The High Sky Ranch right here in Midland is a children's ranch that promotes family wholeness. The ranch offers programs for at risk youths. But it's currently facing some problems of its own.
One of those programs offered by the ranch is the "Services To At-Risk Youth" or STAR program. The purpose of the state funded program is to prevent child abuse, delinquent behavior, and truancy. It serves one thousand families right here in the Basin. But just like many other state funded programs, STAR is facing devastating cuts. State legislators are proposing to cut 34 percent of the services, which could cause a drastic reduction or total loss of the program for high sky ranch and other providers area wide.
"If this happens then there would be 350 families that could benefit from our services that no longer would have access to be available to serve them." Said Adolph Knabe, Family Services Director at High Sky Ranch.
Which is a shame, because statistics prove this program is effective.
"The success rate for this program is 87%. So here again, if we have a youth involved in delinquent conduct, 87% of the time, they go no further into the system."
Adolph Knabe, family director at High Sky Ranch says that keeping kids out of the system through counseling is actually saving taxpayers money. The cost of serving a family through the star program is less than 700 dollars. Compare that to 40,000 dollars needed to provide foster care. And some families may prefer the star program to the unpredictable justice system.
"So if we withdraw or no longer available then these families have nothing else to turn to."
The people at High Sky Ranch have been writing to state legislators, asking them to cut back on their cuts. And you can too. Here is a link to the ranch's website.