Columbus, OH – Dominican Sisters of Peace Director of Founded Ministries Mark Butler was honored by The Ohio Family and Children First Coordinators Association (OFCFCA) at a banquet on October 21. Mark was awarded the “Champion of Children Award” by the OFCFCA for his work to encourage the state of Ohio to establish the Multi-System Youth Fund within the State budget.
The Ohio Departments of Medicaid (ODM) and Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will issue $31 million in new funding in state fiscal year (SFY) 2020 to directly support children, youth and families served by multiple systems.
Multi-system youth are children and teenagers with complex needs that cannot be met by a single state department. These children have two or more significant challenges, including physical or mental illness, drug or alcohol addiction, developmental disabilities or severe trauma. According to Public Children’s Services Association of Ohio (PCSA), of the multi-system youth that are in custody, nearly 30% are voluntarily relinquished by families who have no other option to obtain the care that is needed.
Mark’s son Andrew is considered a multi-system youth. He and his wife Susan were forced to surrender Andrew to the state. Since that terrible experience, Mark and Susan have shared their story as they lobbied for more state support for families of children with disabilities, mental illness and complex behavioral needs.
Mark acts as a liaison between the Dominican Sisters of Peace and their founded education, ecology, social service and spiritual ministries. He is a member of Holy Spirit Parish in Whitehall, OH.
“We are so very proud of Mark and the work that he has done for the youth in Ohio,” said Sr. Pat Twohill, Prioress of the Dominican Sisters of Peace. “Mark truly lives our Congregation’s commitment to stand with the marginalized in his work with his very special and personal cause.”