York Place to end residential psychiatric program for children

dworthington@heraldonline.comFebruary 7, 2014 

— York Place is closing its psychiatric residential treatment program for children, citing changes in state policies and financial constraints.

The nonprofit’s program offers intensive clinical treatment for children ages 6 to 16 struggling with mental health issues stemming from early traumas. A six-person cottage is set aside for the program.

Two children are affected by the March 7 closing, said Shannon Hinson, chief development officer for Thompson Child & Family Focus, a Charlotte nonprofit that merged with York Place in June. Finding those children new care is the highest priority, she said.

Four other children in the cottage will complete the program before the scheduled closing date.

The treatment program is being closed because most referring state agencies are moving away from residential placement, Hinson said, preferring to place children needing treatment in foster care, school-based programs or with other community-based services.

Mary Jo Powers, president and CEO of Thompson, said the psychiatric residential program operated at a loss because it had too few children. She said the program needed about 20 children to make it financially feasible. The high cost of the program is due to the ratio of staff to children required by the state. “It’s very labor intensive,” she said.

Most of the funding for the treatment program comes from Medicaid, Powers said.

York Place’s Family Care Center residential program for women with addictions will continue to operate and is scheduled to expand.

The center, which allows women to be treated for addictions while living with their children, opened in July. Three women and six children are housed in York Place cottages. Another York Place cottage has recently been renovated, Hinson said, and the program’s capacity will soon increase to 12 women and their children.

Partners in the Family Care Center are Keystone Substance Abuse Services and several state agencies.

The community counseling center at York Place, which serves children and adults, also will continue to operate, as will the rehabilitative behavioral health service, which provides services for children and adolescents with serious emotional and behavioral disorders.

Thompson Child & Family Focus also is considering adding programs at York Place, Powers said.

Don Worthington •  803-329-406

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