Who We Are
There are hundreds of excellent child and family service organizations throughout Stark County. Each one operates independently and focuses on a specific area of service such as: mental health, developmental disabilities, education, substance abuse, child welfare, juvenile justice, etc. While each agency functions independently, many of them are serving the same families and deal with similar issues. The Stark County Family Council was created to open a dialogue among service organizations and families in order to create a broader awareness of important child and family issues. Working together, we develop, implement and evaluate coordinated responses to these issues. In addition, the Family Council provides a public forum for families, organizations and community members to meet on a regular basis to share information, highlight community activities and coordinate planning and program efforts.
Stark County’s collaborative efforts began over twenty years ago providing an excellent model of collaboration. In 1993, then Governor Voinovich formally established the Ohio Family & Children First initiative that built upon this type of collaboration in order to provide incentives for counties to work together in more effectives ways so children and families needs were better met. Today, there is legislation in state statute that requires a Family & Children First Council in every county throughout the state (ORC 121.37).
The Stark County Family Council Board of Trustees is made up of representatives from public service systems, non-profit agencies, foundations, families and other interested individuals and groups. Together, they develop strategies and practices to maximize the funding and other resources available for child and family services, building upon the strengths of our community.
Making a Difference
The Family Council has made an enormous impact on child and family outcomes in Stark County. Helping families obtain and sustain wellness and stay together remains our number one priority.By developing the Family Council, Stark County has made a serious commitment to working together and hold themselves accountable. Our efforts have increased our county's ability to maximize resources, generate additional state and federal revenue, develop needed programs and services, and build capacity to serve children and families.