Some minor adjustments within the Henry County Juvenile Court budget to accommodate a state grant for a Safe Baby program were approved Monday at a meeting of the Henry County Budget Committee.
Vicki Snyder, juvenile judge, gave the committee a brief update on the Safe Baby program, for which the county received a $100,000 grant. There were only seven courts in Tennessee that had the program until recently, when five others, including Henry County, were added.
Child dependency and neglect cases that come into Juvenile Court from the Department of Children’s Services may be placed into the Safe Baby program, which is coordinated by Drennan Mayberry.
The program is designed for children from age birth up to 36 months old, and Snyder said the goal is to provide permanency for those children, who may have been abused or neglected, faster than in the past.
Mayberry will work with the child’s parents to try to put them into a position to care for the child, whether through helping them learn better parenting skills or through helping them monetarily. If those efforts don’t appear to be working out, the child can be diverted to a different situation fairly quickly. The faster a solution is found, the better for the baby.
“There’s a lot of hope there in this program,” Snyder said. “If it doesn’t work with the parents, we want it to work with someone else.”
The grant pays Mayberry’s salary and the program’s expenses.
In other items during Monday’s meeting:
• A $5,000 transfer within the Henry County Sheriff’s Department budget was approved. That money will go into a transportation line item, according to Amy Davis, the department’s budget director.
Davis said the amount of trips being taken to pick up prisoners from other locales has increased.
Another transfer in that budget involved $1,133 that was paid to the Sheriff’s Department by the Paris Police Department as its half of maintenance expenses for a fingerprint machine used by both departments.
• The county drug fund was discussed, with $2,000 authorized to be moved from the county’s unappropriated fund balance into a line item for animal supplies. Davis said the department has a new drug dog which accounts for the extra supplies.