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By Wayne Quesenberry / The Wytheville EnterpriseTwo group homes for children with emotional problems are coming to Wythe County. One is set to open in October in the former Walnut Inn property on Monroe Street in Wytheville with the other slated for a later opening on East Lee Highway near the Graham Forge community.Camelot of Virginia will manage the two adolescent group homes for youth ages 12 to 17. The Tennessee based company is leasing the properties from Catron Properties LLC of Wytheville with the two group homes being the first Converse High Tops Amazon

of their kind in Southwest Virginia.The Wytheville group home is designed to house eight boys. The other group home also will be occupied by eight Converse Black And White Shoes young people but it hasn been determined if the residents will be boys or girls.According to Larry Morrisett, executive director of Camelot of Virginia, the homes will serve children with a variety of emotional problems ranging from parental neglect to attention deficit disorder and bi polar disorder. They will be staffed by a licensed psychology therapist and child care counselors.Morrisett noted the group homes are the result of a year long study by his company. He said researchers consulted with the Wythe County Department of Social Services and local mental health agencies and found a serious lack of local foster homes and mental health care for youth."The needs of Southwest Virginia are tremendously underserved in terms of mental health and foster care," Morrisett stated. "Some of the kids end up being sent four or five hours away from their families and communities."Mike Hall, director of the Wythe County Department of Social Services, verified the lack of foster care families and group care homes. He also pointed out that many Wythe County children have to be placed with service providers in Richmond, Charlottesville and Northern Virginia.According to Hall statistics, as of Monday, the department of social services had 57 children in its care. Of these, 19 or one third were in local foster care including placement at the Presbyterian Children Home. The other two thirds were placed outside the county."The farther these kids are from home, the farther our DSS staff has to travel," Hall said. "We required to visit them every 90 days. The federal government is really pushing for a visit every 30 days and rightly so. But given the workload, it impossible."The goal in juvenile cases, Hall noted, is to reunite the children with their families. When the children are hundreds of miles away from home, he stated, the distance often prohibits parents from visiting."There is a significant need in this area for the types of services Camelot is offering," Hall said. "It is a resource we will use. But we will Converse Dainty Ox

´╗┐Group Homes to House Children with Emotional Problems

also assess its services to see if they suit our needs. Nationwide, Camelot has a positive reputation."The new group homes, Morrisett said, will feature a home like environment. They will provide structure and personal attention for the youths, he stated."They will bring some type of normalcy to these kids lives," he added.The group homes will be staffed and operated 24 hours a day seven days a week. Licensed through the Virginia Department of Education, they will feature in house teaching when Converse Shoes White Colour

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necessary with its residents attending public schools when possible.Serving as program director for the Wytheville group home is Lynn Bagnell. She will oversee the 15 to 20 member staff of full time and part time people who will work in three shifts.The residents of the two group homes will be primarily from Wythe County, according to Morrisett. He did say children from other parts of Southwest Virginia will be accepted if openings occur."We provide longer terms for the kids," Morrisett said. "The average stay is six to nine months. It varies depending on the child."Camelot of Virginia will accept referrals for potential residents from the department of social services, Mount Rogers Community Services Board and other Comprehensive Services Act agencies. Its will use Virginia Medicaid standards, medical conditions, emotional state and behavioral issues to determine which children will be admitted."I think it will be great for these kids," said Barry Catron of Catron Properties LLC. "When kids from Southwest Virginia are removed from their homes they sent to Richmond of further. This will allow them to stay in their communities."He also pointed out Coldwell Banker, which he co owns, is not involved with the Camelot of Virginia projects. Catron reported he and his Coldwell Banker staff have received numerous abusive phone calls from those opposing the group homes.Most of the opposition is from residents along a section of East Lee Highway where the group home is proposed on a site below Breckbridge Bible College. A delegation of homeowners from the area plans to take the issue to the Wythe County Board of Supervisors meeting tonight."We don want it down here," said Charlie Shupe, who lives across the highway from the proposed group home location. "It not right for the homeowners. What it going to do to the value of our homes Most of the people around here are elderly and several are widows.Police identify person of interest in deadly Lynchburg shootingUPDATE: Police identify person of interest in deadly Lynchburg shootingUPDATE: Police identify person of interest in deadly Lynchburg shootingUpdated: Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:38 AM EDT2014 08 27 10:38:12 GMT

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