Residential facility opens to provide long—term care for most-in-need children

Submitted photo (Front from left) Jacob Lawton, One Step Forward Director; Bill Devon, CCBDD Superintendent; Ashley Arter, CCBDD Representative; Rachel Ketterman, Department of Job and Family Services Director; Josh Martin, CCBDD Assistant Superintendent; Adrianna Sanchez, Keller Williams Chervenic Realty; (Back from left) Steve Ullom, Family and Children First Council Coordinator; Marcy Patton, Mental Health and Recovery Services Board Director; Judith Hall, Two Sisters Homes; and Candice Jones, Cherokee Rose Residential.

LISBON – A residential facility has been created to care for some of the county’s most in-need children: children and teenagers with complex behavioral, physical and developmental needs that require long-term care from multiple agencies.

“Sometimes the needs of these young people are so profound that they require out-of-home residential treatment. These children have historically been difficult to care for in their home communities. A residence of this type is long overdue,” said Josh Martin, assistant superintendent of the Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities (CCBDD).

Martin served as project manager in developing this facility. Governor Mike DeWine’s state budget placed an emphasis on serving these children, which are referred to as “multi-system youth,” he said.

The residential facility is located in Salem and is designed to serve up to four children with disabilities. The first resident relocated to this site on Nov. 15 and plans are underway to expand services to additional residents in the near future.

Martin said the CCBDD was able to access $121,000 in Community Capital Assistance funds from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities to purchase the residential facility. A grant from the Ohio Developmental Disabilities Council was used to renovate the property and buy furnishings.

The project opened on Nov. 15, six weeks ahead of schedule.

The CCBDD collaborated on the project with many other county governmental agencies, including the Department of Job and Family Services, the Family and Children First Council, the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board, and Juvenile Court. The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities and the Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) provided consultation and technical support, Martin said.

Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities Director Jeff Davis stated, “Governor DeWine is leading the effort to build partnerships and bring solutions to serve youth who have mental illness and intellectually disabilities and are involved with multiple systems. We are grateful for the commitment of the Columbiana County Board of Developmental Disabilities and their local partners in supporting youth to achieve the best possible outcomes. We look forward to the success of this project, and to continued partnerships with county boards and providers to help increase the skills and knowledge on how best to support youth with complex needs.”

“We are pleased to see a project of this magnitude come together,” Martin said. “We appreciate all of the hard work that went into making this a reality for the children and families who will benefit from its existence.”