SACRAMENTO—Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-Highland) today requested $6 million over a three-year period to create a pilot program which would serve as a model to treat abused and neglected children throughout the Inland Empire. Ramos made the request at the Assembly Budget Subcommittee #1 on Health and Human Services.
“The proposal—a Trauma-Informed Medical Home Model—will fund an expansion of services that are multidisciplinary and will help ensure that the suffering and violence these children endured does not define or create their future,” Ramos said. He added, “In San Bernardino, although reported cases of child abuse number approximately 100,000 children, only a narrow subset of those children can be served.”
Ramos noted that the Loma Linda center would also offer training to assist in expanding capacity in the region and state. “Only the most serious cases are referred to the San Bernardino County Children’s Advocacy Center,” Ramos said. “The Center sees only those cases of recent sexual abuse or sexual assault, or specific injuries such as bruises and burns.”
The funding would expand the current services to children, including the more than 6,000 foster youth within San Bernardino County. It has the second largest number of foster youth in the state. Additional multi-disciplinary providers are included in the proposal to develop a more holistic approach to care with services such as developmental and nutritional assessments, dental evaluations, hearing and vision screening, vaccinations and routine care as well as evaluations for allied healthcare such as speech and physical therapy. Funding will also cover training for practitioners and care givers to increase capacity in the region.
Dr. Amy Young, a child abuse physician at the Loma Linda hospital for more than 15 years and who has treated more than 10,000 children for abuse and neglect, spoke in support of the request and its focus on a multidisciplinary approach that treats the trauma as well as the physical injuries. She recounted the story of a fatally injured infant and her meeting with the father. The father seemed familiar. Eventually, the father told her about the circumstances that led him to foster care and he showed the doctor the scars he had received from abuse when a child. Young said she then realized that she had treated the father when he was a victim of abuse. “In a moment, that changed my life,” Young said. She said that although she had tried to break the cycle of abuse, she had not succeeded. “I was there now to watch as he was arrested for the fatal injuries to his child.” She said the story was not unusual or rare. “Child abuse is a pervasive, prevalent disease process among our children.”
Ramos said, “We must do more to break the cycle of violence to avoid recreating the tragedies that now affect too many children.”
The Assemblymember will also speak in support of the request on Thursday, March 12 at the Senate Budget Subcommittee #3 which deals with health and human services.
Assemblymember James Ramos proudly represents the 40th Assembly district which includes Highland, Loma Linda, Mentone, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, and San Bernardino.