The board approves the request for staffing at the youth center

Posted: 1/8/2022 13:15:14 PM

Modified: 1/8/2022 13:14:23 PM

An increased need for juvenile mental health services and a historic challenge in recruiting youth counselors for the Sununu Youth Services Center prompted the Department of Health and Human Services to turn to a recruitment agency for employment. ugly.

The Executive Council approved the ministry’s request to pay Maxim Healthcare in Manchester nearly $ 847,000 in federal money to immediately provide 18 youth counselors.

The state spends around $ 13 million a year to run the Manchester center serving children between the ages of 13 and 17 who have been placed in a secure institutional setting by the juvenile justice system.

Although the facility has 144 beds, it averages about nine children per day, according to a September report from a consultant hired to recommend measures to close the center and transition young people to a more appropriate setting.

The department could not be reached immediately to say if the population has increased. But residents’ mental health needs have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

In its request to the Executive Council, the department said nearly half of the children were at such a risk of harm to themselves that a single adviser could only care for one or two residents at a time.

The state turned to Maxim Healthcare for help in filling other positions. At its last meeting, the Executive Board approved a separate contract worth $ 6.34 million in federal money to fill approximately 70 temporary public health jobs.

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