Bellefontaine Examiner

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Additional child care funds requested by Children’s Services agency

Members of the Logan County Children’s Services board approved two appropriation requests at a regular meeting Thursday.

LoCoChildrenServ

The board seeks appropriation increases from Logan County Commissioners in the amount of $67,438.60 for its purchased care and $11,800 for kinship care accounts.

Purchased care is provided to children who have mental health, emotional and behavioral needs that can only be addressed in a treatment-level home. Purchased care is more expensive than other forms of child care. A treatment setting could be $230 dollars a day as compared to the cost of $26 a day for young child in traditional foster care.

Purchased care expenses were $20,057 in August. That total is the lowest of the year, down from a high of $37,610 in March.

Kinship care expenses are used to fund expenses of guardians who have assumed care for a juvenile to whom they are related.

Children’s services has begun emphasizing kinship care placement in recent years in situations where reunification with the birth parents is impossible.

“The additional appropriations are necessary for purchased care and emergency assistance and kinship care, which is difficult to forecast on an annual basis,” reads a letter from Executive Director Melanie Engle to the county commissioners requesting the funds.

The need for additional funds is a direct result of an ongoing increase in investigations, Mrs. Engle said.

The agency conducted 32 investigations in August, involving 45 children. By Aug. 31, children’s services staff members were tasked with 66 in-home cases involving 146 children.

Among the expenses approved by the board as part of the monthly financial report, was a $312.50 bill to install an eight channel outdoor security camera with a 500 mega-byte hard drive outside the Western Neighborhood Outreach Center, 520 Garfield Ave.

Staff at the center have noted suspicious people and vehicles loitering near the facility after hours, Mrs. Engle said.

The agency also spent $625 on 25 10-panel drug screens, which are utilized by the agency when drug abuse is suspected as part of an allegation of abuse or neglect.

Lastly, Mrs. Engle reported more than 550 children and families were furnished with new school supplies by both Western and Chippewa Neighborhood Outreach centers during the back to school picnics, which were conducted last month.

The board meets again Oct. 11.

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