PDT Staff Writer
Contrary to popular belief, Scioto County Children Services does more than remove children from questionable homes.
“People think one thing or the other. All we do is take kids or they call in and we do nothing,” Elaine Evans, Supervisor of Intake and Investigations at Scioto County Children Services, said.
In reality, Children Services performs a lot of services people may not see on a daily basis. Their Alternative Response Department works with families in a supportive fashion by assessing and identifying their strengths and needs for services. Oftentimes, these families have limited resources. Now they are inviting and urging residents to help them and assist those families by participating in the Baby Basket Project.
People are being asked to assemble lots of baby items in a basket and donate those baskets
Children Services would like to partner with people to serve those families and the youth, by having individuals and groups assemble a basket of baby and children’s items and donate those baskets to the Alternative Response Department.
“Our community depends on us to keep our children safe and assist families that are experiencing a crisis,” Lindsay Hall, Licensing Specialist, said. “However, we need your help to accomplish our mission.”
Evans said there are many ways the community can get involved.
“Maybe church groups or civic groups could get together and donate,” Evans said. “Some of the churches may have a women’s group, and maybe a couple of times a year they could even do a baby shower, but those items would be donated to us for us to be able to use for families. They could bring in little layette outfits, and onesies and socks and diapers, and wipes, baby wash, baby lotion, just any baby and infant care items. It would kind of be fun for them because it’s a fun activity, to have a baby shower, but they would donate those things, and it would be basically a service project. That helps us because then we have those resources here to help with families.”
Evans said those donating baskets with baby items can drop them off at Scioto Count Children Services, 3940 Gallia St. in New Boston, or call Elaine or Lindsay at 740-456-4164, and they can make arrangements to pick the baskets and items up.
“And they can also make monetary donations,” Evans said. “Maybe they have a burden or a concern for children who are already in foster care, and we do activities with them throughout the year. We do a Christmas party, they usually do something around Halloween, and sometimes during the summer they’ll do a pool party, so even monetary donations can be specified for children in foster care for activities.”
Evans said she believes if the public is educated as to the services provided to the families who are often in crisis, they will respond and help.
“There’s just different ways that people can be involved,” Evans said. “And we’re also willing to go out and talk to groups. Lindsay and I have both gone out and talked with some church groups and some civic groups, and made a presentation to them so that we can let them know the kind of items that they can donate or the types of things that we need. And that gives them the opportunity to also ask questions about the agency.”
“The items for a basket can vary, as we are grateful for any donations. However, we find that diapers, wipes, sleepers, and blankets are always needed. We also have a very high need for infant car seats”, Executive Director, Dr. Lorra Fuller, said. “Our goal is to collect at least 75 baskets and 15 car seats. Please feel free to contact Elaine or Lindsay with any questions at 740-456-4164.”
Evans said some groups have also helped by donating non-perishable food items they can put together for emergency food boxes.
“If we get a call that a family doesn’t have any food, especially when you get toward the end of the month, and they are waiting until food stamps get reloaded, and they just need some help for a few days, we can give them some emergency food boxes that will tied a family of maybe four or five over for two or three days,” Evans said. “And then, somethings with that, we might possibly not have to remove the children, if that is the only risk factor. We try to have some supplies like that, that are available that we can use some of that stuff to prevent a removal, and help a family that maybe is in a crisis situation out.”
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at email@example.com. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.