Today the Wayne County Children Services Board has as its’ mission protecting abused, neglected and dependent children and strengthening families. That mission reflects the change in centuries and the conditions of our times. No children reside in Kinney Building. The agency serves a different population than that envisioned for the earlier Children’s Home. The agency used to primarily serve orphans or dependent children. The trend for the last several decades has seen a significant increase in children who have been physically or sexually abused, or neglected. There remains a constant though; that of outstanding citizens who have volunteered and continue to serve on the Children Services Board. All are appointed by the Wayne County Commissioners.
Currently, Children Services has tremendous support from volunteers who serve as tutors, mentors, special friends or volunteer for special projects like the Tot Stop/Tag Station at the Wayne County Fair or sponsor children for our Christmas “Make A Wish” gift matching program. Children Services obtains its financial support from a citizen supported levy as well as other state and federal funds.
Wayne County voters overwhelmingly renewed a 0.7 mill levy in 1996 and approved the renewal of a 0.6 mill levy in 2000. The Children Services Board decided to combine the 0.7 mill levy with an increase and brought a 1.6 mill levy to the voters in May 2006. It, too, was approved by the taxpayers of Wayne County. This 1.6 mill levy was renewed by voters in November 2012. Children Services asked voters to approve a 0.2 mill replacement/reduction Levy, which was on the November 2009 ballot and took the place of our 0.6 mill levy. Most recently in May 2015, voters approved a 0.2 mill renewal levy. Children Services has consistently had clean State audits. As appropriate, the agency also seeks orders for child support for youth in its care.
Besides the range of services listed in the agency’s annual report, Children Services also partners with other community agencies to strengthen families and reduce the risk to children.
Annually, the agency seeks to increase the public’s awareness of its services and the problems associated with child abuse and neglect through Child Abuse Prevention Month activities, which take place throughout the community each April.
It does take a community to protect its children and the citizens of Wayne County and the Children Services Board have been doing this since 1882.