More money will be used for programs designed to keep at-risk Utah children at home instead of taking them into foster care after the Department of Child and Family Services was granted a waiver allowing the department to use federal funds in new ways.
The department's federal funds were restricted to foster care, which meant the state had to pay for in-home services that kept the family intact. But the waiver announced Wednesday will allow officials to shift an estimated $1.5 million over five years from the foster care budget to in-home services. The total DCFS budget was about $153 million in fiscal year 2012.
The move fits with the department's shifting focus on keeping more families together, said spokeswoman Elizabeth Sollis.