Placer County District Attorney reports non-profit personnel shortage, risks problems to key county services

The Placer County District Attorney announced a personnel shortage in partnering non-profits, which could provide a risk to key services.

“Our non-profit partners are at the heart of everything we do,” said Jessica Waterford, MDIC Coordinator. “While we will continue to provide top services available to victims of crime, personnel shortages run a risk to these services should they not be addressed.”

Key non-profit partners of the Placer County District Attorney’s Office include, but are not limited to Stand Up Placer, KidsFirst, Lighthouse Counseling & Family Resource Center, Child Advocates of Placer County, Seniors First and more. These partners provide services ranging from crisis counseling, shelter and safe housing and treatment programs.

“The non-profit field of mental health agencies has been greatly affected by the impacts of recent events in past years.  Society has seen the need for mental health skyrocket due to various impacts of isolation from others, job loss, and increased overall stress. These factors have increased the likelihood for mental health systems such as depression and anxiety. 

"Recent inflation has also increased the cost of living which has made the job market highly competitive related to the demand for mental health clinicians.  Unfortunately, non-profits are at a disadvantage when it comes to increasing funding these positions.  

"With limited funding streams, non-profits are often overlooked by potential job candidates when they can make double or even triple an hourly rate in a private practice or medical setting. Due to a staffing shortage, non-profits, such as KidsFirst are having to refer potential counseling clients to other agencies and wait times are doubled to receive mental health support.  What would typically be a 2-3 month wait period, is now 6 months or more,” said Lindsay Henry, KidsFirst's clinical supervisor. 

Personnel shortages are both full-time and part-time positions that need to be filled, as well as volunteer gaps of need. The demand for these services continues at the same rate in Placer County.