Child care awards presented

WEIRTON – Patty McConnaughy, Brooke Place nurse, and Cora Childers, retired West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources licensing specialist, recently were recognized by the West Virginia Child Care Association at an awards banquet held in Charleston.

McConnaughy was named Children’s Service Worker of the Year, and Childers was named Community Service Worker of the Year.

Family Connections Inc. nominated both women.

The annual banquet honors individuals who provide exemplary service to West Virginia’s children. Member agencies may nominate their own employees, child advocates from outside their agency, foster parents and community leaders whose work in some major way has positively impacted children’s lives.

As a registered nurse, McConnaughy is charged with overseeing the medical care of the residents of Brooke Place. According to Joanne Dobrzanski, Family Connections executive director, McConnaughy’s ability to see beyond the horizon, to anticipate problems before they happen, makes her a terrific asset and colleague.

Before assuming the role of licensing specialist, Dobrzanski stated Childers was charged with the “health, safety, well-being and permanency” of West Virginia’s most vulnerable children. There was never any doubt she recognized the importance of her professional career.

“We were excited to nominate Patty McConnaughy and Cora Childers for the West Virginia Child Care Association awards and we did so without reservation,” said Dobrzanski. “They both fulfill and exemplify the mission of Family Connections which is dedicated to the care, welfare and respect of families and individuals who comprise them.”

Family Connections, located in the Weirton Medical Center Office Building, operates as a licensed and accredited, nonprofit, child care agency and behavioral health center. The organization provides a full range of residential treatment services for teenage girls at its Brooke Place facility in Colliers, and also provides out-patient counseling services at the Weirton location.

The West Virginia Child Care Association is a private, nonprofit organization representing agencies that operate a wide variety of behavioral health and child welfare programs statewide for the most vulnerable and difficult children in West Virginia – children who have experienced abuse, neglect, emotional and behavior disabilities, substance abuse and delinquency.

Formed in 1979, the WVCCA impacts services and public policy across a wide spectrum including adoption, assessment, emergency shelters, family-based treatment, specialized foster care, therapeutic group care, family preservation services, independent living and residential treatment.