Douglas County commissioners have asked Gov. Mike Lowry for as much as $50,000 a month for the next two years to provide counseling for sexually abused children now in foster care.
Prosecutors and children’s service agencies in both Douglas and Chelan counties have been overwhelmed by the growing number of child-sex abuse arrests.
As many as 50 children in the Wenatchee area are in foster care after their parents were arrested in such cases. The city has been stunned by the arrests this year of 19 adults accused of involvement in what prosecutors believe to be two sex rings that systematically abused children.
The commission made its request for funds last week, commissioner Brian Maydole said Thursday.
“We thought it was an appropriate time to make a request of this nature because there’s such an extraordinary need, above and beyond our normal caseload and the dollars we receive” to provide counseling for abused children, Maydole said.
“Those dollars are normally based on population and are not necessarily reflective of human tragedy of this size.”
The $50,000-a-month request represents about twice the funds the Chelan-Douglas Regional Support Network normally receives to help abused children.
The agency estimates it takes about $1,000 a month to provide counseling for each abused child, Director Walt Gearhart said.