than the cost of adoption subsidy. On the other hand, the cost of residency in a foster care homes varies from $880 to $1425 monthly with inclusion of case management cost. This cost varies due to the dependency of foster care placement on the needs of children. In the FY 14, the adoption program caseload is projected to rise by 10%. On similar note the number of children receiving the adoption subsidy is estimated to be 15, 730 in FY14.
The agency further proposes an additional $3,753,750 to address the projected adoption plan in the FY14. These funds are fundamental in moving the adopted children from the foster homes to permanent residences. Analysis of this budget request indicates serious and urgent need for additional money for the adoption program. However, when weighing this issue with other issues such as highway improvements and staffing, expansion of fundamental services for low earners, teacher’s salaries, student supplies, it is somehow impractical to implement this budget request (Adamec & Miller, 2007). This goes in line with the limited resources available to serve the numerous emerging issues.
This budget request demands apt adjustments, which might hamper the overall goal of increasing the adoption program caseload to some extent. It is recommendable to adjust the cost of the current subsidy rate to $800 instead of the projected value of $875. This will add up to $9600 per annum. This decrease will cause a consequent decline in the total amount of money ($3,753,750) requested by the agency (Arizona, 2009). It is notable that a decrease of approximately $1 millon will be caused by this adjustment. However, the estimated adoption program caseload of 15,730 might be achieved fully (Arizona, 2009). This adjustment is vital due to the limited resources available to be distributed to the numerous sectors of the state. It is the responsibility of the agency to fit the adjusted budget to their estimates and achieve the set goals.
The cost of moving the child from the foster care homes to permanent homes is relatively higher. It is recommended for an adjustment of $1000, such that, affordable group homes and shelters can be given priority. The search for affordable and permanent homes and shelters is attributed to two factors, which include the fundamental need to move children from the foster care system and the scarce resources available (Rudiger, 2010). It is imperative that this adjustment and the consequent suggestion of cheap homes is intended for the agency (DES) to achieve its goals, and the children are not left to languish in the foster care homes and consequently increase the foster care placement costs. However, the agency should bear in mind that the cheap homes and shelters are not easily available and this calls for determination, transparency and accountability in utilizing the allocated funds. In essence, the total annual cost for the FY is adjusted to an estimate of $12,763,750. This represents an increase of approximately 26% over the prior year (Arizona, 2009). In addition, the caseload per month is approximated to be at 1,250, which is 7%, increment over the prior year.
The recommended downward adjustments may hamper the projected adoption program caseload of 15,730. The adjusted funds are projected to attain a slightly lesser figure than the agency’s. It is imperative to note that more children will be left in the foster care homes, which has proved to be disastrous to majority of the children (Rudiger, 2010). In addition, it is notable that the reduced budget may not enable DES to sustain the adoption program as projected for the FY 14. This implies that DES might not realize its overall strategy of increasing permanent residency for children.
In conclusion, the state is required to find additional sources of funding DES in order to enhance permanent residency for the adopted children.