Commissioners proclaim April as Child Abuse & Prevention Month


By Meladi Brewer

GREENVILLE — The Darke County Commissioners proclaimed April as Child Abuse Prevention Month. Commissioners Matt Aultman and Mike Stegall were present.

Social Services Administrator Michelle O’Connor with Darke County Job & Family Services gave a speech regarding awareness as April has been recognized nationally since 1983 as Child Abuse Awareness Month.

“Pinwheels have been planted by The Banner Bound 4-H club in the Courthouse lawn to represent the 904 families served in 2021,” O’Connor said.

She also discussed ways to prevent child abuse and neglect stating collaboration with community partners is key.

“Children Services staff present today would likely agree that ‘teamwork’ and ‘team’ are referred to often within the unit,” O’Connor said. “Having the right players around the table for support is important to ensure effective implementation of services being provided.”

A total of 86 investigations were initiated in 2021 due to various concerns related to child abuse or neglect. Out of the 86 cases, 214 children and 130 adults were served.

“While we saw a decrease in the number of cases, there was an increase in the number of children and adults served,” O’Connor added.

A total of 38 children were placed in Children Services Custody and another 54 children were able to remain in their home but received at least monthly supportive services.

“Children Services’ goal is and always has been to keep the child in their home, or return them to their home as soon as safely possible,” O’Connor said.

The Darke County Job & Family Services asks citizens of Darke County to join in bringing awareness to and preventing Child Abuse and Neglect. If abuse and neglect are seen or concerns related to the safety or well being of a child are raised, call 937-548-4132, option 5, during business hours of call 937-548-2020 after hours or during the weekend.

The commissioners also approved the maintenance assessment for Weitzell Open Ditch in Brown Township. The approximate cost of the ditch maintenance is $4,800. A hearing for the landowners will be held on April 14 at 1:30 p.m. Copies of the Resolution & Maintenance Assessment cost were sent out to the landowners by certified mail with return receipts.

The commissioners also approved the replacement of an unexpired term for Law Library Board member, Jim Ward. The unexpired term will run through Dec. 31, 2023, and the commissioners approved the recommendation to appoint Tom Lucas to the position.

The Darke County Board of Commissioners meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at their office located at 520 S. Broadway Street in Greenville. To contact the office, call 937-547-7370.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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