Hundreds of children in Wisconsin's child welfare and juvenile justice systems who have complex behavioral health needs are being sent for care to facilities outside of the state — as far away as New Hampshire and New Mexico.
Children who suffer abuse or neglect or who live in dysfunctional homes often carry the burdens of these experiences into adulthood. Behavioral health professionals call these ordeals "adverse childhood experiences," or ACEs.
La Crosse County Division of Health Services director Jason Witt discusses what he describes as a child welfare crisis in Wisconsin. Issues related to the abuse of opioids and methamphetamine are contributing to costs, and local governments agencies are seeking more funding.
Julio Gumeta came to Wisconsin when he was seven years old. Now, 17 years later, he wants to attend UW-Milwaukee but cannot afford the out-state-tuition rates that undocumented immigrants are required to pay.