A taxpayer-funded agency devoted to helping local children recently presented its annual report to the Franklin County Commission.
“The need is tremendous, but we know that we’re making a difference,” said Franklin County Children and Families Community Resource Board Chairman Chris Jensen.
The resource board gets its funding through a quarter-cent sales tax that voters approved in 2008 to help Franklin County youth ages 19 and under. Total sales tax revenue for the agency last year was about $2.7 million.
In 2013 it contracted with 13 agencies to provide 28 programs to Franklin County youth 19 and younger, the report says.
It spent more than $2.2 million last year on contracted services and paid out an additional $122,417 in one-time projects, emergency funding and pilot programs, the report adds.
The agency keeps administrative cost low, according to the report, which states, “In 2013, administration accounted for 3.63 percent of the total sales tax revenue and 3.9 percent of expenses.”
The agency offers prevention programs to reduce bullying, sexual abuse and drug and alcohol use.
“It is estimated that 97 percent of the 18,022 Franklin County school-aged children received at least one, if not multiple contacts, through prevention programs in 2013,” the report says.
The programs are offered at public and private schools throughout the county.
In addition, the agency provides intervention services to address specific issues children may face. Intervention services include counseling, psychiatric services, drug and alcohol abuse services and help for children who have been victims of abuse.
This year, the resource board has awarded over $2.5 million in contracts for 32 programs through 14 agencies. The Missourian has previously reported which agencies are getting funding this year.
Jensen praised agency board members for their service. He noted that members of the board’s selection and review committee spend many hours reviewing funding applications.
Jensen said FCCRB Executive Director Annie Schulte is “invaluable.”
The agency is now in the process of doing a needs assessment to identify possible gaps in services in the local area.
The commissioners expressed thanks for the work the agency does in the area.
“It helps Franklin County, and that’s the bottom line,” First District County Commissioner Tim Brinker said. “It helps a lot of youth.”
Presiding County Commissioner John Griesheimer said funding is being sought for a proposed plan to create a unified response across the county for school emergencies.