On August 20, DODD Director John Martin presented the Strong Families, Safe Communities (SFSC) grant to Ashland and Richland counties. The grant will assist the local community partnership in providing services to strengthen family relationships, and improve coordination with schools and juvenile courts. The efforts are an expansion of the multi-county grant awarded last year to Ashtabula, Carroll, Columbiana, Portage, Stark, Trumbull, Tuscarawas, Wayne, and Holmes counties.
At the event, Director Martin noted the proposal was selected due to cross-system coordination, plans to increase respite options, and the focus on reducing the number and/or length of out-of-home placements. Local communities are excited about the opportunities the grants will provide, and Richland County media outlets are promoting the grant, which helps increase awareness of the services available in the community. See: Richland, Ashland Counties Get Strong Families Grants, WMFD TV; Grants to help at-risk children, Mansfield News Journal.