Services at the York County Office of Children, Youth and Families cost about $217,000 more than the county agency was allocated from the state last year.
But that deficit was a welcome relief compared to earlier projections that showed a possible deficit of more than $2 million.
Human Services Director Michelle Hovis said the county saved money where it could, but still ended the 2012-13 fiscal year with the deficit because there were children in the system who needed services. The caseload has been steadily increasing in recent years.
And the office received a funding increase of $2 million for the current fiscal year, which ends June 30. That extra money should cover last year's deficit, Hovis said.
She expects this year's funding bump from $42 million to $44 million will be necessary just to keep services level with demand.
The current fiscal year started with 40 more children in placement than last year, with placement growing from 315 children last year to 355 this year.
Placement can include everything from foster care to juvenile probation, with costs per child ranging from
$30 per day for certain types of foster care to $700 per day for some state-run facilities, she said.
Ups and downs: The county's overall human services funding for the coming year will be about level, with gains in some areas and losses in others, Hovis said.
The county will get a $59,000 increase in its state food purchase program to stock shelves at the county's food pantries.
York County Area Agency on Aging is expected to get an $800,000 boost for community-based programs, welcome news for senior centers that have lost funding in recent budget years.
Waiting lists: The state made available an additional 23 slots for people with intellectual disabilities, enabling another nearly two dozen people to participate in a program such as vocational rehabilitation or be placed in housing.
While the extra placements are needed, overall funding for people with intellectual disabilities declined by more than $5,400, Hovis said.
The extra placement slots don't address the actual need for programs, and waiting lists will remain in place, she said.
Waiting lists will also remain for mental health programs, which have been among those hardest hit during budget cuts. This year's decrease was slight, though, at about $1,900, she said.
Funding was level for the county's homeless and drug and alcohol programs, despite a growing need, she said.
"The drug and alcohol program has many people we can't serve," she said. "And mental health and (intellectual disability programs) will probably always have more needs than what we have the funding to help with."
-- Reach Christina Kauffman at ckauffma firstname.lastname@example.org.