The effect of statewide budget cuts are echoing throughout the State Department of Health with child abuse prevention programs on the chopping block.
The Journal Record reports the department will see a 2.8 percent cut, meaning an end to home visitation programs where professionals teach families proper infant care. But even a 2.8 percent cut is a light blow compared to other statewide agencies that received a four percent cut or more.
The Journal Record also states:
That will mean reductions to those programs, including some that are contracted out and some that are financed internally, Johnson said. It’s unclear how a $64,000 decrease for contracts will be handled, but it could either be lower rates for providers or fewer contracts. Internally, a $58,000 reduction will likely mean open positions will go unfilled. The combination could result in some parts of the state seeing a decrease in service.
Some policy makers in the state are concerned about long term effects and the cuts possibly causing abused parents to continue the cycle with their kids.
According to the Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, the Department of Health budget has been cut by 30 percent since 2009.