The case of the caseload

Earlier, we reported the ministry of children and family development isn't accounting for an increase in the average number of children in care. In fact, according to the budget and fiscal plan, the ministry projects that caseload will decline by 100 in fiscal 2009/10 to 9,000 children. But if that caseload increases, the Campbell administration's fiscal plan could be at risk. Because, according to the government, a one percent increase in the average caseload or cost per case will cost $2.7 million.

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The MCFD budget isn't making sense to me.

Responsibility for all children with special needs (at least 20,000 files currently, plus lengthy waitlists, plus some children with special needs in care), is all supposed to go back to MCFD from CLBC by fall 2009 at the latest - how's that reflected in the budget? (Some of these children's services being managed by CLBC are already subsidized by MCFD, but what about the rest?)

Ministry staff have also assured us that eligibility under the new children's regime will be based on a new "functional assessment" approach to determining need, instead of simply relying on diagnostic labels like autism. They haven't even put out a straw dog of the new definition out for consultation yet, so it would be impossible at this point to determine how that will affect the s/needs caseloads that MCFD will take on in the coming months.

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