Restructuring continues at Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas.

The agency, which serves 18 northwest Kansas counties, is closing a group home in Atwood.

DSNWK President Jerry Michaud said rising operating and health care costs and staff shortages at some locations, as well as stagnant funding, contributed to the closing.

Sixty percent of its funding is federal money, and 40 percent comes from the state.

Rates are established by the state, and haven’t changed since 2008.

“There’s only so much of a pie, and health insurance has been jumping each year. We have a commitment to staff to provide that,” Michaud said.

Human resources make up 90 percent of the budget, and the staff has dropped from approximately 500 employees to 375, he said.

Alternate housing will be found for those people served in Atwood.

“Our desire is to serve people as close to home as possible. That’s not always possible,” Michaud said. “It would be different if we could raise the price tag.”

Four employees will be affected, and Michaud said he hopes there are openings available.

Part of the agency’s long-term strategy is to “become as efficient at what we’re doing knowing that those resources have flatlined for so long.”

DSNWK has implemented planned giving to try to counterbalance the fixed funding.

“These are our brothers and sisters that didn’t ask for this, and we need to find ways to help support them,” Michaud said.

For more information about planned giving, visit dsnwk.giftlegacy.com.