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What We Believe...

The mission of the Guernsey County Family & Children First Council is to ensure an optimal quality of life by meeting the physical, education, emotional, spiritual, and economic needs of all children and families. By coordinating the collaborative efforts of its members the Council plans, develops, and supports services and opportunities to provide health and well-being in the children and families of Guernsey County.

The Family and Children First Councils are mandated by Ohio Revised Code, Section 121.37.  The local councils exist to:
     1.  Build Community Capacity - mobilize child and family serving partners to address the needs of          
              children and families through planning and implementing evidence-based programs.
     2.  Coordinate Systems of Service - provide a formulized venue to facilitate the alignment of resources,  
              policies and services with and for children and families.
     3.  Engage and Empower Families - recruit and support families to become active, contributing members
              on Council and advocate on behalf of child and family.
     4.  Share Accountability for FCF's Vision - monitor, evaluate and communicate progress and successes
              with the commitments to assuring all families and children thrive.

Building Community Capacity
Per ORC 121.37, each council must work collaboratively to identity local indicators and areas of need, avoid duplication of services, and eliminate gaps in program areas.  In meeting this requirement, the Guernsey County FCFC develops a comprehensive 4-year strategic plan that includes:
     1.  A community-wide Needs Assessment of 72 identified indicators spanning the ages 0-21
     2.  A community-side Resource Assessment to determine how the emerging needs are currently being met
              in the community
     3.  Develop a Strategic Action Plan to fill in the gaps between the identified needs and current available
              resources that currently exists to meet those needs.

The Guernsey County FCFC is currently in year-two of our State Fiscal Year 2008-2011 Strategic Plan.  The process identified a need in working with two of our local school districts in reducing the incidences of truancy at the middle school and high school levels.  The Council developed a school-based wraparound program designed to meet the needs of the school districts and the community.


Each local Family and Children First Council is to have the following mandated members:

At least three individuals who are not employed by an agency represented on the council and whose
       families are or have received services from an agency represented on the council or another county’s
       council. Where possible, the number of members representing families shall be equal to twenty per cent  
       of the council’s membership.

     - The director of the board of alcohol, drug addiction, and mental health services that serves the county,
        or, in the case of a county that has a board of alcohol and drug addiction services and a community      
        mental health board, the directors of both boards.

     - The health commissioner, or the commissioner’s designee, of the board of health of each city and
        general health district in the county.

The director of the county department of job and family services;

     -  The executive director of the public children services agency;

     -  The superintendent of the county board of mental retardation and developmental disabilities;

     -  The superintendent of the city, exempted village, or local school district with the largest number of  
         pupils residing in the county, as determined by the department of education, which shall notify each
         board of county commissioners of its determination at least biennially;

      - A school superintendent representing all other school districts with territory in the county, as designated
        at a biennial meeting of the superintendents of those districts;

     - A representative of the municipal corporation with the largest population in the county;

     - The president of the board of county commissioners or an individual designated by the board;

     - A representative of the regional office of the department of youth services;

     - A representative of the county’s head start agencies, as defined in section 3301.32 of the Revised Code;

     - A representative of the county’s early intervention collaborative established pursuant to the federal early
       intervention program operated under the ” Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004”;

     - A representative of a local nonprofit entity that funds, advocates, or provides services to children and

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