In Press Releases

(Wooster, OH) Thanks to the generous support of Wayne County organizations, The Village Network recently unveiled a brand-new playground at the Don Foster Center for Family Preservation in Wooster, which houses outpatient and after-school behavioral healthcare services, and the treatment foster care program.

The Wayne County Community Foundation (WCCF) was the first to give The Village Network a kickstart towards the playground project with a $15,000 grant. The grant was awarded from the WCCF’s 2019 Fall Competitive Grant Cycle and was funded by an anonymous community fund.

Next Five Star Lawn Care donated their labor in prepping the ground for the playground and five inches of mulch for the fenced-in play area, and Waggoner Building & Remodeling donated a $1,000 in-kind gift towards the installation of the playground equipment.

“We can’t thank the Wayne County Community Foundation, Five Star Lawn Care and Waggoner Building & Remodeling enough for their generosity and support of the youth in our community with mental health needs,” says Rich Graziano, President and CEO. “The playground has already been well-received by families and will be a tremendous compliment to the therapeutic services we provide.”

While the Don Foster Center for Family Preservation offers a nurturing environment for the treatment foster care program, outpatient and after-school behavioral healthcare services, the one thing it was previously lacking was the ability to use outside play in the evaluation and treatment of the youth of Wayne County and surrounding communities.

Clinical Director Anna Mayer explains, “Physical activity is very important for the developing child and can be even more important to at-risk children. The pattern and repetitive nature of the activities found on our playground will help children develop the capacity to self-regulate and self-sooth.”

As such, the ability to offer a segregated, secure and enclosed playground will greatly benefit the youth receiving services at Don Foster Center for Family Preservation. Whether they use the playground as part of their therapy, through the after-school program, or while they are waiting for services to begin, the youth will benefit greatly from this addition. Furthermore, when therapies are not in session on the playground, it will be available for siblings who accompany youth to their appointment, giving them an opportunity to have fun and get exercise in what may be a challenging time for them.

Construction on the playground began this spring, and after several rain delays, was officially completed and ready for the children’s use in July. The health and safety of the youth and families The Village Network serves is our highest priority, so in light of COVID-19 safety precautions, we are encouraging youth that utilize the playground to practice social distancing, sanitize hands before and after play, and wear a face mask if able.

For more information on community services available at The Village Network’s Don Foster Center for Family Preservation, visit thevillagenetwork.org or call (800) 638-3232.

Photo (l to r):  Dave Paxton – Chief Clinical Officer, Anna Mayer – NE Regional Clinical Director,  Charles Baldwin – NE Regional Director, Linda Den Heijer – VP of Program Operations, Rick Rodman – COO, Sara Patton – Executive Director of the Wayne County Community Foundation, Kevin Trent – Vice President/Treasurer of D+S Distribution and TVN Board of Trustees Chair, Rich Graziano, President & CEO.

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