Children’s Policy Council provides foster children’s Christmas

Published 6:56 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2022

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The Children’s Policy Council met Dec. 7, heard updates from member agencies, and collected gifts for children in the county’s foster system.

After approving minutes from their Oct. 5 meeting, the council heard a report on scholarship funds received from the 1976 graduating class of The Calhoun School, a group which partners with CPC to raise scholarship funds. Proceeds from the group’s annual golf tournament funded $6,000 in scholarships which will be awarded to high school students in 2023.

“Our goal is hopefully we can raise enough money annually to support one of the previous graduates who had been awarded the scholarship, on an ongoing basis to continue assisting them,” said District Judge Adrian Johnson.

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Mary Florian with Help Me Grow Alabama delivered a presentation on services available to Lowndes County families through the Alabama Partnership for Children’s statewide program.

“We link families with children from birth to age eight to community and development resources, regardless of insurance, income, and language,” Florian said. “Families can enroll themselves online or they can be referred. So, if parents need parenting information, potty training or behavioral information, we’ll get that to them.”

Florian explained the program assists families of young children to find doctors, dentists, counselors, and daycare providers.

“We also do Ages and Stages Questionnaires up to age 5 ½,” Florian said. “We do that every four months for the first two years and every six months after until the child reaches 5 ½. If there’s any indication that there’s a delay, we talk with the parent and give them activities to do with the children. Then, if it flags again, we’ll make the necessary referrals [for treatment].”

Johnson announced that through generous donations, the council had collected gifts for all 12 children in the county’s foster system. About $1,200 in gift cards were also donated for purchasing additional items or distribution to foster parents needing assistance during the holiday season.

In other business, the council:

  • Invited those interested to help Hayneville Baptist Church collect Christmas gifts for students in the HIPPY program;
  • Learned of staff changes with Children’s Rehab;
  • Received news of Hope Inspired Ministries staff additions;
  • Discussed Alabama History Day;
  • Heard a report on Lowndes County Schools’ state report cards;
  • Learned the Lowndes County Board of Education will use grant funding to outfit a mobile library;
  • Were asked to sign up for recording videos as part of Good Night Lowndes County reading program;

The council will meet next on Feb. 1 at 3 p.m. in the Lowndes County Courtroom.