Fall is now upon us! Our fall edition of the e-Link highlights many activities and events from the last few months. These accomplishments wouldn't be possible without the support of our community stakeholders, partners, and volunteers. 

As we welcome the season, we also look forward to our annual Job Fair. We are excited to be able to bring together over 90 employers who are eager to meet prospective job applicants. If you know of someone that is looking for a job or wants to advance their career, please encourage them to stop by Ohio University-Lancaster on September 28 from 9 am -12 pm.

Be sure to read through the articles below and see firsthand the unwavering commitment of our staff. It wouldn't be possible without them!

What's Happening at FCJFS
FCJFS employees wore ORANGE on September 13 for National Hunger Action Day!
FCJFS employees did their part to help out at the Community Action Food Pantry in August. Special thanks to Patrick Welsh, Matt Miller and Donna Stalter for volunteering their time.
September is Kinship Month!
Across the U.S., September is recognized as Grandparent/Kinship Month. In Fairfield County alone, nearly 60 children whose families are working with Protective Services spend each day in the care of a family member or other important person in their lives. For some children, this may be grandparents or close relatives; for others, it may be a neighbor, a teacher, a coach, or a family friend. Who they are, or how they know the children, is not what is most important. Instead, their willingness and ability to be an important part in the life of a child is what is most valuable.

Over the past few years, Fairfield County Protective Services has committed to increasing our efforts to maximize the early involvement of kinship, in order to bring together as many important people in children’s lives as possible. Agency practices such as Family Group Decision Making and 30 Days to Family® highlight the work to identify and locate family members and supports starting on the first day of involvement, and having those individuals continue to play an important role in the lives of the children we work with.

It goes without saying, in opening their homes, kinship providers help ensure safety and stability for children, often at times of the most significant and traumatic events in their young lives. Everyone at Fairfield County Protective Services thanks each and every kinship home for all you do in the lives of children!
H.O.P.E. - Helping Ohioans Parent Effectively
In May 2018, Fairfield County Protective Services received the H.O.P.E. grant for the planning and implementation of primary parent partners to assist families.

Primary parent partners are birth, adoptive, or foster parents who have had an open child welfare case with a successful resolution for their children. Primary parent partners use their own experiences to connect as advocates and mentors with parents who have open child welfare cases, and help in a way that is affirming, fear-reducing and solution-focused.

Over the next several months Protective Services will conduct focus groups to help identify trends and areas of need, while recruiting potential parent partners to work with families. With a focus on maintaining parent-child bonds and child well-being, this grant will allow Protective Services to promote promising practices for the families and children of Fairfield County.
Annual Job Fair Coming Up  
FCJFS partners with Ohio University-Lancaster each Fall to host a Job Fair. This year’s event is on September 28 from 9 a.m.–noon in the Ohio University–Lancaster Gymnasium.

The Job Fair is open to the public and is recommended to anyone looking for a new or better job, as well as employers trying to fill vacancies. Job seekers planning to attend should dress professionally and bring copies of their resumes. 

This year’s event will feature 90 employers from a broad range of fields including manufacturing, healthcare, retail, banking, labor, office and more. Fairfield Medical Center, Rocky Boots, Kenworth Truck Co., Complete Filter Media and Nifco America are just a few of the employers who will be in attendance.

Anyone looking for more information about the Job Fair can visit our website at www.fcjfs.org or call the OhioMeansJobs Center Fairfield County at 740-652-7856.
Commmunity Services Helps Families With School Clothes and School Supplies
“Thank you Community Services for providing the school clothes vouchers. As a grandmother with limited income, it is difficult to provide for my grandchildren,” shares a grandmother who is raising two granddaughters. More than 837 children were issued a $250 voucher to be used to purchase school clothing and school supplies at the WalMart stores in Lancaster or Canal Winchester. Families who were in receipt of Ohio Works First or cash assistance and kinship caregivers such as grandparents, aunts and uncles who are raising children because the parents are not able to were eligible for the vouchers. Community Services also partnered with Fairfield County 211 to provide more than 600 school supply kits to elementary and junior high students.  
August is Child Support Awareness Month in Ohio. The child support program impacts more children than any other public program in Ohio, except public education. One in three children is impacted by this program.  

The child support program is based on the fundamental belief that children deserve financial support. If children truly are our future, then it is imperative that the child support program aid in the healthy development of children, including the emotional and financial support of both parents.    

This year, the Fairfield County Child Support Enforcement Agency (CSEA) marked the occasion with a number of staff appreciation and customer education activities. In addition, there was a web portal registration drive and an Amnesty Program where customers who had their driver’s license suspended for non-payment were offered the opportunity to have it reinstated by making a payment and visiting the OhioMeansJobs Center.

Each year during the month of August, we take the time to recognize the staff of the CSEA and the work that they do on behalf of the families of Fairfield County. We also thank the many partners that contribute to the success of the program including local employers, courts, law enforcement and many more.
On Aug. 23, Community Services staff participated in a field trip to better understand available community resources for families in need. Special thanks to all those who took time to learn more about how we can help our customers.