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Daybreak Youth Services hits fundraising goal, looks to hire counselors

After fears of closure in January due to budget shortfalls, Daybreak Youth Services will keep its doors open.

The nonprofit, which provides behavioral health treatment to teens in Spokane and Clark County, announced late last year that it was facing a $500,000 budget shortfall and the possibility of shutting down. Daybreak leaders said that amount of money in “bridge financing” would keep the organization afloat until March, when its Brush Prairie facility is expected to return to full capacity.

On Wednesday, leaders announced that the nonprofit was able to raise the needed funds to plug its budget hole.

“All of the funds are going to hire necessary staff,” spokeswoman Sarah Spier said.

Individual, group and foundation donations, as well as grants, eased Daybreak’s shortfall. Now, the nonprofit is ready to offer its full range of services, Spier said.

Daybreak’s financial situation followed the troubled expansion of the facility in Brush Prairie, which triggered investigations and prompted the federal government to temporarily cut off Medicaid reimbursements, resulting in a $3 million loss.

Daybreak, which was founded in Spokane in 1978, purchased its Brush Prairie facility in 2016 in an effort to expand its inpatient treatment services for boys.

The state Department of Health began investigating and threatened to revoke one of Daybreak’s licenses after Clark County sheriff’s deputies raided the local facility in September 2018, seizing documents and computers. The sheriff’s office accused Daybreak of failing to report assaults, rapes and other sexual misconduct to law enforcement.

The Brush Prairie facility continued to operate while the investigations were underway. It reached a settlement with the Health Department in November, agreeing to improve its staffing, training, security and reporting policies.

Daybreak sued the sheriff’s office in federal court, calling the allegations baseless and accusing deputies of exposing confidential patient information. The case was dismissed in July but continues in state court, pending in the Washington Court of Appeals.

However, in August, prosecutors filed a complaint in Clark County District Court against the former vice president of compliance at the Brush Prairie facility. Michael S. Trotter, 43, is facing three counts of failure to report child abuse or neglect.

His case is also pending, and a trial readiness hearing is scheduled for March 3.

Hiring underway

As Daybreak grows its capacity and patient count, it continues to hire nurses, substance use disorder counselors and mental health therapists in both Clark and Spokane counties, Spier said.

“Because of the state-wide shortage of mental health counselors these roles have been particularly challenging to fill, and these are a priority in our recruiting process,” she said.

The Spokane location of the statewide nonprofit offers mental health and substance use treatment and counseling for teenage girls ages 12 to 18. Recently, the nonprofit has had waitlists of teens wanting to access their inpatient services but has been limited in what it can offer due to low staffing levels.

The Spokane Daybreak office also offers outpatient co-ed clinics and wraparound teams that work with families.

In Brush Prairie, Daybreak is nearing a census — its total number of patients — of 20 clients for co-occurring mental health and substance use treatment, and will continue to increase the census to 25, Spier said.

In Spokane, both the emergency inpatient beds and co-occurring mental health and substance abuse treatment inpatient beds are not operating at their full capacity due to lack of staff. Only six of the 12 emergent beds for teens can be filled, and 14 of the 24 co-occurring treatment beds can be filled. Spier said Daybreak is actively hiring two substance use counselors and two mental health therapists in order to open up all of the beds and ease the waitlists.


Source: https://www.columbian.com

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