September 2016

Meet  Alexis and Donte

These sibs love going to the park, riding their bikes and playing board games. They're a polite pair who like to do chores and earn incentives.
Alexis likes to make scrapbooks, do crafts and try science experiments. She likes school, especially math, spelling and gym. She likes to learn to spell new words.

She describes herself as nice, funny, silly and kind. She loves to play on her iPad and ride her scooter and bike. What does she like to eat? Potato soup, Cheez-Its and goldfish crackers
Donte loves big trucks. He gets so excited wh en the  garbage truck comes down the  street! He wants to be a firema n and policeman when he grows up.

He likes to build tents and watch Mickey Mouse and Paw Patrol. He's very proud of himself when he builds things.

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Leading a national conversation about child welfare issues

I had the pleasure of hosting a group of the nation's top child welfare officials in Cincinnati this past week and it was interesting to see our stories are so similar.

We all struggle with worker retention. We all are facing a heroin epidemic. We all have experienced tragic deaths of children. We all are concerned about agency culture. We all have high vacancy rates and are worried about the recruitment, hiring and retention of workers.

None of this is surprising. I read many of the news stories from around the nation about child welfare systems, tragic cases, overworked caseworkers and more. Still, it was great to get together with some of the top minds in our field and discuss solutions to all of these issues.

Certainly no one has the secret for success, and these problems won't disappear overnight, but an open dialogue with people who have to address these issues on a daily basis is helpful as Hamilton County continues to move forward.

Kudos to our fraud investigators

The dedicated folks we have investigating alleged fraud were honored with an Excellence in Claims Management certificate from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

The investigators, led by Ed Feldkamp, were praised for increasing the number of SNAP claims established in 2015 and for being the third most improved in the state. They worked 150 percent more claims in 2015 than in 2014.

Meet Leo and Penelope

One of the most important things we do at Hamilton County Job and Family Services is find adoptive homes for kids in foster care.

One of the big pieces of our recruitment process is making sure we get compelling photos of our kids who are waiting for families. A good picture just might capture the attention of someone who's ready to take that first step toward adoption.

This is definitely one of those photos that makes you take a second look. Meet Leo and his foster home's pig, Penelope. That's Azure in the background. Thank you, Mark Lyons, for the terrific shot.
Please check out Leo's profile. If you think you might like to be the forever family for Leo or any of our other kids, please see