Butler Children’s Policy Council meeting

Published 11:54 pm Thursday, December 21, 2023

The Butler County Children’s Policy Council held its last quarterly meeting of the year Dec. 13, gathering to collect Christmas toys for children served through the Butler County Department of Human Resources and deliver updates from member agencies.

Butler County District Judge Nicki McFerrin said the council’s goal is to share resources and information that could truly help a child. 

“The council can be thought of as an umbrella where different agencies and resources come together to meet the needs of our local families and children,” McFerrin said. 

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According to the official website, the Alabama Children’s Policy Council (CPC) system originated  from the Alabama Juvenile Justice Coordinating Councils and is designed to support providers of children’s services as they work collaboratively in developing community service plans to address the needs of children ages 0-19 and their families.  

“When we get all these different representatives together, perhaps a principal in attendance hears about a program that they didn’t know existed, and then ideally they would use that resource and help keep a child from ever coming into the Juvenile Delinquent System,” McFerrin explained.

McFerrin, who presides as council chairperson, opened the meeting and welcomed the many department representatives in attendance including the South Alabama Mental Health, Alabama Beverage and Control, the Extension office, the Board of Education, the Department of Human Resources, Safe Harbor, Greenville Parks and Recreation, R.L. Austin men’s group in Georgiana, Greenville High School, Greenville Middle School, Greenville Police Department, the District Attorney’s office, the Juvenile Probation Office and Beacon Children’s Hospital in Luverne.

Aaron Bowen, South Alabama Mental Health representative, explained he is focused on drug and alcohol prevention in juveniles. 

“The goal is to get them before they’re arrested, and before they ever have to go through the system,” Bowen said. “In our classes we talk about concepts such as self control, breaking these cycles and systems, and drug abuse. I try to let them know there are people that will help them if they dedicate their lives to get beyond what’s happened to them.”

Extension Coordinator Sharlean Briggs spoke about the new anti-vape program that they are planning to take to all Butler County schools. Jerry Feagin described the first Boys and Men Breakfast that was held to try to bring father and sons together in hopes they will be in each other’s lives more. Jerome Harris III recalled the successful Breakfast with Santa event that he dressed up like a Christmas elf for. 

“It takes everybody, and we’ve got to get back to the village to raise these kids the right way,” Harris said. 

For more information on the Children’s Policy Council visit alcpc.org.