The name of this organization shall be Clermont County Family and Children First Council, hereinafter known as the “Council”.


The mission of the Council is to promote and facilitate communication and collaboration among ClermontCounty child and family serving agencies to ensure that ClermontCounty infants, children, adolescents and their families receive the most appropriate services to enable youth to develop adequate skills in preparation for a successful adulthood.


The Council espouses the values of Ohio’s commitments to child well-being, which are:

  1. Expectant Parents and Newborns Thrive
  2. Infants and Toddlers Thrive
  3. Children are Ready for School
  4. Children and Youth Succeed in School
  5. Youth Choose Healthy Behaviors
  6. Youth Successfully Transition into Adulthood


The Council is established pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code, Section 121.37, and shall be the entity responsible for the planning and coordination of services to multi need children and families in ClermontCounty and other duties described in Section 121.37 of the Ohio Revised Code.


The Council shall have the following functions pursuant to the Ohio Revised Code, Section 121.37 (B)(2):

A.    Referrals to the cabinet council of those children for whom the county council cannot provide adequate services.

B.     The development and implementation of a process that annually evaluates and prioritizes services, fills service gaps where possible, and invents news approaches to achieve better results for families and children.

C.     Participation in the development of a countywide, comprehensive, coordinated, multi-disciplinary, interagency system for infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities or delays and their families, as established pursuant to federal grants received and administered by the department of health for early intervention services under the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004”.

D.    Maintenance of an accountability system to monitor the county council’s progress in achieving results for families and children.

E.     Establishment of a mechanism to ensure ongoing input from a broad representation of families who are receiving services within the county system.

The Council shall have the additional functions of:

A.    The planning and provision of services for multi-need children and their families.

B.     The furtherance of interagency collaboration to increase effectiveness, accessibility, and reduce fragmentation in service delivery.

C.     The establishment of a coordinated delivery of services.

D.    The receipt and administration of grants as needed to carry out the Council’s functions.

E.     The review and approval of Council policies and procedures.

F.      The performance of duties described in the Ohio Revised Code, Section 121.37.

G.    To assure Help Me Grow compliance with state policies and procedures in the provision of Help Me Grow Central Coordination and Early Intervention Services.

H.    To approve the annual FCF budget.

I.       To conduct and engage in any other lawful business or activities.


The administrative agent shall have the following functions:

  1. To hire, supervise and evaluate FCF staff with the input of the Council 
  2. To enter into agreements or administer contracts with entities to fulfill specific Council business
  3. To provide financial stipends, reimbursements, or both, to family representatives for expenses related to Council activity
  4. To submit an annual budget to the Council for approval
  5. To approve spending in accordance with the approved budget
  6. To have the power to carry out Council duties


A.  Mandated Council Membership

 Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code, Section 121.37(B)(1), the Council must include the following individuals:

  1. At least three (3) individuals whose families are or have received services from an agency represented on the Council or another county’s Council.  Where possible, the number of members representing families shall be equal to twenty (20) percent of the Council’s membership;
  2. The Executive Director of the Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board.
  3. The Health Commissioner, or the Commissioner’s designee, of Clermont County Public Health.
  4. The Director of Clermont County Department of Job and Family Services;
  5. The Director of Clermont County Children’s Protective Services;
  6. The Superintendent of the Clermont County Board of Developmental Disabilities;
  7. The superintendent of the city, exempted village, or local school district with the largest number of pupils residing in the county, as determined by the Department of Education, which shall notify each Board of County Commissioners of its determination at least biennially;
  8. A school superintendent representing all other school districts with territory in the county, as designated at a biennial meeting of the superintendents of those districts;
  9. A representative of the municipal corporation with the largest population in the county;
  10. The President of the Board of County Commissioners, or an individual designated by the Board;
  11. A representative of the regional office of the Department of Youth Services;
  12. A representative of ClermontCounty’s Head Start agency, as defined in the Ohio Revised Code, Section 3301.31;
  13. A representative of the county’s early intervention collaborative established pursuant to the federal early intervention program operated under the “Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004”;
  14. A representative of a local nonprofit entity that funds, advocates, or provides services to children and families.

Pursuant to Ohio Revised Code, Section 121.37(B)(5)(a), the Administrative Agent of the Council shall send notice of a member’s absence if a member listed in division (B)(1) of this section has been absent from either three (3) consecutive meetings of the Council or a Council subcommittee, or from one-quarter of such meetings in a calendar year, whichever is less.  The notice shall be sent to the board of county commissioners that establishes the county council and, for the members listed in divisions (B)(1)(b), (c), (e), and (l) of this section, to the governing board overseeing the respective entity; for the member listed in division (B)(1)(f) of this section, to the board of mental retardation and developmental disabilities that employs the superintendent; for a member listed in division (B)(1)(g) or (h) of this section, to the school board that employs the superintendent; for the member listed in division (B)(1)(i) of this section, to the mayor of the municipal corporation; for the member listed in division (B)(1)(k) of this section, to the director of youth services; and for the member listed in division (B)(1)(n), to that member’s board of trustees.

