Washington County Youth Crisis Center short on funds; Washington City Council sets public hearing

WASHINGTON – The Washington County Youth Crisis Center has been helping troubled youth since 1995 but now, due to statewide budget cuts, the future is uncertain and the Youth Crisis Center is reaching out to the public for aid.  At a recent city council meeting Washington took action to help the center reach out to the public for help.

Washington County Youth Crisis Center serves as part of the Utah Division of Juvenile Justice Services. Washington City will hold a public hearing on August 14 at 6 p.m. to help the center gain funding to keep their doors open 24/7 for those in need.

“Often it’s the only place to take a teen during a family fight to cool off,” Washington City Police Chief Jim Keith said to the city council two weeks ago.

What’s going on?

In previous years the county’s Youth Crisis Center was 100 percent funded by the state legislature. For fiscal year 2013, the center’s budget was cut by about $100,000 – which comprised about 25 percent of the personnel budget.

“This was, in effect, two full time positions,” Tami Fullerton, a social worker with the Youth Crisis Center said. “We only have two staff on shift at any given time, so losing those two positions meant having to close our doors for a period of time each week.”

That added up to be about a day and a half.

“Through contributions from local government and other partners,” Fullerton said, “we were able to adjust those two positions to part time and time limited and remain open 24/7 with the funding we received, which was less than what we lost.”

The Youth Crisis Center helps the police force and families

The Washington County Youth Crisis Center has been a valuable asset to the Washington City Police Department,” Ed Kantor, Public Information Officer Washington City Police Department, said.

“Many times, officers respond to calls for service where the family is in crisis,” Kantor said, “for a variety of reasons.”

In an email to St. George News, Kantor said:

Often, situations occur where a child is acting out or the parents cannot control or manage the situation and it provides an extremely beneficial ‘time out’ for both parents and the children. This cooling off period gives parents the opportunity to seek other community resources to help them problem solve the situation. It provides time for the child to calm down in a friendly non-threatening environment.

This community resource also provides a valuable alternative to going directly to the juvenile justice system, if that is even an option, depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident we are asked to assist with.

The staff at the crisis center has been extremely helpful to our department when needed and they are always available to help officers’ problem solve situations where children are involved.

There are no other known resources available in this area that fulfills this valuable community need.

Contributions for fiscal year 2013

  • City of St. George $30,000
  • Washington County $20,000
  • Washington City $5,000
  • Santa Clara City $1,000
  • Division of Child and Family Services $8,000
  • Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health $22,500

This totals $86,500.

Contribution commitments for fiscal year 2014

Fiscal year 2014 began July 1 and runs through June 30, 2014. Below are commitments to contributions to be made.

  • City of St. George $30,000
  • Washington County $20,000
  • City of Ivins $2,000 and up to $5,600 if needed midyear
  • City of Hurricane $2,000
  • Santa Clara City $1,000

This totals $60,600 thus far.

The bare minimum amount Washington County Youth Crisis Center needs to remain open 24/7 is $80,000. $19,400 is needed to run the program on the bare essentials.

Donations other than money

Donations such as personal hygiene and clothing items for all sizes are always appreciated. For a complete list of ideas from Tami Fullerton click here: Donation Ideas

Monetary Donations

Payment can be made out to Washington County Youth Crisis Center C/O Juvenile Justice Services and sent to 195 North 1950 West Salt Lake City, UT 84116.   Attention Cecil Robinson, Administrative Services Director.

Contact

For more information on the WCYCC and donations, contact Tami Fullerton at 435-656-6133.

Additional Resources

Letter for Washington City

Related Posts

Washington County Youth Crisis Center faces uncertain future

Grim outlook for Washington County Youth Crisis Center, open house for awareness, appreciation and legislative action

Email: sisaacson@stgnews.com

Twitter: @sarahisaacson1

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • Flir Lantirn July 11, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Santa Clara needs to step it up! Multiple anonymous inside sources have stated that the Santa Clara Police Department & Santa Clara residents utilize this community resource more frequently per capita than other cities in Washington County, yet they only contributed 1% of the required budget in both 2013 and 2014 fiscal budget years. This irreplaceable public service provides invaluable resources to Santa Clara residence. The WCYCC saves the Santa Clara Police Department countless hours and thousands of dollars each year by responding to and handling domestic situations the police department considers a drain on law enforcement resources. It is insulting and immoral that Santa Clara only contributed 1% ($1,000) to this irreplaceable and invaluable public service it relies so heavily upon and made even more egregious when compared to what the county and other cities have contributed.

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