MTPR

foster care

Montana Senate Endorses Moving Oversight Of Youth Programs

Mar 12, 2019
Montana State Capitol.
Corin Cates-Carney / Montana Public Radio

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — The Montana Senate has endorsed a bill to give the state health department oversight of private residential programs for troubled children.

Tuesday's 34-15 vote comes after a series by the Missoulian that found multiple problems with programs for children dealing with emotional and behavioral problems.

Montana's 2019 biennium budget by function.
Legislative Fiscal Division

Health care programs devastated following the state’s budget collapse over the last two years are getting pieced back together.

State lawmakers Wednesday gave initial approval for a new plan for public health spending in Montana, which accounts for more than 40 percent of the state’s total budget.

Montana Capitol.
William Marcus / MTPR

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montana lawmakers heard several bills seeking to make changes to the state's child protection system, including reducing turnover of caseworkers, setting higher standards for removing children from their homes and increasing accountability.

Montana Capitol building.
Nick Mott / MTPR

State lawmakers are considering a million dollar loan repayment program to try to retain foster child caseworkers. Turnover is about 30 percent a year in these high-stress positions in Montana’s overburdened foster care system.

Montana Child and Family Services sign in Helena, MT.
Bree Zender

State health officials say Montana needs to continue a boost in funding to deal with the heavy caseload in the foster child system.

The increasing number of children entering Montana’s foster care system is stabilizing after a spike in recent years, according to the Department of Public Health and Human Services.

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