LIMA — The next executive director of Allen County Children Services is likely to come from within.
A hiring committee for the board of directors for the agency announced Tuesday night that they are recommending Sarah Newland for the position.
She’s been serving as interim director since the dismissal of Cynthia Scanland in June 2020.
Scanland was indicted by an Allen County Grand Jury on three counts of tampering with records, all felonies of the third degree; a fifth-degree felony charge of obstructing official business and a misdemeanor count of dereliction of duty in connection with the criminal case against Jeremy Kindle and Scott Steffes, foster parents who adopted three boys through Children Services.
In July of last year, the pair were indicted on a combined 127 felony sex-related charges.
Newland is ready to take on the job on a more permanent basis.
“I am very excited to get the opportunity to lead this agency into the future. We have a great team of staff that are focused on our agency’s mission of protecting children in Allen County,” Newland said.
Getting the public’s trust back is something Newland will continue to strive for.
“We want to be able to recruit and retain the best work staff to be able to best serve our Allen County families. We also want to continue to bring the most innovative programs to our county Children Services, like we have just done with our Ohio START program. So it’s with the partnership of our other community partners and the community where we hope we can engage those partners and community members and ensuring that our mission is accomplished,” Newland said.
Board president Nadia Lampton was pleased with Newland and the job she’s done so far.
“(She) has shown exceptional leadership. She has led the agency through a challenging time, and has shown a real vision for the agency moving into the future. And that vision and her leadership strengths over the last six to eight months really set her apart and made it a clear choice for us,” Lampton said.
In all, 24 people had applied for the position.
“We took a phased approach. So we thoroughly reviewed all of the applicants and their materials. We selected five to move forward to the next round. We ultimately ended up interviewing three and from that process, Sarah was the clear choice,” Lampton said.
Prior to Newland’s appointment as interim director, she was an Assistant Allen County Prosecutor who handled cases for Children Services for almost nine years.
The full board will meet at 5:15 p.m. March 16 and consider Newland’s appointment to the position of executive director.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.