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Tuscarawas County Family & Children First


Strong families, thriving children


Strengthening community partnerships and identifying creative solutions for families


Working together • Growing and learning • Sharing knowledge • Serving proactively • Building relationships • Providing hope • Empowering families and children • Embracing diversity

The Council

Ohio Family and Children First (OFCF) is a partnership of state and local government, communities and families that enhances the well-being of Ohio’s children and families by building community capacity, coordinating systems and services, and engaging families. OFCF’s vision is for every child and family to thrive and succeed within healthy communities.

Established in 1993, Ohio Family and Children First (OFCF) is defined as the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet with the purpose of streamlining and coordinating government services for children and families. The OFCF Cabinet Council is comprised of the following Ohio Departments: Aging, Developmental Disabilities, Education, Health, Job and Family Services, Medicaid, Mental Health and Addiction Services, Opportunities for Ohioians with Disabilities, Rehabilitation and Correction, Youth Services, and the Office of Budget and Management. Locally, the county commissioners establish the 88 county Family and Children First Councils (FCFC).

Who We Are

The Tuscarawas County Family & Children First Council is an organization of parent representatives and public and private agencies who believe that children and families are our county’s most valuable resource and worth the investment of our time and efforts.

Member agencies provide many types of services to families and children including: health and safety, teenage pregnancy prevention, child abuse prevention, parent education, mental health, child youth services,
combating substance abuse, education to strive for self-sufficiency, and education for living a quality life.

The agencies and parent representatives who belong to TCFCFC have agreed to work toward providing all families and children with the resources to make family life and children’s futures the best they can be.

Our agencies have pledged that services will be available and accessible to all who qualify, provided
effectively and to the highest standards possible, and performed without costly duplication.

Build Community Capacity:

Mobilize child and family serving partners to address the needs of children and families through  comprehensive planning to identify, prioritizes, and implement needed services to fill gaps 

Coordinate Systems and Services:

Coordinate services and supports for individual families that require family-centered team  planning, community involvement, pooled resources, and identification of existing and needed services. 

Engage and Empower Families:

Recruit and support families to be active contributing members on council and advocate on behalf  of child and family. 

Shared Accountability for Ohio Family & Children First’s Vision:

Monitor, evaluate, and communicate progress and successes to  assure all children and families thrive and succeed within healthy communities.


Governing Board

Provide policy and governance leadership and oversight of all facets of statutory Family and Children First operations including, but not limited to, the following: annual review of the Administrative Agent Agreement, Memorandum of Understandings, annual review of the Service Coordination mechanism, grant management, approval of annual operating budget, dispute resolution process, all other functions are prescribed in Ohio Revised Code 121.37.

Community CARE Team

Ensures that Council responds to all special projects, services, and grants in support of children and families that includes, but is not limited to, the following:

    • Develops response to Ohio Children’s Trust Fund, House Bill 289, Help Me Grow, Animal/Child Abuse Prevention, and other mandated council projects/grants
    • Creates committees as necessary to address community needs
    • Works in conjunction with the Service Coordination Committee to develop new programs and to strengthen existing programs
    • Address specific conditions of the business associate agreements
    • Elects two agency members and three family members to serve on the Governing Board
    • Responds to Request for Proposals under the direction of the Governing Board
    • Works in conjunction with the administrative agent to meet the requirements of state and applicable federal grants and programs

Provides administrative and policy oversight on all facets of service coordination planning and monitoring including, but not limited to the following: eligibility criteria, service planning and case review processes, annual approval of the service plan, management of business associate agreements, service financing, family and advocate involvement, on-going needs assessment, family and peer support mechanisms, routine activity reporting to governing and advisory committees. Makes recommendations to Governing Board and Advisory Board relative to service gaps. Works in conjunction with the administrative agent on contract and service management and financing issues.

Budget Committee

Works in conjunction with the Administrative Agent on all financial and budget related activities of council including, but not limited to, the following:

    • Review and approval monthly financial statements
    • Grant oversight, preparation of annual operating budget ensuring Council compliance with all applicable accounting and audit requirements per State and Federal regulations.

Early Childhood Coordinating Committee (ECCC)

ECCC shall assist TCFCFC in the design, coordination, and implementation of a comprehensive, coordinated, interdisciplinary, family-centered Help Me Grow system of services for families with an infant or toddler at risk for or with developmental disabilities/delays.

Governing Board


Brooke Yager, Beverly Statler

New Philadelphia City Health Department

Vickie Ionno, Dana Fischio

Parent Representative

Christina Fowler

Parent Representative

Jen Flaherty

Parent Representative

Jim Shamel

Community CARE Team


Jeannie Jones, Shauna Shell


Lara Schwartz

Empower Tusc

Jodi Salvo


Bevery Statler


Michaela Thomas (Madison)


Brandi Ankrom


Marlene Emerick


Courtney Mason

PAC Nami Ohio

Adena Beach

Salvation Army

Andrew Behr

SpringVale Health Centers

Jim Feicht, Miles Riley

Tuscarawas County Health Department

Sydney Marlatt and Jennifer Demuth

The Village Network

Brittany Nidy

Parent Representative

Christina Fowler

Parent Representative

Jen Flaherty

Parent Representative

Jim Shamel