November 2017
Canute is a very intelligent young man who gets As and Bs in school. He enjoys playing the violin and is in the robotics club.
In his free time, he enjoys catching up on the latest news in science, playing World of Warcraft and reading fantasy books.

Canute is a smart, funny and loving young man. Although he can be shy and reserved, he eventually opens up to those with whom he shares interests.

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We are grateful for our kinship providers

One of the key components of our child welfare system is kinship providers who are willing to take in abused and neglected children so they can keep a bond with someone familiar with them. Just as I recently praised the foster parents and foster care providers who help us care for several thousand children a year, I can tell you we would not be successful if we didn't have broad support from kinship providers.

Kinship Care refers to a temporary or permanent arrangement where a relative or someone else close to a child takes over the full-time care and protection of the child whose parent/caregiver is unable or unwilling to provide for their care and safety. Just as we expect foster parents to love, care for and treat the children in their home as their own, we expect the same from kin families.

Kinship care is a fairly common form of care for HCJFS. Last year, more than 40 percent of the children who came into our custody were placed in a kinship placement at some time during the year. Many of those placements were with grandparents.

We consider care by grandparents or other relatives and friends to be a desirable option for abused and neglected children who can no longer live with their parents. Staying with a relative allows the children to maintain their sense of belonging, culture and traditions.

Although the county offers assistance to kin who take in children, I strongly believe that we as a nation - the federal government, state governments and local governments - need to work together to find ways to support kinship providers to the same level we support foster parents. As the children's parents struggle with substance abuse, mental illness, incarceration, economic hardship, divorce, domestic violence, and other challenges, these caregivers provide a vital safety net to children who have experienced so much trauma.

November is National Adoption Awareness Month

November is the month we choose to celebrate adoption and bring attention to how much need we have for more adoptive families.

Due in part to the heroin crisis, HCJFS has about 400 kids waiting for permanent homes. That's up from 200, the number we hovered around for years until recently.
On our local Adoption Day, Nov. 17, we'll celebrate the adoption of 10 Hamilton County children into seven families. Among the kids: a 2-year-old boy being adopted by his mother's cousin; a sibling set of three kids; and a 16-year-old girl who loves to go shopping and do her hair.

It will be a great day. You'll be able to follow along via our livestream again. Stay tuned to our social media for that link.

Go to for previews of our families who are adopting this year and to check out some success stories.

Voters decide next today on levies that support us

On Hamilton County's ballot are two levies which help HCJFS clients:
  • Issue 3, a renewal of the mental health services tax levy
  • Issue 5, a renewal and increase of the senior citizens care levy
The mental health levy helps expand the available mental health services in the community that are available to many of the families and children we serve.

The senior citizens levy directly funds a large percentage of our Adult Protective Services programs. We serve an average of 500 people a year in cases where there has been an allegation of abuse, neglect or exploitation.

Our truck-driver training program seeks applicants

We are again accepting applications for our truck-driver training program that was recognized by the National Association of Counties as one of this year's 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work.


Applicants must be recipients of our food assistance program. They will be offered free tuition and costs to attend Napier Truck Driver Training in the city of Hamilton.


Napier also offers lifetime job placement, tutoring to pass the CDL written exams and free refresher courses for up to six months after graduation.


Napier Truck Driver Training, Inc. has more than 30 companies that visit the school to recruit students for local, regional and over-the-road positions. Those who have previously completed the training and received their Class A licenses have gone on to jobs paying $45,000 annually.


A special Thanksgiving meal for foster kids, alumni

The 2017 Southwest Ohio Thanksgiving will take place in Cincinnati on Nov. 11, noon to 2:30 pm., at the People's Church in Clifton. This event is for foster care youth ages 14 and older, foster care alumni age 18 and older and allies/adult supporters to gather together and enjoy a Thanksgiving meal and fellowship.


Dinner is free, but registration is required.


Questions? Contact Lisa Dickson (614) 787-5257.

Get some free help in job hunting, interview prep

Local residents seeking employment can receive free help using website tools and resources, creating a resume and preparing for an interview by attending free workshops over the next few weeks at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.


OhioMeansJobs Cincinnati-Hamilton County is continuing its Work Readiness Workshop Series this fall and will offer three different workshops at the library's Mount Healthy branch, 7608 Hamilton Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio, 45231.


The workshops started on Oct. 31 and continue today (resume boot camp) and Nov. 14 (interview practice). They are designed to help job candidates prepare for their job search and develop skills that will help them succeed when they do find employment. This is the second set of workshops. 


The original workshops were held in the fall of 2016. They will continue in the spring of 2018 at different library branches.


Space is limited. Register in person at the Mt. Healthy library. For more information, contact Natalie Hemmer, (513) 946-7261.


LGBTQ competency training offered

Safe and Supported, a program of Lighthouse Youth and Family Services, is offering  free training  for helping professionals who serve LGBTQ young people:

"Moving the Margins"
Nov. 13, 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
401 E. McMillan St.

The training is being adapted from curriculum done by Lambda Legal and the National Association of Social Workers. Training is free and 5.5 CEUs are available.

Space is limited, so register soon. Contact Evelyn Sears at 946-8642 or