Montana sends troubled youth to less regulated out-of-state programs

Montana sends troubled youth to less regulated out-of-state programs

Cameron Evans

Kaiser Health News

  • In 2019, Montana increased its oversight of private alternative treatment programs for youth.
  • By the end of 2020, 11 of 19 programs operating in Montana had closed.
  • Today, about 90 children are in Montana Medicaid-approved facilities in 10 other states.
  • Almost every out-of-state program currently housing Montana children has had abuse allegations.

The high demand for treatment for children with behavioral and substance abuse problems has led Montana health officials to spend Medicaid funds to send children, including those who are foster children and wards of the State, in residential programs in other states with less strict supervision.

Some of those children were sent to out-of-state programs that have been accused of abuse and mistreatment, according to documents from state agencies and media.

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