Parent perspective key to Family Council group


(Posted Dec. 17, 2014)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The Madison County commissioners approved the appointments of 15 individuals to the advisory committee of the Madison County Family and Children First Council. Each member will serve a two-year term from Jan. 1, 2015, to Dec. 31, 2016.

The committee meets monthly to review financial issues, including expenditures and grant applications, before passing recommendations on to the full Family Council. Family Council’s mission is to eliminate redundancy and bring resources together across multiple agencies for planning, monitoring and improving services and outcomes for the county’s vulnerable families and children.

Among the committee’s appointees are three parent representatives: Mandy Hochstetler, committee chair; Laura Eldridge, affiliated with Child Care Network; and Danielle Long. Parent representatives are individuals whose children have received service of any kind from any agency in the county.

“We’ve always had one or two parent representatives. It’s nice to have a third,” said Sherry Baldwin, Family Council coordinator.

The committee’s parent perspective is further bolstered by vice chair Marie Radcliff, formerly a parent representative now serving as an at-large member on behalf of Community Action. Other at-large members are Pat Baynes from the Madison County Senior Center and Curt Gillespie from Mental Health Services of Madison County Inc.

County appointed members are: Tammy Stoops, Madison County Juvenile Court; David Dhume, county commissioner; and Baldwin.

In addition to Dhume, other mandated members are: Kent Youngman, Alcohol and Recovery Board of Madison County; Mary Ann Webb/Susan Young Madison County-London City Health District; Lori Dodge-Dorsey/Steve Kaifas, Madison County Department of Family and Children Services; Jim Canney, Madison County Board of Developmental Disabilities; Tom Ben, London City Schools superintendent; and Dr. Dan Kaffenbarger.

“I think we get stronger and stronger every year,” said David Dhume of the committee. “I’m impressed with our direction… We’re providing services that are necessary and needed.”

For more about Family Council, call Sherry Baldwin at (740) 852-0339 or visit

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