For the first time, a Children Services Levy will be on Washington County's November ballot.
Washington County Children Services says they have faced over one-million dollars in budget cuts in the last few years, cutting staff, major programs, and support. They say this Levy means better evaluations, better protection for children at risk, and more help to families who need it.
"I believe there are 45 counties (in Ohio) that do have a Children Services Levy and we really didn't want to do this but we can not pick and choose which children that we serve," explains the chairperson of the levy, Jenny McVey. "So we have to get our money back so we can serve all children that are in need in Washington County."
A vote yes is 43-cents for every thousand dollars your home is worth, for example a $100,000 dollar home would mean $43 a year would go toward supporting child services. Now for senior citizens it is 41-cents for every thousand dollars.
Children services says the cuts also forced them to eliminate their School Outreach Prevention Program.
"That program had prevention specialist in each of the school districts. We were notified overnight that the funding was gone and when that happened we of course had to cut the program. The referral numbers dropped substantially when we didn't have those people in school districts," says McVey.
Voting yes would also put a representative back in the schools evaluating and helping serve the children every day.
"We have so many children in our community that are in need of some assistance and protection," explains McVey. "Last year we had 1,161 referrals and that generated help for over 2,300 children and it keeps going up. It seems as the economy and drug problems get worse, more children are being neglected and we need to take care of our children in Washington County."
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