January 2018
Zacarius is interested in sports. He enjoys working out and martial arts.

He also is very interested in every aspect of the music business. He would like to learn to play the piano and guitar. He writes lyrics for songs in his journal. He would like to be in a family that supports his interests.

Zacarius is active in a church youth program. He enjoys outside activities, including canoeing, hiking, traveling, etc.

Zacarius has a pleasant, engaging personality. He makes friends easily. He is very talkative and knows what he wants for his future.

Visit  HCKids.org to learn more about Zacarius and other children seeking forever families.

Foster care numbers and cost rise sharply
A tsunami of opioid-affected children is flooding Ohio's children services agencies, exploding county budgets and overwhelming available foster care resources. According to a report released by Public Children Services Association of Ohio, a thousand more Ohio kids spent the holidays in foster care this year, compared to 2016, instead of at home with their family. 

The statewide membership organization for county children services agencies added that by next Christmas, it could be two thousand more if the rate at which children are entering custody due to the opioid epidemic continues along its current trajectory.

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An overdue thank you

With November being National Adoption month and the time for our annual mass adoption ceremony, and December being the month where we collect gifts and host holiday parties for the children in our care, we have had a very busy two months.

But before the year is over, I do not want to forget a "thank-you" owed to the voters of Hamilton County for approving the Senior Services levy in November. Seventy-two percent of voters approved an increase to the levy, which helps fund our Adult Protective Services unit that investigates abuse, neglect and exploitation of senior citizens age 60 and older in our community.

The agency is mandated by the State of Ohio to receive and investigate reports of elder abuse in Hamilton County. An "elder" is defined by state law as an adult 60 years or older who is handicapped by the infirmities of aging, or who has a physical or mental impairment which prevents the person from providing for the person's own care or protection.

In Hamilton County, we investigate nearly 500 allegations of abuse each year. Referrals usually come from professionals (mandated reporters), friends, neighbors and family members. Mandated reporters include attorneys, physicians, clergy members, other senior service providers and many more members of our community.

Elder abuse is a significant social issue which affects 1 in 20 older adults. One study estimated that only one in six cases of elder abuse is ever reported. Elder abuse is largely under-reported because the older population most effected by elder abuse tends to be isolated and therefore unnoticed. Also, elder victims do not report for because of shame or embarrassment, fear of retaliation, sense of resignation or powerlessness, family loyalty, lack of credibility, fear of nursing homes or institutions.

Elder abuse takes many forms:
  • physical abuse, sexual and emotional abuse.
  • Neglect by caregivers
  • Self-neglect
  • Exploitation in which the elder's funds or assets are misused or misappropriated. 

OMJ named top veterans service center

The American Legion has named our Ohio Means Jobs center the top center in Ohio for assisting veterans.  

A "secret shopper" from Veteran's Workforce Services found OMJ-CinHam to provide some of the "best professionalism in the state." 

OMJ staff take part in quarterly meetings of the Cincinnati Military Employer Consortium and hold many workshops, hiring events and career fairs for veterans. Staff are also involved in the Tristate Veterans Community Alliance, VA Quarterly Networking Group, Veterans Upward Bound and Hamilton County Veterans Treatment Court. 

Kroger steps up to provide bikes to our kids

When lagging donations made it look like we might not get our requested bikes from The Bike Lady Inc., Kroger stepped up to make it happen. 

We distributed more than 200 bikes to foster kids in Hamilton County. 

Kroger Co., which annually makes a donation and transports the bikes, stepped up with a "sizable" donation to ensure Southwest Ohio children received bikes, said Kate Koch, who founded Bike Lady, Inc. in 2008. Koch (pronounced Cook) donates bikes, helmets and locks to children's services agencies for distribution to the children they serve.

Holiday party spreads cheer to foster children

Our annual holiday party was a success. About 75 kids were given presents and got to meet with Cincinnati Bengals players through the Marvin Lewis Foundation.