A new study by Disability Rights North Carolina says the state is failing disabled children with complex treatment needs. Vicki Smith is the advocacy group's executive director. She says the state isn't following its own guidelines for treating children with both a mental illness and developmental disability.
Vicki Smith: These are kids, so there should be really good robust cooperation and collaboration between education and mental health and social services, because we have to treat the whole child.
Smith says kids with, for instance, bipolar disorder and autism often get treatment for only one condition at a time. And she says hundreds of children have been sent to out-of-state residential treatment facilities because of lack of resources here. Officials with the state department of Health and Human Services say they're working to create incentives for providers to develop the needed services here.
Read the report here.