Cut Funding Leads to Less Support for Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is one of the largest health nonprofits in the United States, advocating for children and adults with cerebral palsy. The main arm of the nonprofit lives in Washington DC, working with the government to provide programs and support to families.
Major service provider to CP patients
The UPC consists of 100 local service providers that assist 176,000 families around the world in dealing with the affects of cerebral palsy. One such branch is located in Southern Illinois, but due to funding cuts, that branch had to close its doors in June 2011.
The United Cerebral Palsy of Southern Illinois branch operated on a $156,000 grant provided by the state. For the past couple of years, it had been threatened that the grant would disappear, causing UCP-Southern Illinois to close its doors, but somehow they always persevered.
This time is different. The organization sold all their furniture, and prepared to close their doors for good, leaving the 300 cerebral palsy patients they help yearly without a crucial support agency.
Will needs go unmet?
Many of the cerebral palsy clients come to the center after a first diagnosis, looking for advice and direction on how to deal with the disorder. The center assists in finding the right equipment for children and adults alike, providing doctor referrals, and helping with case management. Now that the center is closing, they’ve been hard at work teaching their clients what they need to do when they need help.
While the center’s executive director believes that most of her clients will survive without them, it’s those who have yet to receive the diagnosis that she worries most about.