-At a recent meeting of the Wayne County Commissioners, May was declared Foster Care Month.
The proclamation said that there are “26 children and youth in foster care” in Wayne County.
“We want to recognize families and those in the community for welcoming children into their hearts,” said Cindy Batzel of Wayne County Children & Youth. “They deserve to be recognized for helping children. We are proud of them and the community we live in. The goal is to get those children back home. We serve not just the child but also their families.”
She said that to become a foster parents it's a “long extensive process,” but that it's for a “good purpose.”
“We are trusting these families to take care of the children,” Batzel said. “It's an invasive process and takes a special family to be a foster family.”
She said if anyone would like to become a foster family call Children & Youth at (570) 253-5102.
“We're profoundly thankful for the care and compassion of your department,” said commissioner Jonathan Fritz. “Society is blessed to have folks like yourselves doing this.”
“It's not an easy process,” said Batzel. “If you're motivated and truly have what you need to be a foster parent, then it will be life changing.”
•May 5-11 was also named Corrections Employee Week. The proclamation said that Pennsylvania's correctional system is the “oldest in the nation” and evolved from the establishment of Philadelphia's Walnut Street Jail in 1773 and the Eastern Penitentiary in 1829.
The 'Pennsylvania system' was the “leading influence” in the development of penology throughout the 19th century. Pennsylvania has 27 state correctional institutions, 15 community corrections centers and 39 contract facilities, a motivational boot camp, 63 county prisons and jails and 15 federal institutions.
There are more than 101,300 inmates and more than 30,000 corrections professionals.
•A group of representatives including Judge Raymond Hamill, the commissioners, Human Services, D & A Services, Corrections, Adult Probation, the District Attorney, Public Defender and Sheriff's Office met for several months discussing the need for outpatient drug and alcohol treatment options for people while they are incarcerated in the Wayne County Correctional Facility.
The Correctional Facility and Court system will work in conjunction with the Wayne County Drug & Alcohol Commission to “identify treatment needs of inmates and provide available options” to those individuals identified as being “most in need” of outpatient treatment.
This will start July 1.
“We can no longer act like we don't have a drug problem around here,” said commissioner Brian Smith. “There will be an additional cost but we found a way not to burden the taxpayers. This is something we all collectively feel is a step to get people off drugs. We just can't ignore it anymore.”
Page 2 of 2 - •The Southern Wayne Regional Chamber of Commerce gave a 2013 update and thanked the commissioners for their support.
“It's been a tough year for all the chambers,” said Patty Blaum, executive director. “We are doing the best we can for the community and tourism. Our membership is also growing.”
She added that the printed directory that they used to have will come back this year.
The commissioners congratulated the chamber for their increased memberships and Smith said they're doing “great things” for the county.
•Anthony Sabia was reappointed to the South Wayne Water & Sewer Authority Board for a five year term that will expire on Jan. 1, 2018.
•Marjorie Murphy was reappointed to the Wayne County Housing Authority Board for a five year term that will expire on May 1, 2018.
•Terri Iloff, a 911 administrative assistant, was moved from part time to full time to fill a vacancy, effective May 28. The salary is set at $20,290.
•Vicky Parente and Loyd Shaffer were moved from part time to full time corrections officers. The change is effective May 19 for Parente and May 26 for Shaffer. Their rate will be $15.04 per hour.
•Smith gave an update about the sewage regulation proposal and the fight against it.
“The UDC (Upper Delaware Council) sent a letter to DEP opposing the regulations,” he said. “The water quality is continuing to get better.”
He said that the National Park Service and the Delaware River Basin Commission keep track of the water quality and said that there's “no nitrate problem.”
“They all voted that it's not a good policy,” Smith stated. “We are very much for water quality but not in the name of being shut down.”