July 2018
 
Denali likes pop music, with Beyonce being her favorite singer. She loves the movie  Pitch Perfect .

She describes herself as "9 years old, sometimes nice, I like electronics, I'm funny and I like making jokes, but can be serious."
She likes to play inside and outside, likes to read chapter books, likes cheeseburgers, grilled cheese, pickles and ice cream.

She likes to watch  Teen Titans Go! and  SpongeBob SquarePants on TV.

Denali's thinking about a lot of different career possibilities, including becoming a police officer, therapist, foster parent, case worker, doctor or teacher.

We are looking for a family where Denali would be the youngest in the home. She is academically on target. She also needs a family that can help her cope with separation from multiple siblings and her mother.




Learn more about our FAMILY Fund
 
The  FAMILY Fund is getting some attention thanks to a story by WCPO.

The fund is a great way to help foster children afford the things others may take for granted. 

For example, the agency might not have funds to cover a foster child's expenses to participate in an after-school sport, wear a cap and gown to graduation or take a trip to visit a college. If that child graduates and finds a good job, the agency cannot help pay for a car, repairs or insurance to see that he or she makes it to that job.

The FAMILY Fund fills in those gaps.


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Supporting fathers
key to our work

We serve a lot of fathers in the programs throughout our agency.  We assist them in feeding their children, help them acquire medical care for their children, assist them in paying child support, and help them find and train for jobs to support their families.

It might be a surprise that we work with so many dads. Much of our work springs from welfare programs instituted over the past 80 years, and much of those were established because of children left behind by dead or absent fathers. But we have evolved tremendously in my 25 years here and fathers are a very important part of our work.

It goes beyond the 75,000 child support cases we oversee and the $127 million we collected on behalf of children last year. Many of the 54,000 people we helped at our OhioMeansJobs Center last year were dads. We helped more than 20,000 abused and neglected children in our children's services program last year, and we are making greater attempts than ever to engage fathers.

Tens of thousands of fathers participate in our food assistance (107,000 consumers a month) and Medicaid programs (218,000 consumers a month) so their children have what they need.

We need to engage and support fathers. That is the goal of our Fatherhood Initiative. Research and data consistently reveal improved outcomes when dads are engaged and involved in solutions for the families in our care. Fatherhood Coordinator Calvin Williams is leading a Design Team of employees and local fathers. The "design" process is a positive, solution-focused way to explore how the agency can improve.


Employers: Here's a new way to reach us about child support

We created a new external email address for employers to contact us about child support cases. 

The email is Hamil_CSEAEmployerInquiries@jfs.hamilton-co.org, and it's specifically for payroll and medical-related questions. 

We sent postcards to approximately 10,000 employers letting them know there are dedicated staff members to answer their questions. We're hoping this decreases the time it takes to get payments to families.



HCJFS helped reunite kids in Mexico with local mom

There's a 15-year-old boy from Mexico now living on Cincinnati's West Side who has fallen in love with Burger King and Starbucks. His sister, 13, is a huge fan of pizza.

The teens relocated here from Mexico last month with help from Hamilton County Job and Family Services, which tracked down their mother in Cincinnati, connected her with needed services and orchestrated the kids' flight home.
Section Chief Alex Patsfall, Caseworker Divine Kizer and Supervisor Monika Brown.

With all the attention on the separation of families along our country's border with Mexico, this story is about a family being united.  With help from our caseworkers, supervisors and an interpreter, these American kids left a Mexican shelter, boarded a plane and are now quickly assimilating into life in the United States.

The boy had lived in a shelter since October. He was taken there after the man the kids were living with, his sister's father, was accused of abusing him. His sister was later removed, too. She had been living in a shelter since the winter.

They are both American citizens. They lived here until about 10 years ago, when they traveled to Mexico with their mother and the girl's father, so he could be near his family. Their mother, an American citizen, later returned to the United States with her two younger children, leaving the older boy and girl with the girl's father.

When the kids landed in a shelter, Mexican authorities contacted the International Social Service, which contacted Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, which contacted Hamilton County. The mother had wanted to reunite with her children for some time, but she was unsuccessful in getting her kids out of Mexico. This time, our agency helped make it happen.