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The Trustees of the Lincoln County Resource Board (LCRB) recently awarded about $1, 097,000 for mental health services for the children and youth of Lincoln County for 2013. Approximately 11 percent of the total funding was allocated for office-based psychiatric and counseling services; about 8 percent was allocated for outpatient substance abuse treatment services; about 29 percent was allocated for early intervention and prevention services in our County schools; and, about 52 percent was allocated for other school-based, home-based and community-based services. The goal is to bring as many of the needed services, as possible, into the school, home and community settings.
In addition to providing funding for the 14 existing programs of service, the Board also decided to add three additional services for 2013. These include therapeutic mentoring services, provided by the Children’s Foundation of Mid-America; case management services (to support families with children under the age of two), provided by Nurses for Newborns; and, mental health-related training and support groups for the public, provided by NAMI, the Alliance for Mental Illness.
Other presently funded school-based, home-based and community-based services include respite care services, case management for children of families in need; visitation services; family advocacy services; mental health specialists in the four school districts; and a family advocate for sexually abused children.
As of July 31, 2012, a total of about $4,500,000 had been paid for mental health services for the children and youth of our County. According to the 2011 annual service reports, submitted by the contracted providers, 12,693 children and youth received services last year. With the increased funding for 2013, the number of served will undoubtedly increase significantly.
Becky Hoskins, Executive Director of the LCRB, stated that the County is beginning to see significant improvements in several key indicators of mental health that include:
• a reduction in low birth rate infants
• a reduction in births to mothers without a high school diploma
• a reduction in out-of-home placements (decrease of 33.3 percent from 2005-2009)
• a reduction in juvenile law violation referrals, ages 10-17 (decrease of 25.4 youth per 1,000 from 2005 until 2008) Five of the six types of law violations have decreased
• a steady decline in juvenile law violation related to peace disturbance and drugs (2006-2008)
• a reduction in violent teen deaths, ages 15-19
• a reduction in dropout rates in all four school districts
• a reduction in substantiated incidents of child abuse and neglect (even though the number of reports has increased; probably due to prevention services provided in the schools)
The Lincoln County Resource Board (LCRB) is the administrator for the Community Children’s Service Fund, a fund created when the citizens of Lincoln County passed a ¼-cent sales tax measure in November 2006. These funds are used solely to provide services for Lincoln County children and youth, birth to 19 years of age. Grants are awarded to local agencies to provide services to address the mental health needs of young people in the community.
The LCRB offers a range of services at no cost for insured or non-insured children. Next year 11 different agencies will provide 16 types of programs.
A check and balance system requires each agency to submit clinical goals per year, which are tracked for accomplishment; and the agencies undergo two audits per year to insure financial accountability.
In 2011, it is estimated that the LCRB’s services have directly or indirectly impacted 47 percent of the Lincoln County’s 52,000 residents. To learn more about the services of the Lincoln County Resource Board visit www.lincolncountykids.org.