Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

 

 

 

Demonstration Projects

$10,281,000[177]

$6,477,030 from Federal Funds;

 

 

$1,336,530 from GF/GP;

 

 

$2,467,440 from Special

 

 

Revenue Funds

Program Description:

The line item described as "Demonstration Projects" is a series of new pilot programs that the Department tests each year for possible sustained use.  Examples of past and current programs include:

  • Adopt-a-House, which funds the renovation and repair of homes occupied by low-income families in Grand Traverse County.

  • Independent Living Program, which counsels youths 16 years of age and older who are in foster care, or who have been in foster care, as they exit the child welfare services system.

Recommended Action:

An appropriate long-term goal for the state legislature would be to eliminate the Department of Social Services entirely.  In order to reach that goal, the state must begin to downsize and reform the Department now--which means that instead of introducing new programs, the state should be eliminating and reducing old programs and putting a freeze on the establishment of all new ones, including the Demonstration Projects. The Department should begin working to return the responsibility for social assistance to the families, churches and community organizations--historically strong institutions that have been weakened by the growth of government involvement in this area.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

 

 

 

Refugee Assistance Program

$7,377,100[178]

All from Federal Funds

Program Description:

The Refugee Assistance Program provides services that are designed to assist refugees in achieving social and economic self-sufficiency. Eligible services include cash and medical assistance; employment and training services; and, on a limited basis, foster care services.

Recommended Action:

Immigration has benefited both Michigan and the United States as whole, despite the loud cries to the contrary by many conservative critics.  This does not mean, however, that those who flee other countries to live in the United States--for whatever reason--should be entitled to special benefits.  The appeal of America has always been, and should continue to be, political freedom and economic opportunity, not government handouts.  The Refugee Assistance Program should be discontinued, and replaced with voluntary support from private associations.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

 

 

 

Adult Home Help

$110,783,100[179]

$48,744,565 from Federal Funds;

 

 

$62,038,535 from GF/GP

Program Description:

The Adult Home Help program provides payments to friends and relatives to assist frail and elderly Medicaid recipients in their own homes with such activities as cooking and cleaning.  In 1994, there were approximately 26,000 recipients of Adult Home Help grants, each receiving an average payment of $280 a month.

Recommended Action:

The Adult Home Help program is a prime example of a welfare service that could be provided by private individuals acting charitably out of their own good will.  The friends and relatives who receive state grants to assist elderly adults with basic household services presumably are not driven to provide such a service because of the monetary compensation, but rather by the desire to help someone they care about.  This political society approach to helping people corrupts the virtues of charity and family responsibility, and should be eliminated, leaving individuals and families with greater resources to help others.[180]

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

 

 

 

Adoption Subsidies

$77,586,900[181]

$33,362,365 from Federal Funds;

 

 

$44,224,535 from GF/GP

Program Description:

This program provides support and/or medical subsidies to adoptive families to facilitate the placement of special needs children (for example, handicapped children or large sibling groups).  The adoptive family receives a subsidy approximately equal to a foster care subsidy, and a subsidy for medical care at actual expense.

Recommended Action:

The state should not be subsidizing adoptive families.  Part of the responsibility entailed in being a parent is the provision of medical care and other goods for their children; parents, adoptive or not, should not rely on the state to assist them with this.  Moreover, the absence of means-testing for this program creates a perverse cross-subsidization process where less financially secure adoptive parents who do not adopt a special-needs child are asked to subsidize more financially secure adoptive parents who do.  These subsidies should be eliminated, leaving individuals, families, communities with greater resources to provide this type of assistance.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

 

 

 

Michigan Opportunity

$14,875,300[182]

$10,412,710 from Federal Funds;

Skills Training Program

 

$4,462,590 from GF/GP

Program Description:

The Michigan Opportunity Skills Training (MOST) Program provides job training for AFDC recipients, state family assistance recipients, and food stamp recipients.

Recommended Action:

Job training is best provided by Michigan businesses and community organizations, not state or federal government programs which often lack accountability and proper focus.  If the state and federal government would cease taking these resources from business and individuals, the Michigan business climate would improve, economic opportunity would increase, and the demand for skilled workers would create a greater supply of training programs.  The MOST program should be eliminated immediately.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

 

 

 

Black Child and Family

$100,000[183]

$30,000 from Federal Funds;

Institute

 

$70,000 from GF/GP

Program Description:

This program provides services primarily to culturally, economically, educationally, and health disadvantaged children and families in a depressed area of the City of Lansing.  Services provided include: health screening, physical examinations, remedial education, education enrichment, tutoring, recreation, counseling, and crisis intervention.

Recommended Action:

The purposes of this program should be advanced by private support of local community organizations, not state or federal government.  This program should be eliminated.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

 

 

 

Attorney General Contract

$1,308,900[184]

$523,560 from Federal Funds;

 

 

$785,340 from GF/GP

Program Description:

This program represents the funds paid to the state's Attorney General office in order to provide legal representation in foster care cases (within Wayne County only) to both the MDSS and the child involved.

Recommended Action:

In all other counties in the state except for Wayne, the county's Prosecuting Attorney represents the MDSS and the child in such cases.  There is no reason for Wayne County to be an exception; this program should be eliminated.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

 

 

 

Delinquency and Community

$7,532,900[185]

All from GF/GP

Based Services

 

 

Program Description:

This program consists of the following: (1) Runaway preventive counseling; (2) Employment counseling; (3) In-home counseling of youth; (4) Counseling for homeless females; (5) Family support and education counseling. Only people ages 12 to 21 are eligible for the aforementioned programs.

Recommended Action:

This program takes resources from families and communities, passes it through the state bureaucracy, and returns a fraction of the amount taken to selected individuals and organizations.  These funds should be left with the families and communities to support private initiatives to help these target populations.  This program should be eliminated.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

 

 

 

Community Residential

$6,695,200[186]

$870,375 from Federal Funds;

Care Programs

 

$5,824,825 from GF/GP

Program Description:

This programs funds all costs associated with the provision of drug counseling services at halfway houses throughout the state and all the costs associated with providing similar services at the Northwest Center located in Detroit.

Recommended Action:

This program takes resources from families and communities, passes it through expensive state and federal bureaucracies, and returns a fraction of the amount taken to selected individuals and organizations.  These funds should be left with the families and communities to support private initiatives to help these target populations.  This program should be eliminated.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

 

 

 

Family Involvement Project

$415,400[187]

 All from GF/GP

Program Description:

The Family Involvement Project encourages parents to visit their children at detention centers. And for the families who do decide to visit their children there, it provides counseling services for them.  The counselors sit in on the meetings between the parents and the children in order to provide assistance during the reconciliation process.

Recommended Action:

This type of assistance should be provided by private community associations, not state government.  This program should be eliminated.

Program

Gross Appropriation

Appropriation Breakdown

 

 

 

Regional Detention Services

$1,207,300[188]

All from GF/GP

Program Description:

This program funds the "regional detention support services" program.  Funds are used for a statewide network of juvenile holdover sites and for the costs of home detention with electronic monitoring capabilities.  The primary reason for the creation of the holdover sites and the use of home-monitoring technology is to prevent juveniles from being housed in the same facilities as adults.

Recommended Action:

Regional detention centers should be operated by Michigan counties or associations of counties, not the state.  This program should be eliminated.