GALLIPOLIS — The Gallia County Children Services Board (GCCSB) met April 20 and decided to soon dissolve and cease its governance and oversight of the Gallia County Children Services Agency.
The board officially notified the Gallia County Commissioners of its decision during the commissioners’ regular Thursday meeting at the Gallia Courthouse and anticipates it will continue to provide governance to the agency until such time the commissioners select a new appointing authority which the board believes will be Gallia County Job and Family Services.
Board Chairman Phil Skidmore said this action was not taken lightly and it was not done because anything is wrong or because the agency is having financial difficulties. Skidmore said it is just the opposite; the financial condition of the agency is the best it has been since 2008 and 2009 when state budget cuts were made in response to the national recession of the time.
The board believes this is the right time to make the decision in light of the impending retirement of Gallia Children Services Executive Director Russ V. Moore.
Moore recently advised the board of his intention to retire in April of 2021. This allows for a potential merger with the local job and family services agency. County officials said that many county children services agencies have been integrated into local job and family services departments. Board members said the GCCSB is one of the few remaining standalone agencies in southeast Ohio of its kind. Skidmore said that it seems like a positive and natural move since Gallia Job and Family Services has been providing fiscal services to children services for the last 12 years.
“It has been my privilege and greatest joy to serve in this capacity for these many years and it has had an immeasurable impact on my life,” said Moore who has served as director of the agency for roughly 11 years. “I also want to express my tremendous thanks to the board that has served so faithfully over these many years.”
The board and Moore pledged to work with the county commissioners and the next appointing authority for a smooth transition of responsibilities in child protection and to guarantee that residents of the county have access to child protective services at all times.
Gallia Commissioners said that they anticipate Gallia Children Services will integrate with Gallia Job and Family Services but the process may take upwards of a year to be completed.
The Gallia County Children Services Board is made of community members appointed by the county commissioners. Board members are Phil Skidmore, chairmen; Robert Jacks, vice-chairman; Kent Shawver, Carolyn Casey and Jan Koronich.
Moore said members of the public can call him at 740-446-7208 if they have any questions.
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