STATE OF WISCONSIN
For CY 2003, counties will receive the same allocations for the Promoting Safe and Stable Families (PSSF) program (formerly called Safe and Stable Families) and the IV-E Incentive program as they are currently receiving. The allocation for Tribes will remain the same as it was for the 2002 tribal contract period. The allocation amounts for 2002 - 2004 are included in DCFS Numbered Memo 2001-12 attachments.
Sufficient Title IV-E funds have been earned by the state to maintain the CY 2004 county allocations at the current level for the IV-E Incentive program. For CY 2005 and beyond, however, the amount of Title IV-E funds for the Incentive program will depend on Title IV-E eligibility trends for children in out-of-home care and the impact of pending changes in federal IV-E reimbursement policy.
The PSSF allocations for the CY 2004 county contract period and the 2004 tribal contract period, remain uncertain. The cumulative effect of the federal PSSF funding changes is that the local PSSF program allocations are higher than the ongoing base amount of federal funds available to sustain the program. In fact, Wisconsin's base PSSF grant has declined in the past couple of years, consequently, the difference between the federal award and the local program allocations continues to widen.
The Department is continuing in its efforts to maintain current PSSF allocation levels for local agencies in the hope that Wisconsin will receive an increase to our base award which would unable the DCFS to maintain the current allocation level. In CY 2003 we will use supplemental PSSF federal funding to hold the county and tribal allocations constant. There is no assurance that supplemental federal PSSF funds will be available for the CY 2004 allocations. Regrettably, unless the federal funding situation changes, the Department will likely have to reduce county and tribal allocations by over $500,000 starting with the CY 2004 contracts. (For a detailed explanation about the funding situation, see attachments to DCFS Memo 2001-12.)
The Department has on file approved plans from counties for the period 2002-2004. Unless counties wish to modify their PSSF or IV-E Incentive plans, it is not necessary to submit any new plans in order to receive your for CY 2003 allocation. Plan modifications can be submitted at any time, as described in the attachments to DCFS Memo 2001-12.
A question has been raised about whether counties need to get approval from their local planning committees on plan modifications. County human/social service departments have clear authority over how local PSSF funds are used. The role of local committees is to make recommendations and provide input. Federal regulations state that there must be broad consultation with a wide range of appropriate public and non-profit private agencies and community-based organizations with experience in administering programs of services for children and families. Under the original Family Preservation and Support federal legislation, community coalitions were required to do the local needs assessment. With the strong encouragement of the state, most counties continued to utilize these committees to do the annual plans. These committees have been an important and valuable resource for many counties and have fulfilled the need for the input and consultation required by federal regulations. Because the county is the lead agency and is responsible for how PSSF funds are spent, it is the county’s decision as to how they will meet the federal requirements and, consequently, the role the local committee will play in the PSSF planning process.
For more detail on current requirements relating to PSSF and IV-E Incentive program plans and annual report requirements, please see DCFS Memo 2001-12.