Richland County Children Services dedicates playground to long-time foster parents
June 19, 2013
Richland County Children Services has dedicated its playground to long-time Richland County foster parents, Genevieve Hatheway, and her late husband, Elnathan Stewart “Pat” Hatheway The Hatheways cared for local children in need for more than three decades.
A plaque in their honor was unveiled by RCCS Executive Director Patty Harrelson during the agency's first ever community picnic with about 150 adults and children in attendance. (Click here to see a photo gallery from the event.)
Genevieve Hatheway and her husband, who were married for 64 years, became foster parents on Dec. 31, 1978, and have the longest service record of any foster parents in the county. Mrs. Hatheway was honored in May for 35 years of foster parent service to the community.
At the time of Mr. Hatheway's death on Dec. 28, 2010, they had cared for 45 foster children and also welcomed numerous respite and direct parental placements. They have accepted children ages 1 to 18 and excelled at fostering teenagers, according to Lori Feeney, placement program supervisor for the child protective services agency. Mrs. Hatheway continued to accept children in need even after her husband's death, finishing with 49 children.
Mrs. Hatheway said foster children always had an open invitation to return to visit the Hatheway home after their time there had ended.
“We just had one rule … they needed to keep their nose clean,” she said.
In January of 2012, she and her late husband were honored by Richland County Juvenile Court Judge Ron Spon with a “Love Never Fails” community recognition award.
The “Love Never Fails” award was created by Judge Spon in 2000 in memory of Bernice Murphy. The judge awards it to recognize individuals in Richland County who exemplify Mrs. Murphy’s character and never-give-up attitude toward struggling children. Mrs. Murphy was the first recipient of the award.
Richland County Children Services putting replacement levy on ballot
Richland County commissioners has approved a Children Services request to take the first steps necessary to place a 1 Mill, 10-year replacement levy on the November general election ballot.
The levy would replace a 1 Mill levy initially approved in 1984 and renewed by voters in 1994 and 2004. If the issue is approved, collection on the replacement would not begin until January 2015 when the current levy expires.
Richland County Children Services has not received any new local funds since 1999, when the agency’s other 1 Mill, 10-year levy was replaced. It was renewed by voters in 2008, and went into effect in 2009.
Children Services currently collects the equivalent of 1.37 Mills total on the two 1 Mill levies since they are based on property values at the time of voter approval.
The replacement ballot on the November ballot would simply update the 1984 levy to current property values.
“It would result in additional funds based on these property tax value changes,” RCCS Executive Director Patty Harrelson told commissioners during a meeting this morning.
The levy will generate roughly: $1.9 million dollars per year before auditor or treasurer fees and without considering delinquencies, but the final amount remains to be certified, Harrelson said.
Ohio is last in the United States in the state’s share of child welfare funding, leaving local counties responsible for a significant portion of this funding.
In counties without local levies (approximately 43), this burden falls largely to the county’s general revenue fund. Local levies generate about 35 percent of Richland County Children Services funds.
The bulk of its revenue (58 percent) comes from the federal government while the state picks up about 7 percent. RCCS does not take money from the county’s general fund, except for vehicle, property and liability
Richland County Children Services honors foster parents with annual appreciation dinner
Richland County Children Services honored its foster parents May 3 during the agency's annual Foster Parent Appreciation Dinner.
This year's event was in the Kobacker Room at the Cafe on Main in downtown Mansfield. Agency Executive Director Patty Harrelson was the evening's primary speaker.
In addition to dinner, foster parents received awards for years of service and door prizes. Agency employees provided daycare services for the foster parents' children during the evening.
Each May, National Foster Care Month provides an opportunity to shine a light on the experiences of the more than 380,000 children and youth under 18 in the foster care system. The campaign raises awareness about the urgent needs of these young people and encourages citizens from every walk of life to get involved – as foster or adoptive parents, volunteers, mentors, employers or in other ways.
With the help of dedicated people, many formerly abused or neglected children and teens will either reunite safely with their parents, be cared for by relatives or be adopted by loving families.
Thanks to the many advocates, child welfare professionals, elected officials and support groups around the country, the total number of children in foster care has decreased over recent years. But more help is needed. If you are interested in learning more about foster care and adoption opportunities in Richland County, please click here.
Richland County Children Services has added three new photo galleries to the agency's Facebook page. No Facebook account is necessary to view the photos.
6/29/2013 - 9:00am
Richland County Children Services Board meeting
7/8/2013 - 4:30pm
Foster Parent Association meeting- Juvenile Court Process
7/8/2013 - 6:00pm