Richland County Children Services praised during U.S. Senate hearingMarch 10, 2011
Richland County Children Services efforts and achievements were lauded March 10 as part of a presentation in Washington, D.C., before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee.
Crystal Ward Allen, executive director of the Public Children Services Association of Ohio testified before the committee to explain how well the 18 ProtectOhio counties, including Richland, have fared by utilizing the financial flexibility afforded by the Title IV-E waiver.
Allen spoke to the 42 percent safe reduction in foster/group care usage that ProtectOhio counties have experienced.
The title of the hearing is "Innovations in Child Welfare Waivers: Starting on the Pathway to Reform" and witnesses include Allen; Charlie McNeely, Alumna of the Oregon Foster Care System, Portland, OR Jojo Murdock, Alumna of the California Foster Care System, Santa Barbara, CA; and Dr. William Bell, President and Chief Executive Officer, Casey Family Programs, Seattle, WA
Allen's testimony will single out just three Ohio counties, include the following comments about Richland County Children Services.
Richland County Children Services (Mansfield) - Whether developing a Multi-Systemic Therapy program to work with troubled youth and their families in-home, investing in behavioral health assessments and services for families working on reunification, or achieving timely permanence for children when families cannot reunify (Richland CCS received an HHS Excellence in Adoption Award for timely adoptions), this agency is aggressive on behalf of the children it serves. Identifying, supporting and assisting relatives and other kin caregivers, including efforts to secure legal custody or guardianship, is another hallmark of Richland County Children Services. They believe children thrive better with safe familiar families and limited governmental intrusion. Use of the Title IV-E Waiver flexible funding has been invested in a variety of ways, and like Lorain County, Richland County has superb CFSR outcomes. The agency is very externally focused, engaged in partnerships with community service providers, the local YMCA, medical and law enforcement entities to prevent or safely receive abandoned babies, and others to help build awareness and resources in a community ravaged with unemployment.
"It is not often the great work being done by this agency gets exposed before a national TV audience and the U.S. Senate," said agency communications supervisor Carl Hunnell.
"We take great pride in the fact your efforts have met with such great success that our agency is being included (again) as one of the best in the nation in terms of its progressive approach to child welfare."« Back to News
John and Deanna Mack have welcomed 16 foster children into their homes. As a veteran of the process, John offered some sage advice to prospective foster parents at an open house Wednesday at Richland County Children Services.
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