Addressing Youth Needs - The Missourian: Opinion

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Addressing Youth Needs

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Posted: Saturday, December 14, 2013 5:30 pm

A rather large number of organizations do much for youth needs in Franklin County. In fact, it is somewhat a stark revelation the money spent to administer to the needs of youth in the county.

Voters not too long ago approved a quarter-cent sales tax for the Franklin County Children and Families Community Research Board, which the past week announced it has allocated more than $2.54 million to 16 agencies that provide 35 programs for youth age 19 and younger. These needs include substance abuse, pregnancy and mental health problems. The 2014 allocation is about the same as in 2013.

The bulk of the money, about $900,000, will go to the Crider Health Center, which administers several programs to help youths who have needs.

The thing that is alarming is the need for the various programs in the county. Why do so many young people have so many problems? Is it the breakdown of family life? Were these young people born with problems? Is this county above the average with young people who have drug and alcohol problems? What about the programs to deal with violence and bullying? Are we above the norm in that regard? Youth crime? Then there’s the problem of youths with mental health problems.

The answers as to the causes behind these needs undoubtedly are mixed, but based on the agencies we have to deal with youth problems, the needs must be great.

Some of these needs also are handled by United Way agencies.

We assume there is adequate oversight on how the agencies that receive the funds spend the money.

Is Franklin County above the average in all these youth problems as to our population of just over 100,000? If so, why?

/opinion

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