FINDLAY, Ohio — A program that has expanded youth and family services in Hancock County was recently awarded a major federal grant.
The System of Care project was launched four years ago in Hancock County to better serve area youth who are dealing with mental health challenges.
The program hires case workers, trains volunteers and uses youth peer support from various agencies around the county to help them work together better.
"It could be child protective services, or job and family services, it can be schools, it can be councilors," Scott Lammers, System of Care project director at Family Resource Center, said.
That way if a child shows an area of need with one agency, all of the agencies that could help out are informed.
It allows social workers and mental health professionals to devise a better, larger plan for care.
"The vast majority comes from a referral basis. It could be child protective services or job and family services; it can be schools, it can be counselors," Lammers said.
The Hancock County Board of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services was recently awarded a $4 million federal grant for the program to continue under ADAMHS' primary service provider, the Family Resource Center.
"We benefited from looking at the data that had been collected all of this time," Hancock County ADAMHS executive director Precia Stubby said. "And now we're able to say, 'okay, here is where we still have holes, here's infrastructure things that we need to get in place,' so that we can really make sure that everything that we're developing gets institutionalized for the future."
With the program costing about $1 million a year, the grant funding ensures the programs will run for at least another four years.