Kokomo Perspective on 11/26/2015 by Pat Munsey
The Robert J. Kinsey Youth Center is serving more children than ever before, and it shows in the bottom line. With a switch in detention philosophies over the past 20 years, the center had to adapt to today’s needs.
According to director Jeff Lipinski, those changes are paying dividends for the youth and the county.
“We’re 45 days into our new program where we did away with residential housing in favor of shelter care,” said Lipinski. “We average almost five more residents a day by making that switch. If you project those numbers over the course of a year, that’s around $400,000-$500,000 in additional revenue.
“So far, it has been really positive. We’ve had kids from as far south as Bloomington and as far north as Gary. We almost cover the entire state.”
Lipinski explained that the specialized services provided by residential care — an on-staff psychiatrist and hospital-based therapies — have been shifted to the medical field. But shelter care, which involves short-term, crisis housing and a lighter treatment regimen, is the preferred option for counties which cannot stand the greater expense that comes with residential care.