NORWICH – Chenango County lawmakers in charge of personnel issues gave the nod Wednesday to four new workers for the mental health department and a new, full-time registered nurse for the jail.
Both measures move onto the Finance Committee when the respective 2007 budgets in both departments come up for review later this fall. Finance has already approved the creation of four new employees in the social services department and one to assist the county’s attorney. All of the new positions and requested budgets will come before the full Board of Supervisors before the end of the year.
Armed with the support of her committee and fellow colleagues from probation and social services, Mental Hygiene Services Director Mary Ann Spryn described the purpose of a child and family clinic initiative that would require the new workers. The current capacity for providing mental health services to youths is less than required, she said, and the earlier mental illness is detected the less costly it is for communities later on.
About 350 youths are currently admitted in the clinic. The initiative would add about 80 more.
Child and Family Clinic Plus would give mostly middle-school aged students a two page questionnaire while at school. Then, with parental permission, identified youths and their families would be seen at the clinic in the City of Norwich for treatment and possibly in their homes on occasion later.