Funds transferred for foster care in emergency meeting


An emergency meeting of the Highland County Board of Commissioners Thursday morning resulted in the passage of resolutions transferring funds to Children Services for the alleviation of debt.

At Wednesday’s meeting of commissioners, the bulk of more than 30 resolutions saw the transfer of more than $681,000 of unused funds from county offices supported by the general fund back to the county for use on the mounting costs of children in foster care.

Commissioners planned to transfer the funds to Children Services by resolution at next week’s meeting, but according to clerk Rhonda Smalley on Thursday, the office learned late Wednesday afternoon that in order for those funds to be able to be paid by the end of the year with the state, the transfers couldn’t wait until next week.

Thursday morning’s emergency meeting, Smalley said, lasted four minutes, long enough for commissioners Shane Wilkin, Tom Horst, and Jeff Duncan to approve two resolutions.

The first resolution was an additional appropriation from unappropriated funds to “County Miscellaneous, Transfers Out” for $1 million. The second resolution was from that fund to Children Services in the amount of $825,000.

The money for now will bring Children Services “square with the state, and square with child care providers,” Wilkin said on Thursday.

As previously reported, the costs of children in foster care are increasing dramatically because they are being housed out of the county due to the rising number of children in foster care, which was most-recently reported as more than 140 children, and a lack of foster homes in the county. Children in care can cost the county anywhere from $50 to nearly $395 per day per child depending on the needs of the child and where the child is placed.

Those interested in becoming foster parents can call 937-393-3111, extension 5055 to contact foster coordinator Jodi Kidder.

Reach Angela Shepherd at 937-393-3456, ext. 1681, or on Twitter @wordyshepherd.

From left, commissioners Jeff Duncan, Shane Wilkin and Tom Horst are pictured at a previous meeting. left, commissioners Jeff Duncan, Shane Wilkin and Tom Horst are pictured at a previous meeting.

By Angela Shepherd

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