Gov. Jindal announces plan for youth services network
BATON ROUGE - Governor Bobby Jindal announced a new initiative today to network all the state's services for youth into one system in order to give better care to youth with behavioral health needs.
Jindal said the system would include leadership from the state's four child-serving agencies; the Office of Juvenile Justice, the Dept. of Children and Family Services, the Dept. of Health and Hospitals and the Dept. of Education.
The system would take on 1,200 youth in the first six months of implementation, and 2,400 youth in the first full year. Jindal said networking the services would save the state $16 million, and that plans would be phased in by region.
"This Coordinated System of Care will better support our young people who are either already in - or at risk of being in - out-of-home placement or our juvenile justice system," Jindal said.
"Right now, a child with behavioral health issues could be in the education system and then end up in juvenile justice or foster care systems," said Mark Thomas, Executive Director of Mental Health America of Louisiana. "With the CSoC, the child can be treated without moving from one system to the other, hopefully preventing the child from slipping through a revolving door of unconnected treatment."
News 2's Mike Steele was at the announcement, and will have more on the initiative tonight at 6.