The number of children being treated in residential care at Youthville and Prairie View have been slashed due to state budget cuts.
Youthville has had to furlough staff, and Prairie View has reassigned staff because of the drops in populations.
The number of children being referred statewide to psychiatric residential treatment facilities has fallen by 63 percent.
In March, Youthville had 42 youth in its residential psychiatric program in Newton. As of last week, it had 19, said Gerald Snell, Youthville’s chief clinical services officer.
Youthville has temporarily closed one of its cottages for four weeks, eliminated four staff positions and temporarily furloughed 11 staff members.

State budget cuts
The state had to save $6.8 million in Medicaid spending in the last fiscal quarter of the last fiscal year, Snell said.
One of those ways was to cut mental-health services in the community, the other was to cut referrals to psychiatric residential treatment facilities.
“The long-term effects of these funding reductions will likely be greater need for inpatient care, more crisis and emergency situations, an increase in suicides, more episodes of violence, added strain on fragile families, increased involvement with law enforcement and the judicial system, and compromised patient and community safety,” Jessie Kaye, CEO of Prairie View, said in an e-mail.
Prairie View, Harvey County’s community mental health provider, also has a psychiatric residential treatment facility for youth. It’s program has seen a 28 percent decrease in admissions and a loss of  $924,735 in state funding in the last year,  Kaye said.
Prairie View has eliminated a number of staff positions in its psychiatric residential treatment facility, as a result of reductions in census.
Most of these staff had opportunities to transition to other roles within the Prairie View.
Kaye said, the center will rehire for needed positions if and when its census rises again.
She said Prairie View has not changed the way it evaluates children for placement in residential psychiatric treatment.
“(Community Mental Health Centers) have been asked by the state to ensure that screeners, who are specially trained qualified mental-health practitioners, are familiar with the wide range of community-based treatment options and that they