The Van Wert County Board of Developmental Disabilities strives to provide comprehensive services to individuals with developmental disabilities. In doing this services are most often coordinated through community resources. All of the Board’s administrative functions are under the direct supervision of their Superintendent.
The Board directly operates an Early Intervention program. It provides family-centered services for infants and toddlers to age three with a developmental delay, disability, or medical condition likely to result in a delay or disability. These services are provided by a multidisciplinary team that evaluates and/or assesses a child’s developmental needs. The team is lead by a Service Coordinator who works to assist and enable a child with a delay or disability and the child’s family to receive services and rights as afforded under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
SERVICE AND SUPPORT ADMINISTRATION
Provision of services is coordinated through Service and Support Administrators. These individuals report directly to the Board’s Superintendent. Technical oversight is provided through the Northwest Ohio Waiver Administration Council (NOWAC), a Council of Governments that provides a variety of professional services to County Boards of Developmental Disabilities in Northwest Ohio.
The Board helps high school students and adult with employment-related issues. High school participants gain assistance finding and keeping jobs through an agency-sponsored “job club”. Supports like job coaches, job club activities, and follow-along services are available to high school students and young adults. These services are delivered directly by the Board’s employees and through cooperative arrangements with agencies and programs with aligned interest.
The Board’s fiscal activities are ultimately handled by the Van Wert County Auditor. Coordination between the Board and the County Auditor are handled by a Business Manager who also serves as the Board’s human resources official.
FACILITIES AND MAINTENANCE
Facilities are maintained by a small maintenance staff that serves the needs of the Board and provides services to the Van Wert Housing Authority on a fee for services basis.
PRESCHOOL AND TRANSPORTATION SERVICES
The Board owns and operates a small fleet of traditional school buses. They provide transportation for disabled and traditional preschoolers attending the Western Buckeye Educational Service Center preschool operated in the Van Wert County Board of Developmental Disabilities owned school building.
Head start services are offered to county residents in the Van Wert County Board of Developmental Disabilities school building. This is made possible by a contractual agreement between the Board and the Council on Rural Services headquartered in Greenville, Ohio. This programming offers an ideal laboratory for the study of effective child development and learning. The Department of Health and Human Services funds extensive research every year that reinvigorates practices, ensuring that programs meet children’s needs by creating a deep understanding of how they learn and what supports healthy development. Children enter Head Start with serious socioeconomic disadvantages that can hold them back for life.
VAN WERT HOUSING BOARD AND THOMAS EDISON ENDOWMENT BOARD
The Van Wert Housing Board is a separate entity that provides affordable housing for some individuals served by the Van Wert County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
The Thomas Edison Endowment is an independent fund that makes cash available for special projects that are closely aligned with the work of the Van Wert County Board of Developmental Disabilities.
Because of their potential to combine services and resources to better serve individuals with disabilities, the County Board, the Housing Board, and the Endowment Fund work on a variety of collaborative projects.