Eastern Kentucky Youth Treatment Facility Closing

By: Heather Haley Email
By: Heather Haley Email

An Eastern Kentucky youth treatment facility is closing it's doors and officials with the facility say it's because of inadequate state funding.

The Dessie Scott Children's Home is a residential treatment facility for young men in Wolfe County which is currently the home of 34 boys.

"They've been horribly, physically, emotionally, and sexually abused. In their very young lives they've seen things that prisoners of war don't see," said Anne Starr.

Starr is the President and CEO of Buckhorn Children and Family Services which owns Dessie Scott. Starr says Dessie Scott is one of many facilities across the state where children in state custody are placed for treatment.

"With that care and custody comes the responsibility to adequately fund the services that those children need to be able to heal," Starr said.

Starr says they are closing the doors at Dessie Scott because they don't have enough state funding. The Cabinet for Health and Family Services funds children's treatment facilities across the state. A representative says all state treatment facilities are funded equally.

"Buckhorn has had a history over the last four years or so of having operational problems. There have been investigations into their care of children," said Vikki Franklin.

Franklin said she was not able to go into detail about the past investigations, but believes there is adequate state funding for all youth treatment facilities.

"I think Dessie is just the first because we don't have the resources a lot of these other agencies have," Starr said.

Starr and Cabinet for Health and Family Services both say there are on going discussions about future funding increases, but Starr says the funding won't come in time to keep Dessie Scott's doors open.

Starr says more than sixty employees at Dessie Scott will lose their job if there isn't other job opportunities within the company.

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