Cutting a budget whether you are a family, a business or a government is never easy. I know because I have had to do it on two of these categories. Some think making a flat percentage cut across the board some how makes not making decisions both easy, fair and right. It may be easy but it is neither fair or right. It assumes you have no values driven principles or priorities. It suggests that you don’t want to do the work or take responsibility for the results.
Presently the Washington legislature is considering a budget with a 20% across the board to DSHS’ Children’s Administration service called Behavioral Rehabilitation Services (BRS). This pays for care of the State’s most damaged and vulnerable children, like the children at Ryther. Not serving these children will not mean they magically get better or that they won’t be just as costly immediately as a result. However, they do represent a small percentage of the total number of children in care so I suppose one could suggest that no one will notice or care. These children do not scare people on street corners, they don’t vote and they have very few people who will speak for them.
Any government that suggests that the needs of these children are somehow less important than the needs of others is abrogating its responsibility. BRS has been severely cut and reduced over the years. A 20% will gut the program and abandon a lot of children and it will not save money in the either the near term or long term.
Please help us at Ryther speak up for these kids. Let your legislators and the Governor know that seldom is the easy way the best way by calling, emailing or writing a letter. Find your legislators here: http://apps.leg.wa.gov/DistrictFinder/Default.aspx.