Working to Protect Children, Restore Families
(937) 224 - K I D S (5 4 3 7)
Haines Children's Center 3304 N. Main St., Dayton, Ohio 45405
Fax: (937) 276 - 1852
Montgomery County Children Services believes that children have their best chance of flourishing within their own homes. When a safe and nurturing environment can be established, kids have the opportunity to learn, grow and achieve the happiness that every child deserves. Unfortunately, however, that is not always possible.
Mounting community problems such as drug dependency and domestic violence have made conditions unsafe for many area children. In fact, there are 650 children or more in foster care in Montgomery County at any given time.
Federal and state laws mandate that the agency intervene to protect children. We accomplish this by working closely with private citizens, the Court and with law enforcement. The law literally demands that the harmful effects of removal must be balanced against the need to ensure the child's own safety. When it is necessary to remove a child, law enforcement or the Court will ask us to seek an alternative placement for that child.
Concerned citizens too frequently focus on removal as the only method of protection, but removing children from their families often causes lasting emotional harm. The child, who is always the victim, seldom understands why he has been "jerked" from his family. Children blame themselves for the abuse and subsequent removal, and they can feel re-victimized.
It is this agency's job to respond to each report of abuse by assessing the risk to the child and then intervening to protect the child. Case management and support services, which are time-limited by legal mandate, are activated only when abuse, neglect or the inability to care for the child is substantiated. Our performance is rigorously evaluated every three years by the Council On Accreditation (hot link to PDF with photos and evaluator comments).
Experience has shown us that many times the family can be empowered to immediately stop the abuse or neglect without our having to remove the child from the home.
Many families call our agency with a need for resources to help them get stronger and avoid a volatile or neglectful situation. We are happy to connect them to the help they need through our extensive network of community partners.
Foster care, which is best used as a short-term alternative placement, is considered only if protection in the home is not possible and relatives or friends are unavailable or unable to meet the child's needs.
When issues are addressed and families can be safely reunified, the rewards are great for children, parents and for Children Services caseworkers.