B.     New Membership 

Any local public or private agency or group that funds, advocates, or provides services to infants, children, adolescents and families may request to have a representative become a member of the Council.  The process for requesting new membership is as follows:

  1. The agency representative shall submit in writing his/her interest in serving on the Council and his/her commitment to the Mission of the Council to the Council Chairperson/s.
  2. Upon receipt of the agency’s letter of intent, the Council Chairperson/s shall place the matter on the next month’s agenda of the Council.
  3. The agency representative shall be present at any Council meeting concerned with acceptance or denial of an agency’s request and be given an opportunity to state his/her intent to join the Council and answer any and all questions posed by the Council.
  4. After the agency’s statement and Council questions, a vote shall be taken of all members as to the acceptance or denial of the agency’s participation on the Council.
  5. In order to be accepted, the motion must receive two thirds (2/3) of Council members’ votes.

C.    Designating a Representative 

  1. Any non-mandated member or a mandated member as allowed per the Ohio Revised Code may designate a representative to attend meetings in the event that a member cannot attend.
  2. The said designee shall be deemed to be empowered to commit the resources of the agency they are representing.
  3. A member shall provide the designee with a proxy to give to the Chairperson/s of the Council indicating that the person is representing the member or a member may ask that the FCF Program Director keep a standing proxy on file for when the member must be absent from meetings.
  4. The Council Chairperson/s, if a non-mandated member or a mandated member as allowed per the Ohio Revised Code, may designate a representative to attend a meeting in their absence.  The said designee shall be empowered to vote for the Chairperson/s, but the said designee shall not chair the meeting.
  5. A mandated member, who is not permitted to have a designee, may send a representative to the Council meeting to share information or take notes, but the alternate does not have voting rights and their attendance does not count towards the mandated member’s attendance requirement.

 D.    Membership Terms

All Council members are on-going members of the Council unless the member requests to no longer serve on the Council.  If the request is made to no longer serve on the Council, their designee, as allowed per the Ohio Revised Code, must replace that member.

E.     Member Voting 

  1. Each Council member shall cast one vote.
  2. Council members shall abstain from voting on any matter that is a potential conflict of interest for the agency they represent.
  3. The Chairperson/s shall not vote, except in the event of a tie vote.  When a tie vote occurs, the Chairperson/s shall cast one vote.


 A.  Composition

Officers of the Council shall be a Chairperson and a Vice-Chairperson; or Co-Chairpersons.

B.  Election/Tenure/Vacancy  

  1. The Chairperson/s shall appoint a Nominating Committee at the regular meeting of the Council in November to present nominations for officers to be elected at the December meeting.  All officers shall be elected by the Council from among the nominated members.  Election shall be by majority vote.
  2. Each officer shall serve a one (1) year term and may be elected to continuing terms as determined by a majority vote.
  3. The term of office for all officers shall begin on January 1 of each calendar year.
  4. Vacancies in any office may be filled by the Council at any regular meeting, or at a special meeting called for that purpose.

C.  Powers and Duties

The officers of the Council shall have such powers and duties as generally pertain to their respective offices, and such further powers and duties as from time to time may be conferred by the Council, including but not limited to the following:

  1. Chairperson/s – Preside at all meetings of the Council; establish committees and subcommittees as required to carry out Council activities; serve as a ex-officio member of all Council Committees; represent and act on behalf of the Council as authorized by the Council; and exercise such other duties as may appertain to the office.
  2. Vice Chairperson – Exercise the authority and fulfill the duties of the Chairperson in the absence of that officer; and exercise such other duties as may be assigned by the Chairperson.


A.    The Council is constituted under the Ohio Revised Code, Section 121.22, and therefore operates as a public body.

B.    All meetings of the Council shall be open to the public, except that the Chairperson/s may elect to go into executive session, as provided by the Ohio Revised Code, Section 121.22 (G:1-6).

C.   Per the Ohio Open Meetings Act, a member of a public body must be present in person at a meeting in order to be considered present, vote, or be counted as part of a quorum, “unless a specific law permits otherwise.”  In the absence of statutory authority, public bodies may not conduct a meeting via electronic or telephone conferencing.  Council may allow telephone conferencing and/or other methods of electronic attendance, but the mandated or non-mandated member will not be counted toward quorum, may not vote, and the participation will not be considered when accounting for mandated member attendance per the ORC 121.37 (B)(5)(a).

D.  The Council shall not be bound in any way by any statement or action on the part of any individual member or employee, except when such statement or action is in pursuance of specific instructions or authorities granted by action of the Council.

