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County adding D&A caseworkers as opioid epidemic soars

by on November 08, 2018 8:45 AM

BELLEFONTE — Centre County government is looking to add three drug and alcohol case management positions in order to help treat people who are struggling with addiction. As the opioid epidemic continues to affect the region, the county is looking for $327,291 from the state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs to fund the additions.

“This grant opportunity has been released to all the single county authorities across the commonwealth to add case management positions to the need for the service that have come about primarily due to the opioid crisis, but it does highlight that all substance abuse disorders are treated under this grant,” said county human services administrator Natalie Corman when she presented the grant to the commissioners at the Nov. 6 meeting. The grant would be for an 18-month period, but Corman said reports indicate that the funding may become part of full-time funding by the next fiscal year.

Of the three positions, Corman said one would be a community caseworker. There are currently two community workers who field more than 100 assessments a year, with caseloads of over 50 individuals who are seeking detox, rehab or outpatient services.

Corman said another position would be for the criminal justice system, which conducts up to 350 assessments a year.

The third position would be for an intensive case manager, who is out in the community helping clients with housing and basic needs, said Corman.

If the county receives the grant, the money would be available this year. The grant money would include all necessary costs for the positions, including office equipment, training and salaries.

The commissioners agreed to include the grant application in the Tuesday, Nov. 13, consent agenda.


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