Ugh.. Living in California definitely has its advantages. Temperate weather, beautiful scenery (at least in San Francisco), just wonderful all around in almost every way. Except for the cost of everything – things here are far too expensive. Apparently, that includes the cost of helping children with mental and emotional issues. Beginning next year, AB3632 has been cut from the state budget. In a nutshell, California Assembly Bill (AB) 3632, passed in 1984, ushered in an era of entitlement to mental health services for schoolchildren with serious emotional disturbances.
It is precisely because of AB3632 that my daughter has been able to attend her current day treatment center, as well as her summer camp, at no cost to us. This center has really turned things around for her, and she continues to make breakthroughs the more they work with her. For the center to lose this funding means many children who need the help will be thrown back into mainstream schools where they will get lost, slip between the cracks, and fail to get the help that they need. Yet another short term fix with no thought for the long term consequences for our children.
I can’t begin to tell you what a lifesaver this center and others like it are, not only for our children but for us parents as well. It’s definitely nice knowing your child isn’t lost in a larger school where they aren’t emotionally and/or mentally able to handle it. Certainly takes a lot of the stress out of the every day!
It’s my understanding that they are going to fight to keep the center open, perhaps staffing it with volunteers and interns, but it won’t be the same. Without seasoned staff to handle the RADs, it’s certainly not going to be easy for them.
Perhaps things will change before then? Who knows…