The El Paso County Department of Human Services is changing its practice to try and reduce the number of young people in care outside the home, or congregate care. KRCC’s Eliza Densmore reports.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Congregate care refers to youth living in group homes and residential centers in a non-family setting. Studies have shown that youth removed from biological parents, do better in another family setting. DHS Director Rick Bengtsson says it’s not a change in policy for the department, but a change in practice and use of resources.

“If you realize that a residential treatment center can cost upwards of $6000 a month for a youth, if we could reduce those by 30% that frees up maybe a million, 2 million dollars, that we can actually take those dollars and reinvest in prevention or licensing kinship placements. Again, family-like settings that are best for kids.”

The changes are a result of a partnership between DHS and the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which analyzed how children are placed in congregate care in the county. Some of the reforms include more frequent review of youth care, better identification of kinship, and better adaptability. Bengtsson says the department has already seen a positive impact.

 

Comments are closed.

News

AFP/Getty Images
August 19, 2014 | NPR · Attorney General Eric Holder, who will go to the St. Louis suburb Wednesday, wrote that the Justice Department’s investigation of Michael Brown’s death would be full and fair.
 

AP
August 19, 2014 | NPR · Following allegations of abuse of power, Rick Perry maintained that he had done nothing wrong. He told a crowd outside the courthouse he would “fight this injustice with every fiber of my being.”
 

AP
August 19, 2014 | NPR · Monsoonal rainfall caused massive flash flooding in Phoenix on Tuesday, turning roads into raging torrents. One area recorded 1 inch in 14 minutes.
 

Arts & Life

AP
August 19, 2014 | NPR · Protests in Ferguson, Mo., continue in response to the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by police on Aug. 9. The incident reminds author Laila Lalami of James Baldwin’s Notes of a Native Son.
 

August 19, 2014 | NPR · Iranian poet and women’s rights advocate Simin Behbahani has died. Her work probed the social and political challenges that faced Iran after its Islamic Revolution. She was 87.
 

iStockphoto.com
August 19, 2014 | NPR · The protagonist of Julie Schumacher’s new Dear Committee Members is frustrated with the future of American arts and letters — and the feckless students who pester him for recommendation letters.
 

Music

Courtesy of the artist
August 19, 2014 | WXPN · Christian Gregory is a British singer who immersed himself in the grooves and style of vintage soul and R&B.
 

Courtesy of the artist
August 19, 2014 | NPR · On this week’s All Songs Considered, fuzz-rock mastermind Ty Segall joins host Robin Hilton to share new music and explain how he changed his entire process to make his terrific new album Manipulator.
 

August 19, 2014 | NPR · There are many recordings of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Do we need another?
 

Get the KRCC iPhone App

The Writer's Almanac

Radiolab