Iowa’s human services director says the state is starting to see the problems caused by not increasing support to needy families for fifteen years now. Human services director Kevin Concannon says the cash-assistance for a single parent with one child is 361-dollars a month…same as it was in 1989. Think of it, he urges — if nobody got a raise in their pay, even those of us who are all better off than the welfare families, how could you get by? A family of three qualifies for no more than 426-dollars a month, and Concannon says the state is beginning to see the results of such low support. He says the human-services council has recently been studying why a disproportionately high percentage of Native American children are in foster care. Concannon says Iowa’s low welfare payments play a part. Concannon says these kids come to the state’s attention because they’re impoverished and in homes where there’s domestic violence or alcohol and drug abuse, and those are the issues, not race, but in those communities he says those social problems are rampant. Concannon says poverty is a powerful factor in those minority communities.He says “income goes a long way in helping people.” With budget problems and what Concannon describes as “no political will” to increase Iowa’s cash assistance payments right now, the department of human services has tried to help families in other ways, streamlining the proof of eligibility requirement for the food stamp program hoping to make it easier for more families to apply.
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