CHILDREN SERVICES INNOVATION GRANT AWARDED TO LOCAL PROVIDERS TO ADDRESS SUBSTANCE ABUSE & ADDICTION

February 21, 2015

http://www.athensmessenger.com/news/children-services-gets-funding-for-new-programs/article_3ef2adaf-ea3a-57b8-8927-7805c3726089.html

CHILDREN SERVICES INNOVATION GRANT AWARDED TO LOCAL PROVIDERS TO ADDRESS SUBSTANCE ABUSE & ADDICTION

ATHENS, Ohio – February 20, 2015 - Athens County Children Services (ACCS) announced today that the agency has awarded contracts to two local providers to build community service capacity for addressing the significant impact substance abuse and addiction is having on the children and families of Athens County.

ACCS applied for an efficiency and innovation grant from the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services in 2014. ACCS was awarded $87,207 in new state funding which will generate additional federal matching funds of $46,893, for a total of $134,100 in new funding coming into Athens County in 2015.

To develop new and innovative approaches to these issues ACCS is contracting with Health Recovery Services (HRS) to provide recovery coaches for parents working to overcome addiction. HRS will collaborate with ACCS to develop, recruit, train and support recovery coaches, or peer mentors, for parents served by ACCS from an evidenced based Sobriety Treatment and Recovery Teams (START) model.

ACCS is also partnering with Integrated Services of Appalachian Ohio to provide kinship outreach and support services. Integrated Services will collaborate with ACCS to develop a Kinship Navigator Program to serve a broad scope of kin families within the community in addition to ACCS kin families.

The local impact of parental substance abuse is clearly reflected in ACCS data. Referrals to the agency increased from 1640 the previous year to 1849 in 2014. ACCS Executive Director Cathy Hill remarked, “In 2014 the average number of children in agency custody increased by more than 10% ”. “More children are coming into care, and they are staying in care longer. “We are seeing an increase in infants and young children coming into care.” This is directly related to the increasing problem with addiction that Athens and other counties in Ohio are facing, Hill continued.

The struggle with addiction is also reflected in the numbers of children that are reunited with their biological parents. “We are currently only able to reunify about one-third of the children coming into care with their birth family, and that rate is unacceptable” stated Hill. “Our reunification rate should be more than 60%” Hill continued. “With current service models we are not seeing the treatment and recovery outcomes we expect for our children and families.

“The needs are urgent and we are eager to start work on these innovative services. We are confident they will help create better outcomes for Athens County children and families,” Hill commented.

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Athens County Children Services is focused on its mission of protecting children, strengthening families, and securing futures. For more information, please visit our website at .

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