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State agency that protects children seeks $82.3 million

January 31, 2019

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A division of a state agency responsible for protecting children from abusive situations, handling foster care and adoptions is seeking a 7 percent budget increase to $82.3 million.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare’s Child Welfare made its request Thursday to the Legislature’s Joint Finance-Appropriations Committee.

Child Welfare’s request includes $11.5 million to pay for the second year of a three-year plan to make the agency more efficient with new technology and administrative practices.

Child Welfare Division Administrator Miren Unsworth says the agency’s budget reflects what is needed to help care for the state’s most vulnerable citizens.

Gov. Brad Little’s recommended budget for the agency is about $220,000 more than requested by the agency for fiscal year 2020.

Lawmakers will decide on the budget request in the coming weeks.

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