(UNDATED) - Indiana's Department of Child Services will spend two-million dollars on a new program to keep tabs on families after their cases are officially closed.
DCS expects about 850 families to take advantage of a new "aftercare" program to continue parenting-skills help and other services for six months. Chief of staff John Ryan says the goal is to prevent problems from recurring and plunging families right back into the system.
DCS was criticized last year over a handful of child abuse deaths in cases the agency had closed.
DCS is creating a second new program to help 18-to-20-year-olds make the transition out of foster care into homes of their own. And the agency is restoring about 10-percent of 110-million dollars in cuts made last year when the state was struggling with a budget shortfall.
The agency is earmarking 23-million dollars from its general fund for the two new programs and to soften some of the earlier cuts.
DCS will still return 16-million dollars to the treasury as the state seeks to maintain a budget surplus.
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