Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Play

Opening statements today in appeal to protect DACA; last chance to register to vote in MO August primary; and mapping big-game routes.

Play

Highland Park mass shooting witnesses describe horrific scene, police release details about shooter, and Rudy Giuliani, Senator Lindsey Graham, receive subpoenas as part of an investigation surrounding former President Trump.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Behavioral Health Orgs: $12 Wage a Challenge without Funding Boost

Play

Monday, March 7, 2022   

Pennsylvania lawmakers are considering Gov. Tom Wolf's final budget proposal, which includes raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour by July.

Child behavioral health agencies warn that increasing wages without more funding could affect the quality of care.

Pennsylvania agencies are paid a pre-determined reimbursement rate controlled by the state Department of Human Services and counties.

Samea Kim - vice president of legal and public affairs at the Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth & Family Services - said providers support a higher minimum wage, but feel it's not financially feasible without also raising reimbursement rates.

"At a really difficult time," said Kim, "when there's already reductions in services, when there's already workforce challenges especially in the human services field, it's likely to have a really significant impact on providers' ability to recruit and retain a really high-quality and high-functioning workforce."

The current state minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

A Wolf administration spokesperson says many workers in the social-services field already are earning close to or more than $12 an hour.

He adds that rates paid by DHS for services will be set with the costs of the minimum-wage increase in consideration and that layoffs by social-service providers are not expected.

Beth Endy is the director of human resources at at Bethany Children's Home, a Berks County residential facility for young people experiencing behavioral health challenges.

Endy said there's been discussion about exempting human services from a minimum wage increase - and she worries that would lead to more people leaving the field for better pay.

"If a staff can go to a different type of industry, which a lot of times is less draining and make more than they do here, that's what's going to happen," said Endy. "They're going to leave. They're going to go to another type of industry in order to meet their needs and their family's needs, financially."

Endy said to retain workers dealing with burnout during the pandemic, her organization increased starting pay to a range of $16 to $19 an hour for direct support professionals.



Disclosure: Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth & Family Services contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Children's Issues, Education, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
Nearly 57% of Washingtonians who attended college but have no degree or certificate are age 35 or older. (Monkey Business/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The number of people with some higher education but no degree or other credential to show for it has increased in recent years, according to a new …


Environment

Starting this month, chemical companies will resume being taxed for cleanup of areas with a lot of leftover toxic waste, also known as Superfund …

Social Issues

Today is the deadline for Missouri residents to make sure they are registered to vote if they want to cast a ballot in the August primary. Eligible …


U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., is among the chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Black Women and Girls, founded in 2016. (Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

As states ban abortion with the overturning of Roe v. Wade, women's advocates in New York and beyond are raising awareness of the outsized impact …

Social Issues

The fate of more than 600,000 so-called "dreamers" hangs in the balance as opening statements are heard today in a case that could make or break the D…

In New Mexico, herds of pronghorn typically are found roaming the high plains throughout the eastern part of the state. (Steppinstars/Pixabay)

Environment

A four-year project to map big-game routes throughout the West will end without additional funds from Congress - at least for now. Since 2018…

Environment

Groups working to curb climate change said a Supreme Court ruling limiting the ability of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to control carbon …

Environment

Government labels on meat products that say "humane" or "raised in a stress-free environment" are meaningless, according to some animal-rights groups…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021