Child protection services needs funds

Published 8:41 am Tuesday, November 8, 2016

The Lincoln County Department of Child Protective Services needs some extra funding and representatives came before the Board of Supervisors with high hopes and hands out.

Eleanor Monroe, county director for the Lincoln County Department of Human Services, and Jennifer Hart, social worker supervisor for CPS, explained to the board Monday that they were in need of money for drug tests.

“We investigate abuse and neglect,” Hart said. “We do the best that we can to keep children in their homes or with relatives to avoid foster care. To do that, a lot of times, we have to end up doing safety plans with relatives. These safety plans require that we drug test whatever relative it is that these children are going to go to.”

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The Lincoln County CPS department does not have funding to administer all the drug tests, Hart said.

“The state does not give us funds earmarked for drug tests,” she said. “They require that we do that ourselves. We now have eight counties in our region and several of the other counties do receive a supplemental income from their board of directors to help with things like drug tests.”

The department tries to use Priority Drug Screening, a Brookhaven drug testing company, because of the lower cost.

“Each drug test costs $30,” Hart said.

Hart did not specify a certain amount she would like the supervisors to contribute to the drug-testing fund.

“We’re not asking for a whole lot,” she said. “Just anything we can get that could possibly help us fund the things we need to help keep these kids in the home.”

In addition to the request for drug testing money, Hart asked the board to consider hiring a receptionist for the CPS office in Lincoln County.

“We have a senior aid that helps us answer the phone and assist our clients when all of us are busy,” she said. “She works out of the senior aid program, which is sponsored by Co-Lin Community College. The grant that allows her to work for us is ending, and we are just asking that the board consider letting us hire her, even part time, four hours a day, to be funded by the board.”

The board agreed to table both requests for further consideration.

In other board business:

• Three representatives from Waste Pro addressed the board regarding complaints of missed garbage collection. Waste Pro added a new route to its garbage collection, causing some houses to be missed over the last month. According to the representatives, Waste Pro is working to fix the problem and avoid missing any houses.

• County engineer Ryan Holmes announced to the board that the yearly county bridge inspections have been completed. According to Holmes, several weight limits will need to be lowered on bridges throughout the county, in addition to repairing a bridge in District 5.

• Emergency manager Clifford Galey requested the board allow him to finance a pre-owned truck, which he budgeted for this year. His current truck is in need of expensive repairs, he said. The board voted 3-2 to allow the purchase. District 5 Supervisor Doug Falvey and District 4 Supervisor Eddie Brown voted against it.