FREDERICKTOWN, MO (Heartland News at 9) -
Foster parents' budgets are getting a little tighter, and while it's not much - it's leaving some wondering - what's next?
Two Fredericktown, Missouri foster parents say they understand times are tight, but these cuts are to kids who need it the most.
It wasn't the ideal letter to get in the mail from Missouri's Department of Social Services.
"I was like, wow, huh, isn't that interesting," said foster parent Nicole Knobeloch.
A 1.5 percent cut to foster care maintenance funding.
All part of state-wide budget cuts by Governor Eric Greitens
Channa Massey and Nicole Knobeloch said they are worried this could become a trend.
"That's what all foster parents, kinship placements, that's what we're afraid of – what's going to decrease next?" Massey said.
According to Children's Division, between 2015 and 2016 Madison County saw an increase of reported incidents by almost 15 percent.
"We figured it at a few dollars per month per child, and that doesn't seem like a whole lot, but like I said before – what's next? We already don't receive enough to cover their basic needs," Massey said.
In the past year, the women say they got a 3 percent increase to maintenance funding.
The money that goes to supplement out of pocket expenses, like food, gas, and household bills, but with this letter - now that increase is slashed in half.
Governor Greitens is supporting foster children through legislation.
In June, he signed into law a Foster Care Bill of Rights, giving children more of a voice in their own cases.
It's something the women appreciate but want to make sure he knows while it's just money, it's money the kids need.
"I know funding is hard, and you've got to take it from somewhere. The kids shouldn't have to stand out because they don't have parents. That's not their fault," Knobloch said.
"Don't take it from our children. They should be getting more. They deserve more," Massey said.
We reached out to both Governor Greitens office and Children's Division, but have not heard back.
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