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Funding for DYCF counseling for parents?

News Date

This week, the Senate Finance Committee endorsed a key reform related to child protective services in the state.

If passed by the House and Senate and signed into law, the amendment would create a third category regarding allegations of child abuse that have been brought to the attention of the state Division of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF).

Based on recommendations from an outside evaluation of DCYF, the new category would be called “unfounded but with reasonable concerns.” It would exist between “founded” and “unfounded” reports of child abuse.

If an allegation is determined to be “unfounded but with reasonable concerns,” parents and/or caregivers could be referred to voluntary counseling or programs to avoid future issues. As things currently stand, families would be responsible for the payment of such services and programs.

Some policymakers argue that adding an "unfounded but with reasonable concerns" category won't do anything to protect children if those counseling services remain voluntary and unfunded. They contend that the majority of families involved in child abuse cases will neither voluntarily seek assistance nor be willing to pay for it.

Opponents of additional funding for DCYF counseling services counter that the state simply doesn't have the money to pay for it, while others cite bigger priorities like increasing staffing. Others argue that labeling cases as “unfounded but with reasonable concern” will prove effective even without funding for counseling, as such cases would be retained in the DCYF database and compared with future allegations.

Should NH provide funding for voluntary counselling for parents of children referred to DCYF? Leave a comment below to join the discussion, and we'll present your thoughts to legislators considering this issue. Only comments from NH residents will be counted, so please indicate if you are from NH in your response.


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I have no ideas about the introduction of a 3rd category 'Unfounded but with concern.'
However, I strongly support NH State paying for voluntary counseling services to parents, regardless of classification in categories.
Children are our most precious assets. You take your job seriously or you don't. Public sponsorship for these services gives us the biggest chance to come to a win-win situation (an ounce of prevention etc.)

Thank you to our sponsors and donors