DCS Plans Outreach to Kids With Mental Issues Who "Fall Thru Cracks"
Pilot program to go statewide next spring
Indiana's Department of Child Services (D.C.S.) will launch a pilot program to help about 300 preteens and teenagers with potentially dangerous mental-health issues.
D.C.S. already provides mental-health counseling to abused children, or kids referred to mental health centers by juvenile courts. Mental-health care is also covered under Medicaid.
But D.C.S. chief of staff John Ryan says that still leaves hundreds of kids who are a danger to themselves or others who lack private insurance coverage and don't qualify for help through one of the other avenues. He says kids shouldn't have to commit crimes before they get the help they need.
The state plans an "access center" in Lawrenceburg's community mental health center to determine kids' psychiatric or psychological needs and assign them to an appropriate care facility. D.C.S. will review how that program goes before expanding statewide next spring.