(1/1) Beginning today, Frederick County will replace Catholic Charities as sponsor of the Up County Family Center.
County commissioners committed to consolidating the center into the county's Family Partnership Program in the spring, and approved a lease with the town of Emmitsburg this month. The town owns the Up County building on Lincoln Avenue.
The center provides developmental screenings for children, health education, recreational and social activities and programs for teenage parents. The county will not change any Up County programs, said Shelly Toms, director of the county's Family Partnership.
Staff at Catholic Charities, which has sponsored the Up County center for 20 years, began looking for a new sponsor early last year after determining they could no longer fully fund the center, said Amy Collier, administrator for Head Start and family support programs. Funding for the center is funneled through Catholic Charities from
Baltimore-based Friends of the Family Inc., and the funding has leveled off in recent years, she said.
Collier said Catholic Charities approached the county with a proposal to take over sponsorship of the center because the county already operates Family Partnership, a family support center on Gas House Pike in Frederick.
Friends of the Family will continue to fund the center, and the county will provide any additional needed funding, Collier said. All Up County staff will keep their jobs and become county employees, she said.
According to the five-year lease with Emmitsburg, the county will pay $33,000 per year with the option to extend the lease five years at a negotiable price.
Part of the rent income will be returned to the center in the form of an annual $12,000 grant, said town manager Dave Haller. Town commissioners are expected to approve the lease and grant at their next meeting, he said.