June 2017

Meet Cherae
Cherae enjoys crafts and making things like bracelets and tie-dyed shirts. She likes to play with baby dolls and enjoys playing Uno.  She likes dancing, cheerleading and gymnastics.

She also likes to read what she calls "kiddie books" - Dora the Explorer books, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and books about puppies and horses. She loves Disney movies, Santa Paws and Annie. On TV, she likes to watch Hello Kitty and High School Musical.

Cherae is a fun-loving, energetic and friendly young lady with a pleasant mood. She describes herself as friendly, creative, with a sense of humor and a nice smile. She cares about others.

She wants a family that is very active, one that will help her explore all her interests. She would like a family with lots of siblings, but her caregivers think she would do best in a home with fewer children and less commotion.

She would like a two-parent family. She says she wants someone who will talk to her, have a schedule, listen, take care of her, be nice and do what they say they will do. She wants someone who will understand and care for her even when she has a bad day.

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Congratulations to our high school grads

June is the month we hold our agency's signature event - Celebration of Dreams - which is our biggest event of the year. On June 8, we will recognize nearly 50 wonderful foster children who have overcome great challenges to graduate high school.

For many, this is the only graduation party they  will receive. That is why we try to make it a very special occasion.

Celebration of Dreams will be held at The Phoenix this year and will feature Inky Johnson, an inspirational and motivational speaker who was headed for an NFL career before an injury crushed his dreams. He uses that life-altering moment as an example of the strength needed to achieve a lifetime of success.

We are fortunate to have Mr. Johnson, but he is not the star of the show. The stars of Celebration of Dreams are the Hamilton County foster youth who have already shown the strength and resiliency to graduate high school despite great obstacles. Foster children are often separated from the only family they know and love, their neighborhood and friends, and the only schools they have ever attended.

Graduating high school is not a given. In fact, foster children are much more likely to drop out of school and not graduate than their peers. The young people we celebrate June 8 worked hard to avoid that fate.

HEMI mentors: more than just help with school

It's one of those wonderful life milestone kinds of photos - the man bending down, helping the boy fix his tie. A lot of moms out there took this same photo this prom season.

But this one shows the relationship not of a father and son, but mentor and student.

This is Bob Suess fixing Devin's tie. They're out shopping, picking out something for Devin to wear to the big dance.

We are always looking for mentors for our kids, mentors to help get kids in foster care through high school and into college. They help with everything from completing FAFSAs to applying for scholarships.

Our agency partners with the University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati State Technical and Community College and others on a project called HEMI, the Higher Education Mentoring Initiative. HEMI matches some of our foster kids with long-term mentoring relationships that begin in high school and last through college.

But mentors become much more. They're surrogate parents, surrogate siblings, trusted advisers, friends. Our kids need all of those so badly.

Suess is a former teacher and administrator who built a career in education over more than 40 years. He says he always has believed that you have to take a holistic approach to helping kids if you want them to succeed academically. He mentors two teen-age boys through HEMI now - Devin and Antonio, who just graduated from high school.

Thank you to all those who mentor our kids in foster care. We appreciate all the tie tying and everything else you do to lift up these kids.

Veteran manager becomes new clinical director

Margie Weaver, a 13-year veteran of HCJFS, is our newest Children's Services clinical director.

She and Mary Eck will share oversight of Children's Services as we continue to cope with a growing caseload. Margie will work with Intake/Assessment sections and Utilization Management. Eck will continue to oversee the Ongoing sections and training.
Know someone looking for a good place to work?

We are thankful to have received the go-ahead from Hamilton County commissioners to hire people to help us cope with the increasing Children's Services caseload.

If you know someone interested in working with intake or ongoing cases, please check out  our openings .