Twin Cedars makes bid continue teen program
by Jennifer Shrader Staff writer
Twin Cedars Youth Services has made a bid to keep the state’s Warm Springs Outdoor Therapeutic Program open.
The program is set to close Saturday, but could reopen after the Georgia Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities board meets in October.
Mike Angstadt, executive director of Twin Cedars, said he met with the state earlier this month to see if it was feasible for his program to pursue a license for the Warm Springs site. He was told it was.
“Normally, a private, non-profit group wouldn’t be allowed to submit a bid for a state program,” he said.
With that news, the Twin Cedars board met this week and chose to purse getting a license for the program and getting contracts with state agencies that refer youth to the program.
The license could take up to 60 days to receive, pending state approval.
The therapeutic programs 600 acres are adjacent to F.D. Roosevelt State Park off Ga. 190 in Meriwether County. The state told 33 full-time and 10 part-time employees July 31 that it would close the program this Saturday. The state said the residential program doesn’t fit the department’s revised mission to shift treatment from centralized institutions to facilities closer to home. A year ago, the enrollment was 33, and there was a waiting list as recently as this winter.
If Twin Cedars is able to reopen the program, Angstadt said there are skilled people who work there he’d like to speak to about remaining on as part of the staff.
Angstadt actually was the program’s first director from 1983 to 1985, when the site was “just a driveway” and he built it from the ground up, he said.
“Maybe that’s why (the state) would consider me,” he said. “I might have a little bit of cred.”
Angstadt believes the program is an important component of services the state provides to its youth.
“It’s the only outdoor therapeutic program still operating in Georgia,” he said. “It has a meaningful place in the continuum of services.”
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