TO REPORT CHILD ABUSE OR NEGLECT OR TO REPORT ELDER ABUSE OR NEGLECT
PLEASE CALL 970-474-3397 DURING WORKING HOURS
OR CALL 970-474-3355 ON WEEKNIGHTS, WEEKENDS & HOLIDAYS
The Sedgwick County Department of Human Services is a State Supervised, County Administered agency that serves a wide variety of people from different walks of like. Assistance is available to individuals or families, in a wide array of services when certain income and resource criteria are met. The Federal Government provides the main source of funding for the various programs admininstered by the Sedgwick County Department of Human Services, with additional funding from state and county resources. Under most programs, the federal and state funding levels at 80% of the total cost of running the program. All states must follow prescribed rules and regulations promulagated by the Federal Government in the administration of the programs. In addition, all counties in Colorado must adhere to strict regulations set forth by the Colorado Department of Human Services. This results in uniformity in the delivery of services throughout the United States and within each county of Colorado. All programs available through the Sedgwick County Department of Human Services arre mandated under both federal and state law. Under federal statute, States must make funds available for certain programs.
One of the most widely known of all programs is TANF or Temporary Aid to Needy Families, formerly known as AFDC. With the passage of the Welfare Reform or the Personal Work and Responsibilities Opportunity Reform Act in 1996, all states were required to implement a plan that would reduce reliance on government through stable employment and other methods of self-sufficiency. Colorado's State Plan is called Colorado Works. There are income and resource criteria that must be met in order to be eligible for Colorado Works. There are different types of assistance under this Plan. A family could be eligible for Medicaid assistance only or for financial and medicaid assistance. Individuals & families eligible for financial benefits under the Colorado Works program must be working or in a work-related activity during the first 24 months of recieving benefits fo their entire case closes. Every adult over the age of 18 and receiving benefits as a caretaker has a lifetime maximum of 60 cumulative months of eligibilty. Every parent or caretaker relative who receives assistance under Colorado Works is required to engage in work activities. There are no exemptions. Since the inception of Welfare Reform, the statewide caseload has been dramatically reduced. At the present time, there are 4 families eligible for financial assistance under Colorado Works in Sedgwick County. We also have approximately 90 eligible Medicaid-only cases. All expenses accrued under the Colorado Works program are reimbursed at 80%.
When a familly is approved for Colorado Works and/or 1931 Medicaid, the family is referred for Child Support Enforcement Services, or CSE. The CSE Department locates the non-custodial parent, established orders for paternity and/or child support, and enforces payment of the order. If the family has received financial assistance in any county in the State of Colorado, the order when established will include a judgement for part or all of the statewide public assistance expended. When the non-custodial parent pays the judgment, the State of Colorado retains the money. This reduces the amount of money spent by the State and by taxpayers for the Colorado Works program. When a non-custodial parent pays their child support obligation, families can obtain and/or maintain self-sufficiency. In 2006, the State of Colorado collected $287,907,500 in child support. The Sedgwick County CSE unit collected $240,670.00 in 2006 and was one of only 6 Counties in the state to meet all performance goals established by the State Department. This program can provide services to anyone, regardless of income, who pays a one-time $20.00 fee.
The food assistance program is under the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). No longer do recipients of this program receive food stamps, but rather their benefit amount is accessed through the use of an EBT card (Electronic Benefit Transfer). The EBT card was introduced in Sedgwick County in 1998. The use of the EBT card has led to savings of both time and money. The actual food "stamps" no longer have to be printed by the Federal Government and then delivered to the local agencies for distribution by individual workers. The EBT has also dramatically reduced fraudulent activities by individuals who use to sell food stamps for pennies on the dollar to obtain cash to buy non-food products. The average monthlly amount of food assistance benefits in Sedgwick County is $7,700.00, all of which is funded entirely by the USDA. The food assistance program is also tied to work activities. Individuals and families receiving food assistance, who are between the ages of 18 & 50, must participate in a work activity or program to receive their benefits unless they are disabled, have children under the age of 6 or making at least $154.50 per week gross wage.
The food distribution program is adminstered by the USDA. Approximately once every 3 months, the department receives non-perishable food products from the USDA for distribution to the residents of Sedgwick County. Recipients of these commodities do not necessarily receive any other type of assistance from the Department. There are income limits that individuals or families must meet. The county does not contribute to the cost of this program.
The Low-Income Energy Assistance Program is designed to help families with their heating bills during the winter months. Program eligiblity and benefits are based upon income criteria and the actual amount of heating costs a household incurred during the months of Noevember through April of the prior year. LEAP is funded 100% by the Federal Government. In most cases, the payments are made directly to vendors and not to families.
The most widely used assistance programs are the Old Age Pension, Home Care Allowance and Nursing Home Assistance. Old Age Pension (OAP) is available to residents who are 60 years of age or older and meet the income and resource criteria set forth by the State Board of Human Services. This program is funded at 100%. The average monthly payroll in Sedgwick County for OAP is $2,000. Home Care Allowance is a program designed to help senior citizens that need a minimal amount of assistance at home, rather than 24 hour a day care. The program enables these individuals to live at home instead of being admitted to a Nursing Home facility. HCA is reimbursed at 95%. The average monthly payroll in Sedgwick County for HCA is $656. The Department also assists eligible citizens with Nursing Home Care and with Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). HCBS is the program designed to provide assistance to individuals that may otherwise have to enter a Nursing Home facility. The residents of nursing homes, and HCBS clients, must also meet the income and resource criteria as set forth by the State Board of Human Services. Medicaid assists in the cost of Nursing Home Care and HCBS Services. Medicaid expenditures in Sedgwick County average approximately $99,000 per month, with approximately 55% being spent for Nursing Home Care and expenditures is split between all medicaid programs for inpatient and outpatient hospitalization, HCBS, doctor's appointments and dental and eye care. The majority of these Medicaid dollars, which are funded by the Federal and State Government at 100%, are spent in Sedgwick County.
Child Care Assistance is available to eligible families with income at 225% FPL or below who are working or attending school, but cannot afford the full cost of child care. The families must pay a portion of the child care costs as a parental fee to their child care provider depending on their income and size of household. This program is funded at at rate of 80%.
As in most government programs, rules and regulations change frequently. Please feel free to ask our office about eligibilty for any program at any time to receive the most current information.
The Sedgwick County Department of Human Services is a resource for a variety of family and children's programs focused on: protecting children and adults from abuse and neglect; strengthening and preserving families; assisting youth who are in conflict with families; and arranging temporary and/or permanent homes for children who are unable to live with their families. For children removed from the home, the majority returned to live with their families at case closure.
In addition, the Department operated a food bank that is available to individuals or families needing temporary assistance with non-perishable foods or hygiene products. Local churches, schools, boy scouts and 4-H have generously donated to the food bank. Contributions will gladly be accepted.
During the holiday season, the Department has a food drive, as well as an annual Christmas project for needy children in Sedgwick County.
The Department currently employs eight staff members: Lisa Ault is the director; Janet Kingsbury and Cory Haynes are responsible for all assistance payments; Kylie Hayward is the Secretary/Receptionist; Tasha Thode and Kathy Reano are responsible for Child and Adult Protection cases; Shaunna Mashek administers the Child Support Enforcement Programs; and Cindy Wecker handles the accounting for the enitre Department.
Links that you may find helpful
Colorado Peak – Apply and Check Benefits Here