Family and Children First Councils getting $1 million grant to provide more technological services

Posted at 9:43 AM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-18 20:10:58-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — In Ohio, some of our most vulnerable neighbors rely on programs from the state and local governments. Family and Children First Councils are seeing some of the biggest need. Now, they're getting a $1 million grant to provide more services.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced the grant at a press conference Tuesday. He says routines for many of the children who are served by Ohio’s FCFCs have been changed by COVID-19 and it's been devastating for them. The grant aims to address that issue.

FCFCs help some of Ohio's most vulnerable children who oftentimes need services from many different agencies for things like developmental disabilities, child welfare, juvenile justice, and behavioral health.

Right before the pandemic started, officials planned to use $1.5 million from the state’s operating budget for grants and in-person training for the FCFCs. However, Gov. DeWine says with those changes in routine due to the pandemic, kids who don’t have access to technology and the internet have especially been affected as services moved online.

Now some of that money has been re-purposed to help councils buy technological devices like tablets, web cameras, and wireless hot spots and ensure that kids can connect to the services they need.

“Some of these youth were left without a connection, without a connection to their doctors and their needed therapies. For others, such as those in foster care and those in residential settings, the pandemic separated them from their families and their loved ones,” Gov. DeWine said. “These grant resources will help local Family and Children First Councils ensure that our most vulnerable children can continue to connect to the services that they very much need.”

Any family with a child or young adult up to the age of 21 are eligible for service coordination through their local FCFC.

Jade Jarvis is a reporter at News 5 Cleveland. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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