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initiate, build, and maintain collaborative efforts that support,
educate and empower all families toward independence."
The Allen County Family and Children First
Council (FCFC) was established in 1995 in response to the
Governor's Family and Children First Initiative. The Initiative
is a statewide effort to coordinate and plan services in the
State so that every Ohio child can achieve the best outcomes
and enter school ready to learn. The Initiative brings service
programs together in an effort to cut red tape, increase local
flexibility and focus programs on families and children.
The Council promotes coordination and collaboration
among state and local governments, and public and private
non-profit agencies to increase family stability, facilitate
access to high quality pre-school and child care programs,
and ensure that infants and children are healthy.
of the 88 counties in Ohio has a customized Family and Children
First Council designed to meet the needs of that particular
county. Representatives of thirteen public agencies/organizations
are mandated members of each Council. In Allen County thirty
non-profit social service agencies provide delegates.
The Council is the conduit for Ohio children's
trust fund allocations, which are used for Child Abuse and
Neglect Prevention Programs.
The implementation of the Help Me Grow program
in Allen County is also the responsibility of the FCFC. The
grant provides for home visits by social services professionals
and nurses, service coordination, parent education and support,
and an Individualized Family Service Plan for families whose
children age birth to 36 months have a disability or are at
risk of developing delay because of family or environmental
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