September 2019
Aiden likes school, where his favorite subject is art. He doesn't really like to play sports or watch them on TV.
He likes to play with cars and on his tablet. He plays by himself sometimes and likes to watch TV.

Aiden likes to go out to eat with his foster family - his favorite restaurant is McDonald's. He's a big fan of pizza, hamburgers, chicken nuggets and French fries. He would like to go to Disney World.

Aiden would like to have a small family with pets. He picks up after himself without prompting and straightens his bedroom. He likes to sweep the floor.

Case workers describe Aiden as a sweet, kind child who usually doesn't get into much trouble.

Continuing our gains in Child Support

We continue to push forward in Child Support improvements - up 2.86 percent in paternity establishment and 2.11 percent in establishing support, two of the state's measures. Those numbers are improvements this year over last.
The agency has more than 70,000 child support cases and collects more than $126 million annually.

Everyone involved in child support has been part of the improvements, from intake workers to legal. And our Information Systems staff has worked on workflow issues, which have been a big help. The workflows a lert employees when a case needs to be reviewed for closure, sanctions and other reasons.

Mentors needed in Lakota, Princeton, Hamilton districts

We're helping Amber Gray's Where2Next Foundation start its mentoring program for kids in Hamilton County foster care who live in these communities.
Gray is a professional basketball player who mentors two teens herself. She and her team hope to build and grow a mentoring program that helps teens now but also grooms them to become mentors in a few years.

Mentoring doesn't have to take a lot of time or cost a lot of money. If you can spare a few hours a month to just talk to a teen when they need advice, please 
let us know.

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Taking care
of the caretakers

Trauma can have life-long consequences.   

We see the effects every day: trauma from leaving home and family, trauma from abuse or neglect, trauma from a family member's mental illness or substance use, trauma from living in poverty.  

We never lose sight of this. I ask our workforce to respond accordingly: "Treat people kindly and don't be judgmental; you never know what they are going through or what brought them to us."

But what about those very same workers? Our more than 800 JFS workers not only suffer through traumatic experiences of their own, but they take on the traumatic events of the families and children they serve. From the public assistance worker who helps a domestic violence victim escape a scary situation to the children's services worker who watches a parent they have gotten to know over months or years die from overdose, trauma is a regular part of the job.  

Over the past year, we have increased efforts to help our employees deal with trauma. Innovative efforts begun in our Children's Services division are intended to spread throughout the building to workers in other areas.


CMHA housing apps accepted next week

The Cincinnati Metropolitan Housing Authority will accept pre-applications for its Housing Choice Voucher/Section 8 wait list beginning at 8 a.m. Monday, Sept. 9, and ending at 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12. Pre-applications will be accepted  online only at  

The wait list will be filled using a lottery system. It is not based on when the application is submitted. Only one application per person will be accepted.

Public and private computers have been identified for use during the opening of the wait list. Visit for a list of locations.

    To apply you will need to know your: 
  • Annual household income
  • Birth dates and Social Security numbers for the head of household and spouse
  • Current mailing address and emergency contact address

Luggage collections:
We take new

Several national news stories lately have talked about the need for luggage for kids in foster care.

It's true - luggage is a great thing for us to have. We like to keep a few pieces on hand for when kids transition to a new placement, go to college or age out of the system.

Unfortunately, we can't take used luggage. We held a Cases for Love luggage drive several years ago that brought in about 10,000 pieces - a fantastic response from the community. But many of the suitcases were dirty, broken and worn well beyond something we could give to one of our kids. Some of the luggage had mice and bugs, which caused problems at our office.

We learned how different everyone's definition of "nearly new" is! That's why we only take new donations now.

Thank you for looking out for the kids in care and their needs. If you have any more questions, please feel free to  ask.

New website for kinship caregivers

An estimated 100,000 children in Ohio live with grandparents and other relatives when their parents can't raise them. We join the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in wanting to support these kinship caregivers as much as we can.
September is Kinship Care Month. ODJFS just launched a new resource for kinship caregivers - a website full of FAQs and other information.

When children must be removed from their homes, caseworkers first try to place them with a family member or a close family friend. This "kinship" care offers the greatest level of stability by allowing children to maintain their sense of belonging and to continue their family culture and traditions.