Should the governor ask all state departments to slash 10 percent of their budget, that axe might fall on some jobs at the local level of the Department of Family and Children Services (DFCS).
The state DFCS office has already ordered some local workers to take days off without pay.
The next step might be layoffs.
“If the governor asks for a 10 percent cut budget, I don’t know what else there is to cut other than having actual layoffs or a reduction in force,” Madison County DFCS director Lisa Plank said during this past Friday’s DFCS board meeting.
Gov. Sonny Perdue has asked all state agencies to prepare budgets to reflect both six and 10 percent cuts. But Plank said she’s not yet heard the final percentage figure by which the governor intends slash.
The state DFCS office has tried to make pre-emptive moves in preparation for the funding crunch.
Local workers meeting a certain pay scale, like Plank, have already been taking one day without pay a month. That will increase to two “furlough” days for those employees in November.
And social services workers will start taking one furlough day a month starting in November.
Plank said these mandated days off might start to “hit home” when these workers see their paychecks, but thinks that everyone understands the furloughs help protect jobs.
“We realize that, hopefully, the furloughs will prevent an actual layoff,” Plank said. “I think everyone is willing to do their day to not lose staff.”
DFCS board hears
good stats for Sept.
Last month was a good one for the Madison County Department of Family and Children Services, according to the numbers.
Through September, Madison County DFCS had only spent around 50 percent of the budget for the year. The department was scheduled to have spent 75 percent of its budget by now.
“So we’re operating well with the county budget for the year,” Plank said.
Plank also told the DFCS board that the department has seen an 80 percent worker participation rate in its Office of Family Independence (OFI) reports through September and compared that to the state standard (50 percent) and the federal guideline (70 percent).
“So we’re well-exceeding those standards,” Plank said.
The latest social services report revealed that Madison County DFCS had completed 100 percent of investigations and diversions within the allotted time frame. Plank added that the department is well exceeding the standards for making contacts.
“Everything looks really good in services,” Plank said.
In other news, the DFCS board’s staff appreciation breakfast is at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 20, the same date as the board’s next monthly meeting.
The board will invite, among others, all law enforcement jurisdictions in Madison County and the board of commissioners.
The board wants to also host a meet-and-greet with newly-elected commissioners when they take office.