February 2017

Meet Marcus
This tough guy is all about playing football the best that he can. He likes to play defense because he finds tackling the other team exciting. When he isn't playing football, he watches it on TV and cheers on his favorite teams. Football is almost 24/7 for Marcus, so much that he wants be a football player when he grows up!.
When he's not playing or watching football, Marcus can 
be found toying with his Leapster or watching cartoons. Right now, he loves Super Why! and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. He will listen to hip/hop music and some songs from various Disney movies. Marcus' favorite place to visit when it's nice outside is the Cincinnati Nature Center-he loves to camp, hike, and go boating.
Marcus is a thoughtful, energetic young boy. He will need a family that can encourage this behavior while also teaching him to express his other emotions properly. An active family, with maybe a few dogs Marcus can play with, will be the perfect fit.

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Director puts out call for help as foster care number hits 20-year high

We currently have more than 1,100 children in certified foster care. This might be the highest number in JFS history, certainly within the past 20 years.

On any given day, we have more than 2,100 children in custody. In addition to the 1,100 children in certified foster homes, the remaining 1,000 are children living with relatives or family friends, teenagers living on their own and preparing for life after foster care, or children living in residential centers, group homes or medical facilities.

Sadly, this increase in children coming into care is similar to trends seen around the state and country. Child welfare systems across the country - already stretched thin - are seeing their numbers grow and are struggling to meet the demand. The reasons are varied here and across the country - heroin is certainly a reason, but not the only reason.

What we do know is that our colleagues across the country are seeing many of the same issues - substance abuse, untreated mental illness and violence. In fact, 70% of the cases in Hamilton County have all three issues occurring at the same time. We are working with many of our local, state and national colleagues on solutions that will stem the tide.

Today, I want to focus on our 1,100 foster children. I am putting out a call for help! 

Free tax help offered at Ohio Means Jobs

Ohio MeansJobs Cincinnati-Hamilton County is again offering free tax help by hosting United Way tax preparers. 

The preparers will be at OMJ, 1916 Central Parkway near downtown Cincinnati, every Saturday through April 15.

One change from last year: Drop -in customers cannot be accommodated.  All tax assistance will be provided only with a prior appointment.

Call 211 or visit makeworkpay.com to schedule an appointment.


Fund helps buy extras for kids in foster care

As we head toward spring, our teenagers in foster care are beginning to think about college visits, prom and graduation.

But those big life events bring extra costs that our foster parents often can't afford. To fill in those gaps, we created  the Family Fund.
Donations to the fund allow our workers to help kids on their caseloads with things like prom dresses, car repairs and fees for their graduation caps and gowns. 

As the number of kids in foster care continues to grow, these needs also will increase. Please consider donating.

Thank you.