A full range of public assistance programs are available in Caddo Parish from Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The parish will target this form of aid on very low income families, and they generally need to meet the income guidelines as applied by the local government. When applying for any type of cash assistance, all applicants both screened and counseled by social workers. If qualified, they will help with the application process. If not eligible, then referrals are given.
There are different types of programs available. Ranging from SNAP food stamps to medical assistance from Medicaid, public funds will address a number of needs. Most of the aid in Caddo Parish will also require what is known as work first, and this means the client will need to take part in job placement. Individuals with on-going, long term needs are assigned to the appropriate service unit.
Child Care Vouchers – This will be in the form of a subsidy. The parent will still need to pay a portion of their day care bills. The social worker will help the client apply for both any state of Louisiana and federal government vouchers that they may be qualified for.
When applying for a voucher, only one application is needed. The social worker will be there to answer questions. They will determine which program the applicant is eligible for, if any. As part of this process the DCFS Human Service Department can also help the parent find a provider that has been approved to offer child care in the county.
Public Food Assistance Programs – There are a few that can help provide a portion of what the family needs. Some Caddo Parish DCFS services are for infants (such as WIC), others are targeted at seniors, and another program (Food Stamps) will assist anyone that has a very low income. In many cases an application for this type of resource can be made by telephone or US mail without the necessity of an office visit.
Any type of food assistance in Caddo Parish is combined with screening and counseling, including enrollment into Strategies to Empower People Program (STEP). The goal of the publicly funded programs to ensure that people of all ages have access to nutritious and suitable meals for all backgrounds.
Education and disability assistance from DCFS in Caddo will advice persons with diabetes, heart disease or hypertension. Social workers will give them information on how they can use programs such as food stamps to obtain meals that provide at least 1/3 of the recommended dietary allowances for older adults. This can also be part of the Disability Determination process.
Medicaid is the main federal and state of Louisiana Health Assistance program for families on the verge of poverty. It will use public funds to pay for doctor, hospital, optometry, prescriptions and dental care bills. In some cases, seniors in the parish can use Medicaid to help pay for home care.
Caddo Parish DCFS offer cash assistance as well. This is combined with Work First Employment Services, also called Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program (FITAP). Employment is in fact required. If anyone wants a grant from the county as part of their public aid, they need to agree to enrolling into training, gain work experience and take part in supportive casework services. So public funds from TANF are combined with self-sufficiency training.
TANF-Work First-FITAP in Caddo Parish is based on the premise that anyone seeking public aid does have a responsibility to support themselves and their children over the long term. They need to break the cycle of poverty and depending on entitlements. Therefore, through Work First, parents can get short-term training. While terms and conditions can change based on applicant, most families have two years to move off welfare.
Other information is available on Social Services as well as other public aid. Anyone that has a limited income, and that has a financial hardship such as housing, medical needs, transportation, etc. can apply for public assistance from Caddo Parish DCFS at 1525 Fairfield Avenue, Room 105, Shreveport, Louisiana 71101-4388. All resources do come with income and other conditions in place, and call 1-888-524-3578.
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