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Lucas County Children Services

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Post-War Era

Services:
Through the late 1940s and into the 1950s, the agency grew steadily and gradually increased services to include the innovative pre-school program, a migrant day care center, expansion
of foster care and adoption programs, homemaker services, crippled children's services, and the concentrated effort to expand the facilities to care for retarded children.

Young residents tend to the Home's crops under the watchful eye of an instructor. Revenue from the sale of crops and livestock helped fund the Home. (date unknown)

By 1945, the Ohio legislature had passed a law (H.B. 418) requiring counties to establish child welfare boards or provide for children's services in the county department of welfare. The Home became part of the new county Child Welfare Board (CWB), which was authorized and obligated to provide a much wider range of services to children.

One of those services was the protection of children who had been abused and neglected. The agency had a long-established practice of assisting children who had been mistreated, but the new law (which took effect in January, 1946) codified the CWB's authority (and responsibility) to intervene and provide protective services to these children. The CWB staff grew from two members to seven, and on June 1, 1947, Miss Jane Cartwright was appointed Executive Secretary. Part of her job was to present to the public the agency's policy not to duplicate any services already being rendered. Nonetheless, many existing agencies serving children felt threatened by the new Child Welfare Board.

Through the 1940s and into the early 1950s, the Children's Home population remained fairly steady with a daily average of 225-250 resident children. Eventually, the responsibility of the CWB was broadened to include the care of crippled children. These services, which had been available in Ohio since the early 1920s, were put under the supervision of the CWB in 1953. By 1959, the board was providing services to nearly 500 crippled children annually.

In 1958, Lucas County voters passed a special levy for the care of mentally retarded children. This program was administered by the CWB until 1968, when the state of Ohio created county mental retardation boards.

Many other changes were taking place at the Children's Home during the late 1950s. The need for a multiple service program was recognized instead of a "home" tending only to children's physical needs. During 1960, the CWB changed the name of the Home to Miami Children's Center, implying a new approach to residential care, that of providing training, treatment, and education in addition to physical care. Children were allowed to have their own clothing rather than "institutional clothes" distributed by house parents from a common wardrobe. The recreation program was accelerated and reorganized, the school program revised and strengthened, and all aspects of the program were focused on the individualization of the child.

Name:
The Lucas County Children's Home became the Lucas County Child Welfare Board on January 1, 1946, following the enactment of the new state child welfare law.

Facilities:
In early 1946, the new CWB moved into an office in the Humane Society Building in downtown Toledo. In June, the agency moved to offices in the Huron Building. During this time the CWB continued to operate the Home in Maumee. In April, 1948, the offices were moved to 338 Erie Street, and in September, 1954 the agency moved again to more spacious quarters at 416 N. Erie Street. In 1954, voters approved a tax levy to provide funds for the construction of seven new cottages and a receiving unit at the Children's Home. These new buildings were completed and occupied by early 1957.