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Grant will ease burden on the local foster system

Kudos to Juvenile Court Judge Tim Williams, who last week found a way to help some kids who really need it while also using state funding to save the county a lot of money.

He submitted a grant amendment to the Washington County Commission to channel $100,000 in unspent grand funding to Washington County Family and Children First to offset county costs for the youth placement.

There are 13 multi-system youth (those who are being seen by the juvenile court, Washington County Behavioral Health Board and Washington County Board of Developmental Disabilities). According to Flite Freimann, Washington County Director of Job and Family Services, a child might be seen by behavioral health for a drug abuse disorder, then by the juvenile court if they are arrested because of their drug abuse. Rather than one part of the system being forced to pay all of the costs for the child, there are pooled funds for the multi-system youth.

This money will ease that burden.

“Normally, it’s not uncommon at the end of the year for money to be left over for state grants, and in most cases, the money is given back,” Freimann explained. “In many ways, it’s good fiscal stewardship, but Judge Williams didn’t want to send $100,000 back to the state.”

Good. It is nice to see public officials turning their minds toward the best use of taxpayer dollars for local benefit, even if it does take a little extra work.

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