Friday, September 14, 2018

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Sullivan Social Services running well, despite a huge growing issue

MONTICELLO – The new regime running Sullivan County’s Division of Health and Family Services for four years, after the mismanagement of the previous director, continues to reach new heights, despite confronting new and bigger challenges.

During Thursday’s county legislature Health and Family Services Committee meeting, Deputy Commissioner of Family Services William Moon began with the good news.

“Across the board in all our program areas, we achieved very good stability,” Moon said.  “Started late winter and it’s continued right through the summer sector with our numbers and most of our expenses. 

The big downside is something Moon said he has never seen – a 12 percent increase in foster care. 

“These are children that have been subjected moderate to severe trauma.  They come in with behaviors that are very challenging and very difficult.  Some have not even been classified yet by their school districts.”

The other part of that disturbing trend is that they are seeing this in younger kids.  Moon said a year ago the threshold was 11 and 12-year-olds.  Now, they are seeing extreme cases as young as age six.  One case involves an eight-year-old girl, currently out of control and in a highly-controlled psychiatric setting. 

“She has a very difficult time speaking because much of her trauma occurred pre-language development.”

Moon said the growing trauma issue goes hand-in-hand with the growing drug and opiate problem, particularly with parents.  He said when parents become neglectful to their children while they are at a young age, the consequences are devastating. 

“The residuals are much more long-lasting.”

 


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