Worker shortage causes long waits for child psychiatric care

Local

FILE – In this Monday, Oct. 29, 2018, file photo, kids eat lunch. (Ellen O’Nan/The Paducah Sun via AP, File)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Psychiatric facilities have enough beds to treat children in Kansas in need of intensive mental health care, but a worker shortage means that about 100 of those spots remain empty.

Kansas News Service reports that in recent years, children have often waited months for openings in specialized facilities that offer long-term psychiatric care.

The wait time is now down to an average of 44 days.

Yet 146 children remain in line for their turn, even though 104 beds are open.

Residential care centers are struggling to fill jobs that are physically and emotionally taxing, and that sometimes pay less than $15 an hour.

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