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Programs to help families stay together

October 22, 1997

The Washington County Local Management Board plans to implement eight new programs and spend $187,500 in an effort to keep families together, according to a grant proposal approved Tuesday by the Washington County Commissioners.

The bulk of the money, $112,500, would be spent on parent education and support services. A family services information database would cost $20,000, as would additional youth activities and a new contract and a grants administrator to oversee the program.

The money would come from a state grant to the Local Management Board for family preservation programs. The board was formed this year in an effort to increase local control over how state dollars are spent.

Officials would like to spend an additional $70,000 on a youth mentoring program and $30,000 on additional school-family liaisons to assist in early intervention with elementary school students. That funding might not be available, however.

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The Local Management Board developed the plan after a survey said Washington County families are stressed by low-wage jobs, drug use, odd work shifts, inadequate child care and a lack of youth activities.

The Local Management Board includes public officials, service providers, business people and community representatives.

- Steven T. Dennis

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