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The Wood County Board of Developmental Disabilities is going to meet the needs of children who lack local residential services.
"If we had a children's home, we would have three children move in tomorrow," Superintendent Brent Baer said at Monday's board meeting.
The 2020 Vision Plan approved by the board in June identified the need for a housing plan, but Baer said a home for school-age children wasn't in the works until 2019 or 2020.
"It has become evident that families struggle to provide the supervision and care necessary to keep their loved ones healthy and safe at home," Baer said.
Up until now, the only option for residential placement for school-age children has been outside Wood County.
In addition to the immediate need for three families, there are at least six additional children whose families have asked for residential placement in the next one to two years, Baer said.
"We believe that it is our responsibility to keep these children within the community to be close to family and friends," he continued.
A four-bedroom home on Melrose Street in Bowling Green had been purchased with the intent for use by the Horizons Program.
Instead, that home will be used for children and the Horizons Program will be moved to a fully-accessible home in Portage, on which the board is collaborating with Wood Lane Residential Properties Board to purchase.
It is anticipated the renovations to the home on Melrose will be completed by Dec. 1, with the home operational in January or February. The location on a quiet street makes it a good location, Baer said.
"We need to move now," he added. "It's something that our families need and it's time to take care of it."
The Horizons Program is for individuals eligible for WCBDD services who may require behavioral intervention, psychiatric services or crisis intervention; who live in a home that does not meet their accessibility needs; or who face unforeseen homelessness. The home will be made available to individuals who are confronted with accessibility issues in their current placement or individuals who face unforeseen homelessness.
Also at the meeting, the board:
• Announced a Provider and Board Resource and Activity Fair on Oct. 28 at the Bowling Green Community Center from 9 a.m. until noon. The event is for families who want to meet available providers in Wood County.
• Heard from members of the new Venturing Crew Club, which is through the Boy Scouts of America and is for anyone older than 21 who receives services through Wood Lane. The group is Scout Troop 352. They received their charter at the meeting.
This article has been reproduced for educational purposes only and appeared in the Setinel-Tribune. The original story can be found at: http://www.sent-trib.com/news/front_page/wood-lane-is-adding-residential-home-for-children/article_f5c57497-567c-5bf1-9a9c-443185e9db12.html
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