E.  Thirty-three percent (33%) of the mandated and non-mandated members, or their designees as allowed per the Ohio Revised Code, of the Council constitutes a quorum and must be present in order for a vote to be taken.

F.  A Council member may appoint a designated representative if and when the member cannot attend a particular meeting, as allowed per the Ohio Revised Code.

G.  A majority vote of this quorum is required to approve a motion or take action.  No more than one-half (50%) of the votes may be from one (1) agency.

H. The Council shall meet not less than ten (10) times per year.  Regular meetings shall be held monthly, unless otherwise ordered by the Chairperson.

I.   Special meetings may be called by the Chairperson/s or upon written request of at least three (3) members.  The purpose of the meeting shall be stated and, except in case of emergency, at least three (3) days’ notice shall be given.

J.   The regular meeting in December shall be known as the annual meeting and shall be for the purpose of electing officers, receiving reports of officers and committees, and other business that may arise.

K.  Agendas will be sent to the Council members before regular meetings.


All Committees are empowered by the Council and will make regular reports to the Council.  Committees include: 

A.    Executive Committee

1.   The Council shall appoint an Executive Committee consisting of the Chairperson/s of the Council, Vice-Chairperson of the Council (when applicable), FCF Program Director, one (1) parent representative as elected by Council, two (2) additional Council members as elected by Council.

  1. Executive Committee members shall be nominated and elected at the December Council meeting.
  2. Executive Committee members shall serve a one (1) year term starting January 1, with no limit on the number of terms that may be served.
  3. The Executive Committee shall meet only when the Council Chairperson or Co-Chairperson calls a meeting.
  4. A majority of the Executive Committee must be present, either in person, by telephone or by e-mail (when appropriate) for a decision to be made.
  5. If an Executive Committee member is not available to participate in the Executive Committee meeting, that member is not allowed to have another representative participate in his/her absence.
  6. The Council gives the Executive Committee the power to make decisions in the best interest of the Council when a time-sensitive situation arises between Council meetings that needs resolution prior to the next scheduled Council meeting.

B.     Dispute Resolution Committee 

  1. The Dispute Resolution Committee shall function as the complaint or concern team of the Council.
  2. Children (when age appropriate), parents, agencies, Council members and FCF staff shall have access to the Dispute Resolution Committee per the Dispute Resolution policy.
  3. The Dispute Resolution Committee shall be chaired by the Family and Children First Program Directorand shall consist of 4 additional Council members as appointed by the Chairperson.
  4. The Program Director shall be a permanent member of the committee, while the additional Council members shall serve a one (1) year term.
  5. If a complaint or concern is regarding the FCF Program Director or an agency sitting on the committee, a substitute member will be asked to sit on the committee in that person’s place.
  6. The Dispute Resolution Committee will meet as necessary to resolve disputes.
  7. The Dispute Resolution Committee will meet at least annually to review all disputes/concerns to determine trends and/or service areas for improvement.
  8. All FCF agencies shall have their own complaint/concern policy or procedure.  The FCF Dispute Resolution Committee will be used secondary to that agency’s policy or procedure and in regard to FCF functions and decisions.

C.  Early Childhood Coordinating Committee 

    1. The Council shall have an Early Childhood Coordinating Committee (ECCC) to assist the Council in the design, coordination and implementation of a comprehensive, coordinated, interdisciplinary, family-centered system of services for families with a child 0-6 who is or may be at risk for multi-need/multi-system services.
    2. The Committee may include:

– A representative from the Clermont County Public Health;
– A representative from Clermont County Department of Job and Family Services who is able to represent Medicaid;

– A representative from Clermont County Children’s Protective Services who is able to represent foster care;

– A representative from the Clermont County Board of Development Disabilities;

– A representative from the Clermont County Mental Health and Recovery Board;

– One (1) or more representatives from Local School Districts;

– Parent representatives with knowledge and experience of multi-system services in Clermont County;

– FCF Program Director;

– Representative from the FCF Administrative Agent;

– At least one (1)  representative from Clermont County Head Start or Early Head Start;

– Help Me Grow Contract Manager;

– At least one (1) representative for coordinating educational services to homeless children;

– At least one (1) representative from a child care agency or child care resource and referral;

– Additional members at large.

The Committee may reorganize annually, select Chairperson/s, set meeting times, determine goals and agendas, and develop work groups as determined by the overall group.  The Committee shall provide monthly reports to Council, and conduct business with the ongoing input and support of Council.

D.  Ad Hoc Committees 

The Chairperson/s shall appoint other committees deemed necessary to carry out the functions of the Council.  Examples of Ad Hoc Committees are:  Priority Committees, Finance Committee, and Policy and Procedure Committee.


Council meetings shall be conducted in accordance with the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order.


 These Bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting of the Council by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of members, provided that the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous Council meeting.