LUBBOCK, TX - Governor Greg Abbott approved an $8 million dollar pilot program on Wednesday, aimed at helping 500 of the state's 'highest risk' foster children. Working to get them out of restricted care facilities, and psychiatric hospitals, and moving them to a more stable home-style setting.
The interim executive director of CASA Of The South Plains, Lauren Westerberg said a lot of foster children don't always receive the individual care they need and that each child has had different circumstances and experiences.
"I think because of the shortage in placements in Texas, kids who don't need that much of a restricted environment end up in those places because there's no where else for them to go that is less restricted and can still provide treatment and meet their needs." Westerberg said.
The program is also aimed at providing the children with the proper trauma treatment they may need, while working to help them find forever homes. Westerberg said that CASA looks forward to seeing how the pilot program will play out within the next year or two.
"I think there's a huge misconception that kids are in foster care because they are bad kids," Westerberg said. "These kids are in foster care because they were neglected or abused."
Funding for the program will come from the federal 'victims of crime' act, and will help children who have been hospitalized at least once in the past 12 months, or have lived at two or more residential centers.
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