Juvenile Court receives RECLAIM grant



SIDNEY — The Shelby County Juvenile Court has received a grant from the Department of Youth Services.

According to Judge Jeff Beigel the court received a renewable 2-year RECLAIM grant for $290,000 for the establishment of a Community Resource Center. The initial funding includes two years of start-up costs for necessary hardware and technology and hiring of a professional staff. The center will operate as a separate division of the Juvenile Court. The center is available to all families with at risk youths. It will also serve youth identified with potential abuse or neglect concerns brought to attention of child welfare but who do not meet criteria for involvement. The family and youth do not need to be involved with Juvenile Court to utilize the center’s services.

The purpose of the center is to provide prevention and early intervention screening, assessment, and services to youth who are exhibiting at-risk behaviors at home, at school, or in the community. It will help identify and provide direction for appropriate services and increase the effective use of community resources.

Youth may be referred by law enforcement, parents, schools and other agencies as appropriate. Parents, families, and schools may directly contact the center to help them with a child in crisis or conflict, instead of contacting law enforcement. Youth may also self-refer for services.

The center will work closely with collaborating organizations who have expressed the need and support for the center’s services, including the Shelby County Commissioners, Shelby County Department of Jobs & Family Services, Shelby County Family & Children First Council, Sidney City Schools, Midwest Regional Educational Service Center; Tri-County Board of Recovery and Mental Health Services, Family Resource Center, Shelby County Victim Services and other service providers.

The center will open later this year at 1000 Milligan Court. The court is currently in the process of facility improvements and necessary staffing to begin operations.

“This has been a long-term project that we are happy to see come together,” said Beigel. “It will be an important asset for the community. McKenzie Lotz, our chief probation officer, and Dawn Bailey, ourcourt administrator, deserve as special thanks for all of their hard work to make this project a reality. As the project moves forward we will make further announcements about the Center’s opening and operations.”

Beigel also noted the court owes a special thanks to Shelby County Commissioners Julie Ehemann, Tony Bornhorst and Robert Guillozet, who have enthusiastically responded to the needs of the various county agencies and organizations and have been instrumental in helping make this possible.