R.A.F.T. Program

RAFTR.A.F.T. – Why Supervised Visits or Exchanges?
Both Supervised Visits and Supervised Exchanges are designed to assure that a child can have safe contact with an absent parent without having to be put in the middle of the parents’ conflicts or other problems. It is the child’s need that is paramount in making any decisions regarding supervision of the visit or the exchange.

However, there are also some significant benefits to parents. It is our hope that no one will look upon supervised visitation or exchange as a negative or stigmatized service. It is a tool that can help families as they go through difficult and/or transitional times. Some of the benefits for the various family members are as follows:

For The Children:
Supervised Visits and Exchanges allow the children to maintain a relationship with both of their parents. They can anticipate the visits without the stress of worrying about what is going to happen, and enjoy their time in a safe, comfortable environment without being put in the middle of their parents’ conflict and/or other problems.

For the Parents or Guardians with whom the child resides:
The children’s primary guardian can feel comfortable allowing their children to have contact with their non-residential parent. They can feel confident about the child’s safety without having to communicate or have contact with a person with whom they are in conflict or by whom they might be frightened or intimidated.

For the Non-Residential Parent or relative:
They can be sure that their contact with the children does not have to be interrupted regardless of any personal or interpersonal problems they may be having or conflicts with the children’s caretaker(s). If allegations have been made against them, they can visit without fear of any new accusations because there is someone present who can verify what happened during their time together.

**Please contact the office for questions pertaining to R.A.F.T. eligibility at 419.586.4663 ext. 1006.

Mercer County Help Me Grow

baby7 Common Myths about Early Intervention

The world of early intervention can be confusing. There are a lot of myths about the services involved and parents and children’s rights. Here we set the record straight.

Myth #1: Early intervention is only for kids with disabilities like Down syndrome.
Fact: Kids, 3 years old and under, are eligible for early intervention if they have a disability or developmental delay. This includes children who haven’t reached certain developmental milestones, including communication or social-emotional milestones.

Myth #2: My child isn’t eligible for early intervention services. I guess there’s nothing I can do.
Fact: If you disagree with the results of an evaluation, you can challenge the decision. You can request to meet with officials to talk about concerns (mediation). You can also request an impartial hearing (due process).

What if you agree that your child isn’t eligible, but feel you still need help? Ask the service coordinator to help you find services in your community. Learn more about what to do if your child doesn’t qualify for early intervention.

Myth #3: Parents don’t have much to do with early intervention. The experts will handle it.
Fact: Nothing could be further from the truth. You are an essential partner in early intervention. You have the right to be involved each step of the way. This includes being involved with your child’s evaluation and Individualized Family Service Plan. For example, you help decide what services your child and family need, what results you want to see and who will provide the services.

Myth #4: There’s no way to stay informed about your child’s early intervention services.
Fact: According to the law, you have to be informed before anything happens. This is called prior written notice. Prior written notice explains what’s happening and why. In some cases, you must also officially consent for services to start or change.

Myth #5: Nothing is private anymore, including my child’s information.
Fact: The law has a lot to say about this. There are strict requirements to keep your family’s information private. Evaluators, service providers and service coordinators must carefully protect all your information. And they have to get written permission from you in order to release information about your child. You can change your mind at any time about who has access to this information

Myth #6: Once you have a plan for early intervention, you can’t change it.
Fact: Think of the Individualized Family Service Plan as a “living” document. You and the team review it every few months to make sure it still makes sense for you and your family.

And you can request changes any time you feel that it’s necessary. It’s a good time to regroup and revise if your child already met the goals you set and you need to add new ones. You might also request changes if it seems like something isn’t working well for your child.

Myth #7: Early intervention services can be delivered anywhere.
Fact: This isn’t exactly true. Services must be provided in what’s called “natural environments” whenever possible. Natural environments are familiar places. They’re environments where your child, family and care providers can participate in everyday activities.

 **Please contact the office for questions pertaining to Help Me Grow eligibility at 419.586.1721.



Thriving after Domestic Violence

domestic violenceDomestic violence survivors are some of the strongest people we know!! Even after leaving an abusive situation the healing process isn’t over. A strong support system of family, friends, and local advocates & by taking time for yourself and doing what makes you happy can also be helpful in gaining back your own sense of self.

School Supply Collection Updated 08/05/15

We are currently collecting school supplies for local needy families.  We have received several very generous donations from local individuals and organizations.  OUR Home’s goal is to provide as many of the supplies needed for each child.  We are still in need of the following:

  • Bookbags
  • Pencils
  • Pens (Blue, Black and Red)
  • Wide Rule Filler Paper
  • 2 Pocket Folders
  • Pointed Tip Scissors
  • Pink Erasers
  • Wide Rule Notebooks
  • Highlighters
  • Broad Tip Markers
  • Colored Pencils
  • Tissues

If you would rather provide a monetary donation by mail (117 W Fayette St, Celina) or by stopping in the OUR Home office.  We are happy to do the buying for you!  Please note for School Supplies in the memo section of the check.

Direct Services and Referral Program



Direct Services & Referral Program offers support to Mercer County families and individuals during times of need. All services are free & confidential. Call 419.586.4663 to speak with staff.

 We can help with:
*Personal supplies
*Baby Formula/Food & Diapers

 We also provide emergency family assistance and referrals for:
*Rent Evictions
*Utility Shutoffs
*Medical Expenses
*Gas Vouchers for Medical Appointments

Family Crisis Network

Mercer County’s Domestic Violence Agency, offers crisis intervention, safety planning, case management, peer counseling, protection order assistance, temporary shelter options, information and referrals to anyone affected by domestic violence in Mercer County. We can also provide you with an individual appointment to help evaluate your situation and set goals that will support your decisions. Always completely free and confidential. Call 24/7 at 419.586.1133.

Dish Soap, Laundry Soap, Diapers…Oh My!

EG donation

This generous collection of laundry soap, dish soap, many diapers, toothpaste and toothbrushes is a gift from a big-hearted supporter who saw the list of needs online.  These personal care items will be distributed through the OUR Home Food Pantry and will ease the budget crunch for families who can’t afford these costly necessities.   Thank you, E.G.!