Advisory committee to meet at CCCA Tuesday

An advisory committee with a narrow focus of providing advice regarding the proposed closing of the Commonwealth Center for Children and Adolescents in Staunton will hold its first meeting on Tuesday.

It appears that the committee’s membership has already been set by the Department of Mental Health, Mental Retardation and Substance Abuse Services. A note on the department’s website giving details of the 10 a.m. Tuesday meeting reports that the department “carefully selected the committee’s membership to ensure representation of a full range of expertise and viewpoints.”

“Those individuals have been notified and will participate in the first meeting of the advisory committee,” according to the notice.

Gov. Tim Kaine has proposed closing the CCCA citing the state’s $2.9 billion budget shortfall. The budget for the center, a 40-bed mental-health facility that provides mental-health services to children and adolescents who by and large are not able to get those services from private-sector providers, is in the area of $6 million annually.

The administration has said that it will work to ensure that the services currently offered at the CCCA are made available in the private sector. There is no plan or strategy in place right now for how to achieve that.

The plan from the governor calls for the closure of the Commonwealth Center at the end of the current fiscal year on June 30.

An effort in the Virginia General Assembly initiated by Republican State Del. Chris Saxman of Staunton would keep the center open.

Tuesday’s meeting is set for 10 a.m. in the CCCA Training Room.

 

– Story by Chris Graham

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