A final meeting of the Scioto County Commissioners for the year 2019 was held on Thursday. With Commissioner Mike Crabtree absent due to personal matters, Commissioners Bryan Davis and Cathy Coleman tended to final business until the New Year.
From the agenda, Commissioners approved the inter-county adjustment of allocations for Job & Family Services and authorized the clerk to advertise public hearing and viewing for proposed vacation of a portion of Ohio River Road in Porter Township. Commissioner Davis stated that the adjustment would allow the J&FS director to move around funds and place them where they are needed, while the proposed vacation will allow for potential new projects at the Pioneer Village in Wheelersburg.
Commissioners also re-appointed Anthony Mantell to the Children Services Board and gave an update on the current state of the organization. “I want to publically say that I appreciate the work that Lowell [Howard] has done. He came in at a difficult time and he has had to address a lot of difficult issues. So if anyone is wondering what is going on, there is a lot of crisis management going on inside of Children Services right now. There has been a lot of deficiencies discovered that Lowell and the team are working very hard to resolve. We have full-time state employees now from Job & Family Services working in Children Services to try and resolve some of the issues,” said Davis. Davis stated that Lowell was very straight forward with the state and admitted that they needed help. “They really have sent the workers down to help; we’re talking about policies that had not been updated in years, we’re talking about training issues that needed resolved. And those issues are being tackled now. The board is bring brought up to speed on what those issues are. We have met with Lowell twice in regards to this and we are staying on that. I know Lowell has met with law enforcement, Judge Lemons and Prosecutor Tieman multiple times as well. So we are on this, we are staying on this. We need to make sure that some of the tragedies that have happened, and they have been tragic some of the things that have happened to children, and we need to prevent that from happening in the future. There are things that are being fixed as we speak, we are hiring caseworkers and our goal is to get it down from what was 50 to 1 to 20 to 1, which is more of a statewide level that is considered doable.”
Davis said that the organization is also in the process of hiring an assistant director and supervisor in addition to case managers.
“There are many moves going on at Children’s Services right now. We are on this, we are staying on this and I know that there’s a lot of eyes on it. We are determined to make sure and do all we can working with the board to try and fix the problems. We’re asking questions and will continue asking questions until and if we get to the place, we feel confident in what is happening. We aren’t there yet, but we’re hoping to be,” said Davis.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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