Children Services board gets high marks from state audit

The Mahoning CSB was compared to agencies in Lorain and Butler counties.
YOUNGSTOWN -- The state auditor's office says the Mahoning County Children Services Board is effectively using its money and staff to provide quality service.
The auditor released a performance audit of the CSB on Thursday.
Mahoning County commissioners requested the audit to review overall efficiency of the CSB before requesting a property-tax renewal levy.
The audit focused on revenues and expenditures, staffing and workload, and compensation and benefits. The Mahoning CSB was compared to the same agencies in Lorain and Butler counties.
Among the conclusions:
UThe agency's percentage of local revenue compared to overall revenue is lower than its peer average. CSB has a 50 percent local contribution, compared to its peer average of 56 percent.
UThe agency's revenues have met expenditures the past three years and don't project a deficit until 2010.
UThe agency has fewer staff members but serves a larger number of children than its peer counties while operating at levels above industry standards.
UThe agency's salaries and benefits make up 49.5 percent of its costs, while the peer average is 56.2 percent. Earlier this month, employees started paying 10 percent toward health-care premiums.
UThe agency's salaries were low compared to peer counties. Auditors suggest the agency review and restructure its starting salaries, especially of caseworkers and support staff, to remain competitive in the local job market.

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