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Mission | Vision | Values | Areas of Accountability
Local leaders on the Family & Children First Council support the well-being of children from prenatal care until the transition to adulthood, with programs, partnerships, and proven approaches.
As the policy and planning entity for Cuyahoga County, the Family & Children First Council convenes partners to prepare children and youth for healthy, stable adulthood, by supporting programming and planning that increases the self-sufficiency and decision-making abilities of families, prevents children from becoming deeply involved in public systems, and better connects the services a child really needs.
Cuyahoga County will be a community comprised of strong, stable families, with each being able to provide for the basic needs, health, and education of its members.
Our public systems partners developed principles and values that we follow every day.
Our 3 guiding principles:
No Wrong Door, Lead System, Cross-System Planning
The Council also drafted a comprehensive set of service values:
FCFC member agencies shall incorporate these values within their own system. The values serve as a foundation for FCFC. They are:
- Services are family centered; driven by the needs of children, youth and families; and built on strengths.
- Services empower both parents to take personal responsibility for the needs of their families.
- Policies and practices of organizations always support and include both parents to enhance the parent-child relationship rather than undercut or isolate either parent from his/her child.
- Services are comprehensive, and a continuum of services are available.
- Services focus on primary prevention, early intervention, and strengthening the ability of children, youth, and families to help themselves.
- Services are accessible immediately to meet a child/family’s needs.
- Services are of high quality and developmentally appropriate, with timely evaluations.
- Services are provided by culturally competent providers.
- Services are community based and community delivered, allowing referrals to be made to contiguous communities. Services must be delivered in the least restrictive environment to meet the child and family's needs (e.g., placement of children out-of-home).
- Prevention, rather than intervention, is the underlying principle.
- Families with needs are identified as early as possible, and linked to the necessary services and supports.
- Education and awareness are the key components in all systems of care.
- All services must be monitored and assessed in a quantifiable, measurable, way. Service providers are held accountable for outcomes.
- Relevant data are collected to facilitate on-going comprehensive policy and program evaluation.
Our Areas of Accountability:
Each community needs a way for families and caring professionals to work together to keep children and teens healthy. Service Coordination is a process for child-serving systems and community providers to link families to necessary services or resources—as a team, with families in decision-making roles. It is a youth- and family-driven collaborative planning process that supports children and preserves families through the development of a coordinated cross-system plan inclusive of community services, supports, and resources. Family & Children First Council convenes the Service Coordination Team of professionals who, with the families, develop solutions for children who are involved or at risk for involvement in multiple public systems, like child welfare, mental health, developmental disabilities, or juvenile justice.
Learn more about Service Coordination.
Additional resource under Service Coordination:
The Community Assistance Program provides funding for some
family needs, after all other available funding options have been
exhausted. It was developed by the Family & Children First Council,
the Department of Children and Family Services and the Neighborhood
Collaboratives to replace the Family Stability Incentive Program (FSIP).
Each Neighborhood Collaborative has a Resource Specialist who provides
information and assistance to families who reside in their community.
These funds are also available to the public systems that participate on
the Service Coordination Team. Funding for Community Assistance is
considered a last-resort resource.
Learn more about Community Assistance.
Child Well Being
By state law, the Family & Children First Council develops and implements a Child Well Being Plan with the goal of increasing the well-being of young people in our area. Historically, our annual plan excels in inventing new approaches to achieve better results for families and children.
Learn more about the Child Well Being Plan.
Ohio Children’s Trust Fund
Children’s Trust Fund is Ohio’s largest funding source for child abuse and neglect prevention. Family & Children First Council is responsible for implementing strategies locally, through the Children’s Trust Fund, to prevent or reduce the prevalence of child abuse and neglect by educating the public, strengthening families, or influencing policy issues.
Learn more about the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund.