DePelchin Children's Center to cut psychiatric, counseling services

HOUSTON (KTRK) -- DePelchin Children's Center is ending one of its more vital services. Patients are receiving notice that the psychiatric and counseling services departments will be closing, after a "long planning process."

Jane Milligan's grandson Jamie Morris receives Medicaid and says there are many others like him who get treatment through DePelchin. She worries that won't find the kind of high-quality treatment through Medicaid anywhere else.

Morris is only 8-years-old but he's already studying fifth grade history. He's homeschooled in New Caney because of behavioral challenges related to his ADHD and autism diagnosis. For six years, he has been receiving therapy at DePelchin in The Woodlands, but his grandmother just found out his treatment will soon be ending.

"It's already affecting him. As you can see, he's real hyperactive," Milligan explained.

She learned on Thursday that the psychiatric and counseling services will be ending. She received a letter that explains their next appointment will be their last and therapists and psychiatrists will help patients transition to new providers over 90 days.

"It's hard to find therapists and psychiatrists that take Medicaid. They're few and far between. You have to decrease that way down when it comes to a child," Milligan said, gesturing to a small amount of space between her hands.

She has only found one provider who treats children. A DePelchin spokesperson released a statement Monday saying the non-profit has decided to refocus resources on children and families in foster care and those at risk. It also said, in part, "the sad reality is some programs are unsustainable."

"My heart hurts for these families and children who desperately need these services," Milligan said.

The spokesperson told Eyewitness News that they will work with individual families to try to ease the transition. With six locations across the area, we don't know how many children are in the same situation or how many jobs could be at risk.

Below is the center's full statement:

    "DePelchin Children's Center will be closing its Psychiatric Services and Counseling Services departments, which include psychological testing. We will continue to provide counseling through our grant-funded prevention programs in addition to our foster care, adoption and post-adoption work. After a long and careful planning process, we have decided to refocus our resources on children and families in foster care and those at risk of entering the system. While we are passionate about helping children and always want to do more, the sad reality is that some services are not sustainable."
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