Long Term Cost Analysis
The New Road Project
Doesn't more spending mean bigger government?
We understand that people, especially in NH, have fears that increasing budgets for state agencies means more 'big government' and the potential for increased involvement of government in private citizens' lives. We want to validate these concerns and explain our belief that a proper investment in DCYF is actually a new road towards less government intervention.
Our position is that the current status of DCYF work force creates a situation where unnecessary government intervention in NH citizens' lives is occurring. This is based on the fact that case workers have too many cases to dedicate proper time to assessment of families' situations, and the lack of education and training required of caseworkers does not properly prepare them to always make sounds judgements about which families need continued involvement. For instance, some families that do not require intervention or assessment are receiving them and the length of time and costs associated with DCYF interventions could be drastically shortened if case workers had the time and skill set to accurately assess family need and tier of intervention needed. This would also free up time for children and families that do not require the Division's resources and improve outcomes for everyone in NH.
We also believe that not making up-front investments in case worker education inevitably costs our state even more money due to the negative affects of an underfunded and overburdened system. These include the costs of litigation, costs of prolonged and/or unnecessary assessment procedures and services, costs of mistakes during assessments that the state absorbs, cost of high employee turnover and ultimately the cost of children's lives.
In short, fully funding our Child Protection System is The New Road towards fiscal responsibility and smaller government.