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Daniel is looking for a family where he can be a middle child so he will always have someone to play with. 

He is very active and loves to play all sports, but football is his favorite. Daniel, like most kids his age, enjoys video games. He says he's hard to beat at Madden NFL.

Daniel would like to have a cat or dog in his new home and wants to go into the Army when he grows up. 

He is interested in a two-parent home where he can get lots of love.

Reminder: Step Up to Quality deadline in July

Don't forget - if you run a child care facility that gets public funds from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, you must meet Step Up to Quality standards by July 1.

Most of our child care facilities have already met this goal or are on track toward getting it done. 

But if you need help, check out our information page.

Our email addresses changed

Primary email addresses for all HCJFS employees changed with the start of the new year.  The new format for most employees is FirstName.LastName@jfs.ohio.gov.

Our previous email addresses will continue to reach us for some time, but we will begin transitioning to the new addresses soon.

If you happen to have trouble reaching someone at our agency, try the worker's name in this format: FirstName.LastName@jfs.ohio.gov.

Thank you.

Another record year for adoptions

Our Children's Services staff worked extremely hard last year on finding permanent families for kids in foster care - and it worked, big-time. Workers helped facilitate a record number of adoptions: 259.
The McQueen family

That's 259 kids now living with loving, forever families. And it's 25 percent increase over the 207 adoptions we counted in 2018. This is at least the fifth year in a row during which we've seen adoption numbers rise. The 259 marks a 154 percent increase over the 102 adoptions Hamilton County saw just five years ago in 2015.

One adoption requires a lot of preparation and paperwork. So 259 means a whole lot of good work was done by our staff. One worker,  Maggi Erhart, handled 41 of the 259. Thank you for your efforts, Maggi! (She recently marked 30 years with the agency)

In these numbers are some wonderful stories:
  • Terrez and Candice Thomas had two biological children and added three more in a ceremony in July with their extended family packing the courtroom.
  • BJ and Calena Durel agreed to adopt two little girls and almost immediately learned Mrs. Durel was pregnant with twin girls. They became a family of six during a special back-to-school adoption ceremony in August and were featured on Good Morning America.
  • Mike McQueen teared up in court when he talked about his future with Carter and Caity, the grandchildren of his former wife. He adopted the two kids in November as part of our National Adoption Day event, when 14 children were united with eight forever families.
Increasing numbers of adoptions is a national trend, in part because of the opioid crisis - more kids taken into permanent care has meant more adoptions. Nationally, adoptions with involvement of child welfare agencies increased to 63,100 in fiscal year 2018, compared with 59,500 in fiscal year 2017, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Numbers for 2019 are not yet available, but experts expect those to show an increase also.

Despite these rising adoption totals, many kids still wait for forever families. More than 100,000 children across the country are waiting to be adopted. In Hamilton County on any given day, more than 400 children are waiting for their forever families.

Looking forward to another great year

(This is Director Moira Weir's monthly letter to the community).

As we say goodbye to 2019 and look ahead to the new year, I am very excited about what JFS has accomplished and where it is headed.

Last year started off a bit rocky with a partial government shutdown, but our Family and Adult Assistance staff rose to the challenge and set an example the entire agency lived up to throughout the year. We delivered for our consumers time and time again in 2019 and I am extremely proud of our work making this community a better place to live.

We launched new initiatives such as the Kinship Stipend, Project Lift, HC Ignite, First Place for Youth, the Georgetown Project and many more. 2019 showed once again how innovative we will be to ensure families and children in Hamilton County have the resources they need to be successful. Did you know we have won more National Association of County Awards for Innovation than any other government entity in Ohio over the past 12 years?

Our Child Support team helped guide families through the introduction of a new payment card. We created a new Client's Rights Office to help families navigate our systems.

Our Fatherhood Project reached out to numerous fathers in our community to help them understand how our agency can help. Our Child Care team helped hundreds of child care homes and centers convert into the new Step Up to Quality system. Our Community Engagement leader reached out to dozens of faith-based and social-service organizations to let them know how we could help their families. We created a resource guide to help families find the exact type of help they need as quickly as possible.

We helped. We helped. We helped. It seems every sentence contains that phrase.

2019 will go down as the year we introduced our Three Pillars to serve as the foundation of our work for the next decade. Branding, Customer Service and Equity - these are not projects or initiatives, they are now a way of life at JFS. You can count on us to be a more welcoming and helpful community resource in 2020 and beyond.

We look forward to serving you in the new year. For all we accomplished in 2019, we have our sights set higher in 2020. For 72 years, we have been a rock this community leans on during hard times. 2020 will be another year of supporting families and changing lives.

Adoption tax credit

If you finalized an adoption in 2019, there's a possibility you could be eligible for a $14,080 federal tax credit.

Families who finalized the adoption of a child who has been determined to have special needs in 2019 can claim the full credit of $14,080 regardless of their adoption expenses.

Go here for more information.