Child psychiatric care worker shortage causes long wait times for kids

Local News

Gurney in hospital hallway

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Psychiatric facilities in Kansas have enough beds to treat children in need of intensive mental health care, but a worker shortage forces about 100 of the spots to remain empty.

Over recent years, kids have waited months at a time for openings at specialized facilities that offer long-term psychiatric care. Children waiting in line currently face an average wait time of about 44 days, according to a report.

Around 150 kids are currently waiting in line for their turn to receive psychiatric care at these facilities, despite 104 current bed openings.

Residential care centers have struggled to fill jobs that are both physically and emotionally taxing, with some jobs paying less than $15 an hour.

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