SALINAS/SANTA CRUZ, CA – The Monterey County Department of Social and Employment Services and the Santa Cruz County Human Services Department in a joint release are prepared to respond to the Governor’s proposed cuts to Child Welfare Services (CWS) and Adult Protective Services (APS) programs. If the proposed cuts to these vital programs remain in the budget with the May Revise, hundreds of vulnerable abused and neglected children, seniors and dependent adults will be at increased risk for harm.
Cuts will harm children, seniors and dependent adults.
These are the only programs that respond 24 hours a day/7 days a week to reports of often life-threatening abuse and neglect. It is vital for reports of abuse and neglect to be fully investigated as quickly as possible, to ensure the safety of the victims. Any cuts would result in further injury, pain and suffering for hundreds of Monterey Bay Area residents.
Child Abuse Statistics
- In Monterey County 368 reports of suspected child abuse are made monthly and 463 children reside in foster care.
- In Santa Cruz County 260 reports of suspected child abuse are made monthly and approximately 300 children reside in foster care.
Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Statistics
- In Monterey County 55 reports of suspected abuse are made monthly and 120 individuals at risk receive ongoing services.
- In Santa Cruz County approximately 52 reports of suspected abuse are made monthly and 60 individuals at risk receive ongoing services.
Cuts will cost more in the long run.
Children and seniors at risk – whom our programs often assist before situations become life-threatening – will go without services, and we will likely see them again after conditions grow worse.
In Child Welfare, as local budgets are strained, prevention and early intervention efforts in child welfare are likely to be reduced or eliminated altogether; and, when services are cut, more children languish in foster care or remain in dangerous family circumstances. The end result is higher foster care costs and even larger caseloads that strain local law enforcement, the juvenile court system, and other services systems and community programs.
In Adult Protective Services, only the most egregious incidents of abuse and neglect will receive services. A reduction of APS services to protect seniors may shift costs to law enforcement, paramedics, and hospital emergency rooms. Without timely services and interventions, abused and neglected seniors will face longer hospitalization stays and placement into nursing homes. All of this comes at a higher cost to taxpayers.
Cuts will turn back the clock on progress and result in lost federal funding.
In child welfare, any cuts will reverse any positive trends made to improve child welfare outcomes and will potentially expose the state to millions of dollars in federal fiscal sanctions. Further, the loss of state funding for CWS and APS will be compounded by lost federal matching dollars, magnifying the impact at the local level.
If these hurtful cuts remain in the Governor’s May Revise and you wish to receive more information, both County Department’s will have experts on hand for interviews with consumers directly affected by these cuts.