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May 25, 2022

A chance to make a difference

As Sheriff, I know there is a strong link between keeping San
Benito County safe and meeting the mental health needs of our
children, particularly those who have suffered abuse and
neglect.
Editor,

As Sheriff, I know there is a strong link between keeping San Benito County safe and meeting the mental health needs of our children, particularly those who have suffered abuse and neglect. I applaud the efforts of the staff and volunteers of Chamberlain’s Children’s Center and boosters like Leadership San Benito County for helping to create a safe, nurturing place for children who have seen too much trauma, (“Leadership San Benito raises money to give abuse and neglected children a place of their own,” Free Lance, May, 23.)

Thanks to the passage of Prop. 63, the Mental Health Services Act, we now have an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of abused kids by providing them with the best research-based mental health treatments. Such programs will give us the chance to successfully deliver mental health services to children and youth (and their families) so they can stay in school, stay safe and stay out of my jails.

With this great opportunity, comes great responsibility. We must make sure we invest in both innovative programs as well as time-tested model programs that have proven crime-prevention outcomes.

For example, there are proven intensive family therapies that work with families of foster teens to set clear expectations, rules and limits while providing a nurturing therapeutic environment. And there is even a parent coaching program that sends nurses to the homes of expectant mothers to teach parenting skills and other services that have been proven to reduce child abuse and neglect by 80 percent.

We now have an opportunity to put these innovative and proven programs to work here in our county. For more information on these programs please see www.fightcrime.org/ca.

San Benito County Sheriff Curtis J. Hill,

Executive Committee Member of

Fight Crime: Invest in Kids California

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