Human Services Budget 2013 Backgrounder
Details of Human Services 2013-14 Budget
Budget 2013 maintains the maximum monthly income benefit of $1,588 for qualified Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped (AISH) recipients. AISH financial support, health benefits and other supports will be provided to about 47,000 adults with severe and permanent disabilities to help them live more independently. Nearly $1.1 billion is budgeted for AISH in 2013-14, an increase of $46 million or 4.4% from the 2012-13 forecast to address anticipated caseload growth.
Persons with Developmental Disabilities (PDD) is transitioning into an outcomes-based service delivery system that provides a variety of supports to encourage independence and community involvement. The program will receive $694 million in 2013-14, a $5.5 million increase from 2012-13. Work will continue with families and community partners to a funding model based on assessed needs that achieves positive outcomes.
The budget for Child Intervention is $694 million in 2013-14, an increase of nearly $16 million from 2012-13 including a $7 million increase to $197 million for Foster Care Support, funding more than 5,400 foster child placements.
Budget 2013 maintains full child care subsidies for families with a household income of less than $50,000 as introduced in Budget 2012, providing more than $179 million this fiscal year, a $7 million increase from 2012-13.
Family Support for Children with Disabilities
Family Support for Children with Disabilities provides supports to families so that children with disabilities have an opportunity to develop to their potential. The budget is $143 million in 2013-14, an increase of $6 million from 2012-13, reflecting anticipated caseload growth.
Supports for Underemployed and Unemployed People
Employment training, income supports and health benefits help underemployed and unemployed people find and keep jobs, and help eligible Albertans cover their basic costs of living. Albertans receiving income support benefits also receive financial assistance for child care, school supplies and work clothes. Combined, the budget for these programs is $883 million in 2013-14, down from $981 million forecast in 2012-13. This includes a decrease in federal funding of over $5 million under the Labour Market Agreement (LMA) and Targeted Initiative for Older Workers (TIOW).
Interagency Council on Homelessness
A new Interagency Council on Homelessness was established to lead implementation of the 10-year plan to end homelessness in Alberta. With $111 million in 2013-14 for homelessness support, this budget increases by $1.2 million and will provide outreach support services and help house about 1,800 homeless Albertans this year, as well as fund over 3,200 spaces in emergency/transitional shelters. Since 2009-10, about 6,600 Albertans who were homeless have been placed in permanent housing.
Early Childhood Development
As part of the government’s focus on early childhood development, Human Services will provide $89 million in 2013-14 for early intervention and fetal alcohol spectrum disorder initiatives. A cross-ministry team composed of Human Services, Education and Health will focus special attention and effort on Early Childhood Development to promote awareness and education about maternal health and healthy starts to children’s early years.
Contracted Service Providers
Contracted service providers are important partners in delivering services that help children, families and vulnerable adults. Budget 2013 provides an additional $67.7 million in on-going funding to contracted agencies to attract and retain qualified staff. The budget’s commitment focuses on increasing the wages of the disability services agency sector, to close the wage gap with the child and family services sector. Through the Workforce Alliance, Human Services is working with contracted agency groups to address ongoing workforce issues within this sector. The goal of the Alliance is to support a stable and sustainable workforce that meets the needs of vulnerable children, families and adults with disabilities.