Crittenton CEO and President, Kathy Szafran, speaks to WTRF's Tessa DiTirro regarding the state budget and children's healthcare. http://www.yourohiovalley.com/story/35227788/non-profit-agencies-weigh-in-on-effects-of-state-budget-deficit
FROM WTRF - Our coverage continues of the West Virginia budget deficit after Governor Justice vetoed the budget bill. Now, not for profit agencies across the state are concerned about funding cuts.
Crittenton Services says everyday they are working to invest in West Virginia's greatest resource, our people.
"We just had a little girl who shared with me all she wanted was her mom to tell her right from wrong, but her Mom was too strung out on drugs to do that," said Crittenton Services President and CEO Kathy Szafran.
Kathy said the majority of their patients, who utilize Medicaid, don't know where to turn for mental health support in the state. "We have hundreds of clients in each of the sites. We have in some of our sites close to 100 people waiting, on the waiting list for services," said Szafran.
She said she has not heard of any direct cuts to the center, but if Medicaid payments were to slow down through the federal government, that would hurt.
"West Virginia needs to pay special attention to our ability to have a good strong workforce, and for many children that are facing huge adversities in their communities especially, the rural communities, with the combination of poverty the opiate addiction issues, these children and families need help," said Szafran.
Kathy said when looking at the budget deficit not making cuts to services like Crittenton is crucial to strengthening children and families to create a cycle of successful West Virginians.
"If we're looking at economic development in the state we need to look at the children and how we can put services around them so we can build their resiliency so that they can be productive members of society going forward, that's a grave concern," said Szafran.
Kathy said some good news is Crittenton Services has recently expanded services further in the state, opening a center serving Cabell, Wayne and Putnam counties.