Sequestration Cuts Could Affect Adoption Services for Emotionally Disturbed Children

By: Dave Byknish Email
By: Dave Byknish Email

STAUNTON -- People Places offers a unique kind of adoption service. It's specifically tailored for children who are emotionally disturbed. If sequestration budget cuts happen, it may become very difficult for People Place to help those children.

“We're funded by a combination of federal, state and local dollars. If those shrink at any level, all three should shrink, then we can look at less money to services for children with mental health issues,” said Brad Bryant, former executive director for People Places.

A proposed $275 million cut to the substance abuse and mental health services administration could mean almost 4000,000 mentally ill and emotionally disturbed children won't get the care they need.

“Children may do worse, up until the point where they represent a danger to themselves or to others, and are then placed in a more expensive residential placement, which would go totally against the reason we began it to begin with.”

While staff members at People Places admit they can't be certain how bad it's going to get for them, they do know any cuts to mental health are going to be bad for all of us.

“To reduce an inadequate funding level to an even greater extent will seriously compromise our ability to respond to threats or challenges like we face with regards to gun violence.”

The Projects for Assistance in Transition or Path is also in jeopardy. Cutting that program would affect nearly 9,000 mentally ill, homeless people.


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