According to a new report by Texans for Children. The decline in funding has caused Texas early childhood intervention programs to close leaving local non-profits to pick up more cases..
Amari Winters was born a miracle baby. She was born with Genesis of the Corpus Callosum, a rare birth defect. an absence of the part of the brain that connects the two hemispheres. Amari has a number of disabilities including being half deaf and half blind. Amari’s mother Yolany said she sees about 15 different doctors and the cost and time to care for Amari have weighed heavily on her parents.
"I call her god's miracle because it's just all the things that she does and everyone's amazed with the help," said Winters. "The help that we are getting right now is amazing but we could use more.”
The Winters family works with Any Baby Can, a local non-profit that provides assistance to families with medical needs including ECI programs. Texans Care for Children said the state has seen a decline of nearly 15-percent in funding for ECI. Any Baby Can Senior Director for ECI Guillermo Lopez said this has led to multiple programs closing and ABC to pick up cases further away in Hays, Blanco and Llano counties.
"Even now with the increase in counties that we are serving the decrease in funding has been harder on our staff to provide excellent or timely service for families," Lopez said.
The Texas Health and Human Services commission is asking the legislature to increase ECI funding for the next two years.
"I think it would support all families and children that need the service and that definitely would help stabilize the ECI programs to continue to provide services to those families," Lopez said.