Wait Times at Boone Co. Dept. of Family Services Cost Families, Daycare Centers

7 years 3 months 6 days ago Wednesday, November 21 2012 Nov 21, 2012 Wednesday, November 21, 2012 2:49:00 PM CST November 21, 2012 in News
By: Danielle Carter
loading

COLUMBIA - Issues with long wait times on the phone and at the offices of the Missouri Department of Family Services have cost recipients and child care providers thousands of dollars.

Childcare recipients claim wait times at the Boone Co. DFS office can last up to seven hours, and calls to their help line (1-800-FSD-INFO), 20 to 40 minutes.

Amy Todd gets state aid to put her three children, ages four, two and one, all in daycare. The four and two year olds attend Tiger Tots Early Learning, while the one year old is taken care of in a home day care setting.

Todd got smart and began showing up at 7:30 a.m., as soon as the doors opened, whenever she had to go to the DFS offices.

Sometimes, however, Todd doesn't have the time to show up at the offices right at 7:30. She says whenever she goes to the office at a different time, she loses around $60 worth of pay.

"To spend a whole day, in the welfare office, is unbelievable," Todd said. "If they want us to help ourselves, you'd think they'd be doing to help us move through there faster."

Paul Prevo, who owns Tiger Tots Early Learning in Columbia, says he hears of these issues all the time.

"One family I know of, they packed a picnic lunch to go wait at the office," Prevo said.

Prevo also said his Paris Road location for Tiger Tots has lost around $10,000 this year alone from extended wait times. He said he can't help but provide child care services for families, even if they are not sure if they will be able to pay for it.

Unfortunately for Prevo, sometimes families find out weeks after they submit their paperwork, that the department did not approve them for child care assistance.

"I see these moms come into my office and they literally cry because they can't get an answer," Prevo said. "I mean, it is heartbreaking to them because they're trying to do what's best for their kid and they can't get it done."

Prevo thinks putting the whole process online would save money and time.

"You're talking hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost income, because of paperwork," Prevo said. "So a simple software program to automate the process, pays for itself within a couple of short years."

To get a more accurate picture of how the Boone Co. DFS office works, KOMU 8 News paid a visit to the office to see how it was laid out and how it operated.

One woman said she had already been waiting 40 minutes to speak with a caseworker. She then said she "got lucky," that her wait would only last about three to four hours that day since the office wasn't too crowded. When asked if this was normal, she laughed and vigorously shook her head.

"Oh no," she said. "The other day, I came in here around 9 a.m. and didn't leave until 4 p.m., when they take their last appointment."

KOMU 8 News reached out to Department of Social Services' media contact, Rebecca Woelfel, for a comment on why wait times have become so long over the past year. She did not return several calls, but eventually sent an email, simply saying she was unavailable for an interview.

 

More News

Grid
List
(CNN) -- Domestic violence perpetrators and those with orders of protection against them in St. Louis County, Missouri, will be... More >>
42 minutes ago Friday, February 28 2020 Feb 28, 2020 Friday, February 28, 2020 5:54:00 AM CST February 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - For the last month, Stephens College has been collecting items for Rainbow House in Columbia, and they'll finally... More >>
2 hours ago Friday, February 28 2020 Feb 28, 2020 Friday, February 28, 2020 3:45:00 AM CST February 28, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia hosted its first affordable housing summit Thursday night. The summit offered residents a chance to learn... More >>
10 hours ago Thursday, February 27 2020 Feb 27, 2020 Thursday, February 27, 2020 8:27:00 PM CST February 27, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Police responded to a report of a strong-arm robbery that occurred in the parking lot at Sam's... More >>
13 hours ago Thursday, February 27 2020 Feb 27, 2020 Thursday, February 27, 2020 5:14:00 PM CST February 27, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The opioid crisis throughout the United States can not be solved overnight. However, Missouri lawmakers are taking... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, February 27 2020 Feb 27, 2020 Thursday, February 27, 2020 4:33:00 PM CST February 27, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives has just approved a bill that would expand opportunities for veterans to... More >>
14 hours ago Thursday, February 27 2020 Feb 27, 2020 Thursday, February 27, 2020 4:24:00 PM CST February 27, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
RUSSELLVILLE - The Cole County Prosecutor and Cole County Sheriff's Office announced on Thursday the name of the man charged... More >>
15 hours ago Thursday, February 27 2020 Feb 27, 2020 Thursday, February 27, 2020 3:24:00 PM CST February 27, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Children's lives may not be as hard as adults' lives, but sometimes their moodiness and sadness are more... More >>
16 hours ago Thursday, February 27 2020 Feb 27, 2020 Thursday, February 27, 2020 2:34:08 PM CST February 27, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA – Business owners say fears stemming from misinformation about the coronavirus are causing their business to unfairly take a... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, February 27 2020 Feb 27, 2020 Thursday, February 27, 2020 1:33:00 PM CST February 27, 2020 in News
RUSSELLVILLE - The Cole County Prosecutor and Cole County Sheriff will hold a press conference Thursday afternoon with a break... More >>
17 hours ago Thursday, February 27 2020 Feb 27, 2020 Thursday, February 27, 2020 1:01:00 PM CST February 27, 2020 in News
SEDALIA - Prosecutors have filed charges against two men in connection with a February 22 shooting that left one man... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, February 27 2020 Feb 27, 2020 Thursday, February 27, 2020 10:29:00 AM CST February 27, 2020 in News
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - The Missouri State Highway Patrol is asking for assistance in an ongoing sexual assault investigation.... More >>
20 hours ago Thursday, February 27 2020 Feb 27, 2020 Thursday, February 27, 2020 9:52:00 AM CST February 27, 2020 in News
MARYLAND HEIGHTS, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a part-time janitor has been charged with first-degree murder after shooting and killing... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 27 2020 Feb 27, 2020 Thursday, February 27, 2020 6:13:00 AM CST February 27, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia is a college town full of apartments and townhouses, but it wants to start giving low-income families... More >>
1 day ago Thursday, February 27 2020 Feb 27, 2020 Thursday, February 27, 2020 5:30:00 AM CST February 27, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced an investigation into a multi-state E. coli outbreak they believe... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 10:51:00 PM CST February 26, 2020 in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — An FBI agent shot someone inside a central Kansas City apartment building Wednesday but few... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 10:41:00 PM CST February 26, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- State lawmakers are considering multiple bills that would legalize sports betting in the State of Missouri. Americans... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 8:10:00 PM CST February 26, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - This week state lawmakers are focusing and fighting on bills about the inclusion of the LGTBQ community.... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, February 26 2020 Feb 26, 2020 Wednesday, February 26, 2020 7:53:00 PM CST February 26, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 27°
7am 28°
8am 32°
9am 35°
10am 38°