January 2020
 
Jaida enjoys video games, card games, doing her nails and Monster High dolls.

She likes football, basketball and baseball. She enjoys singing, dancing, swimming, painting, riding a bike, completing puzzles and word searches. She enjoys Michael Jackson's music.

She is a good speller and neat writer. Last Christmas, her artwork was displayed on her school Christmas musical brochure. Her favorite subject is math, but she is also talented in art.
Jaida is noted to be an energetic and active young lady. She is pleasant and kind to others. She needs others to be patient, understanding and to listen to her. It can take  awhile for her to trust.

She would do well with an active family that spends time together playing games, watching movies, attending sporting events and - most importantly - sharing about each other's day.


   

The U.S. Census is looking to fill thousands of temporary jobs.
Hours are flexible. Most people hired  will work evenings and weekends, making this an ideal job for someone who works full time and is looking to make extra money on the side.

The Census Bureau is also committed to hiring people to work in the neighborhoods in which they live. 

You will need to be at least 18 and a U.S. citizen.

Apply here.



   
There's still time to talk to Gov. DeWine


Ohio now has a new Children Services Transformation Advisory Council aimed at reviewing the state of Ohio's foster care system and developing recommendations for improving it.

Register  here to attend the Jan. 8 listening session in Cincinnati .


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Looking ahead:
Excitement,
more innovation

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.



New museum discount helps 14,000 SNAP users

The Cincinnati Museum Center's "Museum for All" program served more than 14,000 food assistance recipients since November 2018.

Through a partnership with HCJFS, Museum for All offers discounted membership or admission at the Center's three museums to those participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Approximately 100,000 Hamilton County residents participate in the national food assistance program each month.

JFS has a similar partnership with Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Gardens, the Cincinnati Nature Center, Great Parks of Hamilton County and Red Bike.

To learn more, please visit the JFS Discounts page:  https://www.hcjfs.org/initiatives/discounts/




Stipend helps hundreds of kinship families 

More than 400 kinship families were helped this year by a new kinship stipend program. 

JFS launched the program in June to help Hamilton County grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives who care for children in JFS custody. 

The program pays kinship caregivers $350 per month, per child for caring for children in agency custody. The stipends are available to all families, regardless of household income, unless they are already licensed foster parents and receiving payments for the care of the child.

This is the first time JFS has ever provided a kinship stipend and helps fulfill a long-standing goal of the agency.

"We have known for years that better support for kinship caregivers was best practice and best for children and families," said Moira Weir, director of Hamilton County JFS. "We know from experience and research that children are more likely to thrive in the care of someone connected to them. Kinship caregivers help children maintain connections and a sense of their history.

"But we also know some families do not have the financial ability to take a child in, particularly grandparents on a fixed income. We have long sought ways to better support kinship caregivers and we now have the funding to make that goal a reality."




Staying power:
Bonita Wood

It's not uncommon to meet someone who has worked for HCJFS for 20 years, 25 years, 30 years. In fact, we have 30 employees who have worked here more than three decades each. .
In a time when people don't stay in jobs as much for pensions and retirement, what makes our folks stay? What is it about JFS that keeps them coming in each day? That's what we're going to find out.

These people are our power inside these walls and our staying power in the community.

Meet Bonita Wood, Workforce Development program manager at OhioMeansJobs:

How long have you worked for HCJFS? 14 years

Why do you stay? The challenge of the work and the intrinsic reward I get in doing that work. JFS has provided me with many opportunities and experiences that have enabled me to flourish and grow. Seeing and feeling that growth has motivated me to invest more into the agency and my work I do here.

Fun fact: I love working with power tools and building with wood. Super fun fact is that I love to sniff freshly cut wood! Hahahahaha
 
Hamilton County Job and Family Services has been a proud member of our community since 1947. The agency's diverse group of about 850 employees is committed to helping county residents achieve better tomorrows.  #stayingpower #celebratinglongevity 
 


Holiday thank-yous

Once again, we had a truly remarkable outpouring of support for kids in foster care this Christmas.
We had two parties - one for younger kids in our permanent custody who are still waiting for adoptive homes and  another for teens in independent living who are starting to transition to life on their own. 

Donors sent so many great gifts and gift cards. Some took the kids' wish lists and even added more.

We always wonder, at the beginning of the holiday season, if we'll find enough support to provide holiday cheer for so many kids. The community always comes through.

Thank you again.