Posted by Anne Decker
Innovative programs are helping Allen County Children Services place more children in forever homes.
Children Services Executive Director Sarah Newland took advantage of April being Child Abuse Prevention Month to update us on the efforts being made to protect children in our community. Sarah told us that calls about abused and neglected children dropped nearly 44% in April, 2020 compared to the previous year due to the pandemic shutdown. "It's fair to say that the decrease in calls to our agency simply meant less reporting of abuse, not less abuse." Sarah says that when Ohio began reopening, calls for abuse went up dramatically. "This shows up the significance of our children attending schools in person to have access to trusted adults and really speaks volumes to the dedication of our local schools to be back in person." In 2020, Children Services investigated 858 reports of abuse and neglect.
Children Services is utilizing three programs to help them ensure proper care of children.
  • Ohio Start is helping to increase the number of children remaining safely in the home with their parents and reduce reoccurrence of child maltreatment.
  • 30 Days to Family maintains a child’s family connections, identifies and engages natural supports and identifies at least 80 relatives or kin per case.
  • Wendy's Wonderful Kids works to find the best home for each child in agency custody and facilitates meet and greets between potential adoptive parents and children.
Sarah says that the child welfare system is going through a transformation and modernization to reduce the number of children coming into foster care, prevent children from coming into foster care, and place children in settings that are more family like.