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Voucher program details coming soon

JEFF FELTON

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Members of the Belmont County Family and Children First Council learned Tuesday the county’s annual back to school clothes voucher program still is in the works.

During the council’s regular meeting, Jeff Felton, director of the Belmont County Department of Job and Family Services, said details of this year’s program are still being worked on and should be released soon to the public.

The program allows families who qualify income-wise to purchase clothing for their children for the new school year.

It was noted the program will likely be spread out over a two-week period so as not overwhelm retailers and families, too.

Meanwhile, members of the council took turns talking about their respective agencies’ funding and number of children being helped.

According to information provided by Pat Green-Wallace, coordinator of the Belmont County FCF, each county in the state is required to have such a council.

“Ohio Family and Children First promotes coordination and collaboration among state and local governments, non-profit organizations, businesses and families for the benefit of Ohio’s children. This work is carried out through Ohio’s 88 county-based Family and Children First Councils. The FCFC’s mobilize their communities to identify and address ongoing needs of children and families through planning, implementing effective strategies, monitoring and reporting, and evaluating progress through achieving desired outcomes,” according to Ohio Revised Code.

In attendance during the meeting were Green-Wallace; Felton; Jack Regis of the county DJFS; Courtney Mason of Help Me Grow; Amanda Tharp and Holly Weatherson, both of the Belmont County Board of Developmental Disabilities; Patty Allen of the Mental Health and Recovery Board; and Linda Mehl, nursing director at Belmont County Health Department. There were also a few people who attended the meeting via Zoom.

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