BRADENTON – A large amount of community services in Manatee County are operated by non-profit partnership programs. There hasn't been any increase in funding or new programs in several years due to economic shortfalls. County Commissioners and staff are looking to re-evaluate the programs as a whole, which could mean further economic woes for some of them.
For the first time. the BOCC and county officials have bundled Adult Non-Profit Services and Non-Profit Children Services for a performance/funding evaluation, and Tuesday's BOCC Work Session was the first of several that will ultimately adjust program funding and priorities for FY 2014-2015.
The workshop was divided into two segments: Adult Services first, and then Children Services. Both receive support from the General Fund and the county Healthcare Fund, with Children Services acquiring additional funds from the Children's Services Tax and Title IVE (state matching fund program).
The majority of the Adult Funding comes from the General Fund. Payments to the services partner are based on Units of Service provided, not the quality of services or outcomes.
The categories of Services for FY 2013-2014, in part are for Health Care Programs; Abuse and Domestic Violence programs; Homelessness; The Disabled/Special Needs Clients; Legal Services and Community Network Services.
Manatee Glens Corporation is the second largest recipient of funds at $2,122,383, of which a little more than half comes from the Health Care Fund. ARMOR Correctional Health Care, receives $5 million.
Manatee Glens is primarily a crisis center for the county, focusing on Patient Detoxification (Adults only) and Baker Act care. It also provides Aging Services, Rape Crisis and Mental Health Transport.
Commissioners will be evaluating every check they send for services, to look for duplication of services and oversight responsibility.
But Tuesday's session turned out to be a crash course in giant, daunting projects. The more the commissioners asked questions, the more questions that arose in each answer.
Commissioners continued to point out their appreciation and the confidence they had for the partnerships and all of those who work with them to provide community services.
The same respect and appreciation goes to those who work with Children Services as well. Commissioners say they wish only to check-for-leaks and streamline the programs to better fit future budgets.
Commissioners soon discovered their new calendar would be showered with work sessions on the subject. The board quickly realized evaluating both Adult and Children Services was going to take more then they may have figured.
In the end, there is much work to be done and only months to do it. Applications for funding are due in April and May. The Quote of the day goes to Deputy County Administrator Karen Windon, who summed up the major challenge in determining the worth of many such programs: "Prevention is a hard thing to measure."
FY-2013/2014 Adult priorities -- here
FY-2013/2014 Children Services priorities -- here
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