Family Children First Council administration changing

By Casey S. Elliott -

The Madison-Champaign Educational Service Center moved closer to becoming the administrative agent for the Family and Children First Council in Champaign County.

The ESC board approved a resolution to make that change, effective July 1, 2017, at its Monday meeting.

ESC officials said they wanted the ESC to become the fiscal and administrative agent for the agency to centralize services for at-risk families. State law allows the change in administration if approved by all the agencies involved.

Family and Children First Councils look at at-risk family needs and try to wrap their services around those families. ESCs deal with high-needs students, from gifted students to those with significant disabilities.

Currently, the Family and Children First Council is overseen by the Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Services (MHDAS) Board of Logan and Champaign Counties. The change was brought up through discussions between ESC Superintendent Dr. Dan Kaffenbarger and MHDAS Board Executive Director David Higgins.

Higgins said the MHDAS board approved the change at its May 16 board meeting. The change will not take place until the Champaign County Commission passes a resolution approving it, Kaffenbarger said.

Staff will continue to be located where they are currently, though they will be employed by the ESC. The board also approved hiring four Family and Children First Council employees, effective July 1, as part of the switchover: Help Me Grow/FCFC Coordinator Shelby Circle, FCFC Program Coordinator Jessica Doggett, FCFC Administrative Coordinator Donna True and FCFC Executive Director Melissa Ussher.

By Casey S. Elliott

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.