Valley News -

Supervisors greenlight budget for agency overseeing caregivers


Last updated 4/9/2019 at 1:31pm

RIVERSIDE - The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, April 9 approved a $5.74 million budget for the Riverside County agency that manages government-paid caregivers who serve low-income seniors and families with medical needs.

The county's proposed 2019-20 budget for the In-Home Supportive Services Public Authority had to be submitted to the California Department of Social Services before April 30, according to the county Department of Public Social Services.

Officials said the IHSS-PA budget, which is roughly $1 million less than the agency's 2018-19 spending plan, is just over 90 percent funded through federal and state outlays, with less than 10 percent originating from local sources.

For the coming fiscal year, IHSS-PA will have funding for 65 full-time employees -- 15 less than the current fiscal year. However, DPSS did not anticipate any service disruptions because of the reduced payroll.

In calendar year 2018, IHSS-PA added 734 independent caregivers to the county registry of government-approved home aides, while upwards of 7,200 residents were registered as caregiver-relatives in families where an adult or child has special medical needs.

DPSS officials said training regimens for IHSS caregivers are being refined by the public authority, thanks to assistance from the county Office on Aging and the UCLA Geriatric Workforce Enhancement Project.

The PA oversees background screenings for caregivers, matches caregivers with clients, manages IHSS payroll and handles training functions. IHSS workers are paid by the state, however, not the county.

To qualify for IHSS assistance, Californians must meet predetermined income thresholds, be blind or suffer another permanent disability. Most IHSS recipients are over 65 years old, though some children with health disorders qualify for assistance, according to officials.

Former Gov. Jerry Brown sought to shift more IHSS costs onto counties to slash the state's financial obligations, but the proposals never gained momentum in the Legislature. Riverside County would have faced tens of millions of dollars in additional expenses under the proposed changes, exacerbating the county's structural budget deficit, which is largely attributable to public safety expenses.


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