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Summit County Children Services develops new family center

4/25/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

SOUTH AKRON — For many years, Summit County Children Services (SCCS) has provided visitation services to children in custody and their birth families to maintain child placement stability and family connectedness and to promote reunification whenever possible, according to SCCS officials. Until recently, due to budget and space constraints, these family visits had been held in an old, dormitory-style building on the agency campus originally designed to provide temporary housing for adolescents in custody, according to SCCS officials.

Now families can visit in a new facility called the Thomas W. Blazey Family Interaction Center. The center, recently developed in what was previously the agency’s medical clinic building, was funded by the SCCS’s Donated Funds account, including a special donation of $25,000 from the SCCS Women’s Auxiliary Board. The total project cost was approximately $350,000.

The facility is dedicated to the late Thomas Blazey, a former executive at the B.F. Goodrich Co. and 30-year SCCS trustee who died in late 2012 at the age of 92.

“This newly remodeled Family Interaction Center has been fully modernized — designed from top to bottom to provide a positive visitation experience, enhance the quality of child and family time and promote family reunification,” said SCCS Executive Director John Saros in a press release. “Our agency is very excited about this new initiative, as it will play a big role in our agency’s ongoing efforts to build families and build futures.”

The Blazey Family Interaction Center includes the following features: open spaces, educational-themed floor coverings and paint featuring a soft color palette, as shown below; an open floor plan; a wall of windows in the interior group activity area providing a clear view of an expanded playground area; a sky-view window to project sunny skies; room for family crafts and other activities; new, contemporary furniture; colors to reflect a comforting living atmosphere while creating a traffic flow that best complements necessary security elements; outside facilities including patio furniture; and a playground, shown above, that has been expanded to include a colored, stamped concrete patio, half basketball court and picnic areas.

Photos courtesy of Summit County Children Services

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