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Greene County Children Services Board, with the support of the community, provides family-centered services to protect children from abuse and neglect by building safe, permanent families.
Greene County Children Services Board (GCCSB) is the county agency designated by law to provide for the care, protection, and placement of abused, neglected, and dependent children in Greene County. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services monitors Children Services to insure compliance with state law and administrative rules and regulations. These laws, rules, and regulations can be found in the Ohio Revised Code and the Ohio Administrative Code.
In 1866, state legislature passed the Children's Home Law of Ohio which enabled counties to build and maintain separate child care institutions for dependent and neglected children. Greene County built its Children's Home in 1910 at 651 Dayton-Xenia Road in Xenia. Prior to this, children were indenture to families or kept in county infirmaries or alms houses.
In 1945, the state legislature enacted the Child Welfare Services Act, making more comprehensive services available to children in Ohio. Services could be administered through a unit of the county welfare department, or through the establishment of a county child Welfare Board. Greene County chose to establish a Child Welfare Board. The Child Welfare Services Act distinguished between services offered to children under Child Welfare Boards and services offered by Children's Homes. Most importantly, this law established Child Welfare as an agency with powers to investigate situations of alleged abuse or neglect and to take the necessary steps to protect children from harm. It also allowed Child Welfare to provide care to a child in any setting deemed appropriate. From this, foster family care was started as an alternative to placing an abused or neglected child as a resident in an institution.
In 1956 the League of Women Voters studied services for children in Greene County and the Greene County Children's Home. At this time, there was one superintendent of the Children's Home and one Child Welfare caseworker. There were approximately fifty children in foster family care, thirty-nine in Catholic homes placed out of Greene County, and sixty-nine children in the Children's Home. A total of two staff members oversaw the welfare for these 158 children placed in substitute care.
In 1960 voters in Greene County passed the first and only child Welfare Levy. The levy has been renewed and replaced continuously since its passage, most recently in November of 1999. Services to children were broadened and a firm distinction was made between Child Welfare and the Children's Home, which was opened in 1917. As a result of this distinction concerted efforts were made to place children with families rather than institutional care. In 1969 the state legislature authorized a name change from Child Welfare to Children Services Board.
At this time, Greene County conducted a study, which led to the closing of the Children's Home in 1971. The agency established two group homes to house adolescent children (one for boys and one for girls). All younger children in need of substitute care were placed with foster families. The years of 1974 - 1979 saw rapid expansion for GCCSB.
The agency opened a branch office in neighboring Fairborn to better serve the community. From 1979 to 1983 the agency experienced significantly reduced funding as a result of unexpected losses in Federal and State support. This was a difficult time for provision of services. By 1984, a replacement levy was passed and the agency was able to be fully staffed with 27 position (six administrative, fourteen direct service workers, and seven support).
In 1989, Ohio passed Senate Bill 89, which implemented Federal Public Law 96-272 that included family preservation, case planning process, and procedural safeguards. The Child Welfare League of America completed a study of the Greene County Children Services Board in 1989, and in 1992 the agency reorganized its management structure into specific areas. These areas included: Intake, Protective Services, Placement, Adoption and Support.
Greene County Children Services Board moved to its current location at 601 Ledbetter Road, Xenia, OH in November of 1993. In 1995, the Fairborn office was closed and joined with the office in Xenia. March of 1998 was the beginning of the Strategic Plan at Greene County Children Services Board that is currently underway. Greene County Children Services Board received accreditation from the Council on Accreditation for Children and Family Services during the summer of 2001. This recognizes that GCCSB meets the highest national standards of professional performance in the field of child welfare. GCCSB is the eighth county public children services agency (out of 88 Ohio counties) to achieve this status.
- Jennifer Lawson
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