2WTK: How Does Forsyth Pay For Food Stamp Overtime?

WINSTON-SALEM, NC -- We're staying on top of the state's food stamp woes. 2 Wants To Know's found Forsyth County staff is punching the overtime clock again.

A few weeks ago Forsyth's Department of Social Services took a break from overtime. The agency leaders did not want to burn out their workers. But director Joe Raymond tells WFMY News 2 it's a challenge to stay in good shape with food stamp applications and Medicaid - especially with the new NC FAST software and growing caseloads. So food stamp staff members are again working extra.

The cost for all that overtime: $24,700 in March alone. 2 Wants To Know what's that mean for taxpayers?

The federal government pays for half of the overtime costs. Forsyth County had to go looking for cash to cover the rest. The budget office found it with Foster kids. There are less foster children then in years past. So D-S-S could use some of that money on food stamps.

The agency is also looking for ways to save within its own staff. Social workers from other departments like child welfare are normally higher paid than food stamp workers. So when those social workers quit or leave for another job, their salary is up for grabs. DSS can temporarily use that money to cover food stamp workers overtime. Eventually, DSS has to hire new social workers. But the head of the county budget office says this money shifting has got them by so far. That means right now, Forsyth County taxpayers at not being impacted by the food stamp overtime costs.


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