We all know about the budget cuts that have taken place throughout our state and county. Washington County Children Services has been hard hit by these cuts, with no indication that further cuts will not have to be made.
The board of directors thought long and hard before putting a 1.46-mill levy on the ballot in November. The agency has lost vital services while the number of children in their care continues to rise. One such program that was eliminated, when state TANF monies were no longer available, was the Outreach Prevention Program in our public schools. Social workers were in the schools, throughout the county, working with at-risk children and their families, working to stop problems before they started.
The employees of Children Services have worked diligently to become one of only 23 Ohio agencies to be nationally accredited. The agency responded to 1,661 calls reporting child abuse and/or neglect in 2011 alone. As caseloads grow the challenges mount. Foster parents have not been provided a raise since 1994.
We can't let our children down - every child deserves a chance. Please vote "yes" for the Washington County Children Services levy.
Sally S. Evans, president/board of directors
Washington County Children Services