8-B Coal Valley News, Wednesday, June 25, 2003

WV Community Voices Funding Expires


By Michele Baranaskas

Executive Director

Regional Family Resource Network


Many are aware that the five-year WV Community Voices grant to the Regional Family Resource Network will come to an end on June 30, 2003.  This grant enabled to employ part-time Associate Directors in Boone and Putnam Counties and provided funding to many worthwhile health-related projects in the three counties.


Think of all that has been accomplished through the collaborative coordination and pooling of resources through the FRN.  The Community Voices funding definitely helped, but when in-kind resources where counted, these resources monetarily outweighed actual funding dollars.


Over the course of the past five years, the Boone FRN has celebrated many accomplishments and has been tested by a number of challenges. Through collaboration of organizations and individuals, the FRN has truly made a difference in the lives of children and families in Boone County.  Some of the county projects that have been or are being supported and/or developed by the Family Resource Network are:


Some of the trainings that have been facilitated by the Family Resource Network are:



Shelia Plogger has served as the Regional Family Resource Network Associate Director of Boone County for nearly five years.  Shelia provided incredibly valuable coordination and facilitation for her home county.  Shelia has also been responsible for assembling the RFRN newsletter and she has made the RFRN website consistently professional looking.  While efforts are being made to replace the funding that provides pay for the Associate Directors, we must prepare for the possibility that this funding will not be replaced right away.  Although this can be discouraging, I would like to remind you that Regional Family Resource Network existed and managed without the Associate Directors prior to the Community Voices grant.  We will continue and manage after the grant also. 


It is important for our Boone County Community Members to continue their important collaborative, non-duplicating work of the task teams.  This will require task team and committee members to work more independently.  Beginning on July 1, 2003, Task Team and Committee Members will need to be responsible for notifying the Executive Director and each other of meetings, as well as reviewing the goals, objectives and action steps of the County Strategic Work Plan, taking minutes of meetings and sending them to the RFRN office along with sign-in sheets.  Please contact Michele Baranaskas at 414-4470 or executivedirector@regionalfrn.org if you need guidance on doing this, or if you have a general question or concern regarding the Regional Family Resource Network in Boone County.  Check out the Regional Family Resource Network website at www.regionalfrn.org


The involvement of the community is crucial to making the Regional Family Resource Network effective, and no amount of funding can replace the pooled ideas, energy and willingness to work together to better the communities of Boone County.  Stay involved and take responsibility while we all ride out these difficult times of decreased monetary resources and increased duties.


The possibilities are endless when people come together, services are combined, and communities collaborate.