By Mike Kruzman /

The County has passed the annual Child Care Fund Budget, keeping in mind upcoming changes in how minors might be tried. WHMI’s Mike Kruzman has details.

At their most recent meeting, the Livingston County Board of Commissioners approved the submission of a roughly $3-million FY 2022 Child Care Fund Budget to the State of Michigan. The budget is split into 2 overarching categories. Out-of-Home Care covers the shared costs of foster care, detention and placement for Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare families. There, costs incurred for a child in control of the state are first paid for by the state, while the court pays first those in control of the courts for both in and out of home costs. In-Home Care includes intensive interventions and services designed to prevent removal from home, to effectuate an early return home from placement, and to help a child receive safe, timely permanency. In-home services are shared by the court and state health department. Livingston County Court’s In-Home Care budget has remained stable over the past 5 years except for one instance where general fund salaries and program costs were moved to help maximize reimbursement from the State.

New to the 2022 budget is the shifting of a part-time juvenile probation officer from the Child Care Fund to the Juvenile Court General Fund to manage an anticipated increased caseload from Raise the Age legislation. Raise the Age was passed in October 2019 and goes into effect this coming October 21st. That law raises the age of who is considered an adult under the criminal justice system from 17 to 18 years old. It ensures that anyone under 18 will be treated as a minor in juvenile court and receive those appropriate rehabilitation services. Michigan will join 46 other states that have already taken this step when it goes into effect. The local courts are expecting potential increases for Juvenile Justice Out-of-Home, which will be 100% reimbursed for 17-year-olds, and Court Out-of-Home costs to increase by 12% from this.