OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Avedis Foundation in Shawnee, Oklahoma has awarded a grant to four communities in Pottawatomie County. The grant provides startup money for collaborative efforts between local and state agencies to improve child wellbeing outcomes.
The grant totals $410,048 and will help pay for staffing of key health and counseling positions in the public school systems and communities of Asher, Maud, Wanette, and McComb. Asher Public Schools will receive money to help fund a school-based service worker through the Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS).
DHS took the lead in assisting the Pottawatomie County Child Welfare Collaborative in the funding application process. The collaborative was established through the Oklahoma Pinnacle Plan and includes DHS, Gateway to Prevention and Recovery, the Youth and Family Resource Center of Shawnee, Red Rock Behavioral Health, the Oklahoma State Department of Health, and the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth.
The key purpose of the collaborative is to help communities improve services for child welfare. The grant also provides a sustainability plan that will enable these public/private partnerships to continue providing services in the future.
“We are excited to be able to assist various nonprofits, schools and municipalities throughout our county,” says Michelle Briggs, President and CEO of Avedis Foundation. “We look forward to seeing the impact these dollars will have in our communities.”
Deborah G. Smith, DHS Director of Child Welfare Services, says the grant money will help provide important additional services to children and youth in Pottawatomie County.
“We are humbled and appreciative for this wonderful gift from the Avedis Foundation,” says Smith. “This collaborative effort will help improve child wellbeing outcomes in Pottawatomie County and ultimately affect the work of child welfare services in counties all across the state.”
For more information about the Avedis Foundation, go to avedisfoundation.org.