OHIO FAMILY & CHILDREN FIRST COORDINATORS ASSOCIATION
2018 OFCFCA ANNUAL MEETING
OCTOBER 22 & OCTOBER 23, 2018
I hope you have registered for the Annual Meeting! We have a great agenda planned and it will be a wonderful opportunity to share what is happening in your county, as well as to learn about what is happening in other counties. If you want to come and haven't registered, it is NOT to late. If you have ANY questions, please feel free to contact me at email@example.com.
A Message from Our President- Jane Whyde
FALL IS HERE!!!! Even though it is still 100 degrees in the shade, schools are back in session, football is on all stations (-all the time!) and apples and peaches are at the farm markets. This means a change in focus for FCFC too. Arranging for summer camp is replaced by attending IEP meetings, hunting for school clothes and seeking specialized school experiences for very special children. AND, ceaseless political commercials remind us that in January we will have a new administration. We heard, at our August 24th meeting, from both of the campaigns that their candidate is "totally committed to our youth". So whomever you are voting for, now is the time to continually remind the gubernatorial candidates (as well as our legislators) about who we are, that what we do is extremely important to families and that we are a good financial investment as well. Too often we believe that if we do good things, people will notice and reward us. Unfortunately, more often than not, "you don't get what you don't ask for". So, let's help those who can create opportunity for kids remember us. BE BOLD ....take every chance you can to speak to those who have decisions in their hands that can help children thrive or stand in their way. ASK for what our kids need - and deserve!! (Oh.... And happy Halloween
An Update from Chad Hibbs - OFCF Director
$5M Family and Youth in Crisis Funding Update
OFCF/ODJFS approved 15 applications for SFY 2018 funding for expenses totaling $31,012.49. Services that were reimbursed include: Wraparound, In-Home Parent Child Coaching, Mentoring, Structured Activities to Improve Family Functioning, Rent and Utilities. The fiscal office at OhioMHAS worked with ODJFS and OFCF to refine the reimbursement process. Eligible applications for reimbursement were approved in less than 5 business days, and the reimbursement of funds moving forward will take less than 10 business days. There is $5M available for SFY 2019 funding.
Perry County's CHRISTMAS PROGRAM
You may have a Salvation Army "Angel Tree" program in your county, and if you do, I hope you will coordinate and support it. If you do not have this program, you may want to connect with Kendra Warthman (FCFC Coordinator in Perry County) who has been working with her community partners, to help meet the needs of low-income families at Christmas time. Kendra will tell you "it is a lot of work...but worth it".
In Perry County, community agencies, working with children, are invited to be on the team. The team meets monthly but as the holiday draws near, meeting frequency increases. Minutes are kept of each meeting. A key player, in the Perry County program, is "Project Y.O.U." at New Lexington High School. Project Y.O.U. students are involved in multiple community service projects through the year. The students will deliver "trees", loaded with angel wishes (child-specific toy and clothing requests). If a business does not have room for a tree, but wants to participate, it can post the wish angels on a wall. Project Y.O.U. students also help to pick up and distribute the presents. The local newspaper prints articles about the program to help raise awareness.
Each tree's "angels" lists specific toys, clothes, etc. that the family's children want/need. Individuals in the community can select a specific angel. A limit of $50, per child, is set. The limit is set so families will not be disappointed when items beyond what can be handled (e.g., a smart phone) cannot be purchased. Families must complete an application and meet income guidelines (200% of poverty). There is an angel for each child in the family but a spreadsheet, developed by IT instructors at the high school, connects each child's gifts to the family. Each gift must be clearly marked with the child's name and family's number. Each family has a number which corresponds to their requested items.
Some businesses and individuals want to donate money and the team uses that money for families that are not "adopted". Volunteers purchase the items requested by the family with the donated money. Funds received and spent are tracked and project records, regarding funds collected and expenditures, are available for public review.
Gifts are stored in a secure area and several weeks before Christmas, families may pick up the items they requested. A single storage area helps create an easy retrieval process. Gifts are grouped by family number and placed in order by the number assigned. Last year, storage space was donated by the Eagles. Sometimes, volunteers wear Santa hats, elf hats, and antler ears to add to the holiday magic.
Last year, the project served 400 families, but Perry County is hoping even more families can be served in 2018. As Kendra shares "...many parents say this is the only Christmas their children will get, so we feel an obligation do to our best". Although under the umbrella of the FCFC, this project requires a lot of collaboration and many community partners are needed to make the project a success. If you are thinking of starting such a program and/or you think a similar program in your county could benefit from some changes, please let Kendra know. She can share the tools they have developed, the challenges they have faced, and most importantly, information about how these challenges were met. Although the project continues to grow and evolve, Perry County has been doing this for 25 years! Kendra's email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Website of the Quarter"
Sue Giga - OFCFCA
For this issue, this section would be better named websites or articles of the quarter but I am taking a bit of literary license! This issue covers October 1 through December 31 which means we are looking at Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve. I don't know about you, but to me that means a lot of fun and a lot of STRESS! I began looking for a website dealing with holiday stress. I can assure you, there are a lot of holiday-stress related websites out there. So, then I started to look for some websites that were less general and, hopefully, more useful to the folks we serve. I came up with quite a few. To connect, please cut and paste the website indicated.
1. Seven Holiday Stress Busters for Kids
2. How to Avoid Holiday Stress and Anxiety in Children
These two articles present stress-reducing strategies for families with children & teens.
3. 4 Valuable Ways You Can Help your ASD Child Handle Hoiday Stress
This article, from Autism Parenting Magazine, focuses on holiday tips for parents who have a child with autism.
4. 6 Tips to Get through the Holidays in Recovery - Surviving the Bermuda Triangle of Recovery
particularly liked this article because these tips were written by someone who in recovery, not by a "professional".
5. Families and Addiction - Surviving the Season of Stress
Originally appearing in Social Work Today, this article provides some sound advise for families with a member who is actively using or in recovery. Topics covered include avoiding relapse, managing expectations, and learning to let go.
6. The 12 days of Holiday Coping - Children with Disabilities
Twelve practical tips for parents with a child who has a disability. Topics include preparing for the holidays and dealing with family members.
7. The Guide to Overcoming Holiday Depression for the Elderly and Their Caretakers
This article includes tips for caregivers, family members, and the elderly.
8. How to Survive the First Set of Holidays without a Loved One
Useful tips for parents not spending the holidays with their children due to death, a custody agreement, deployment etc.
Of course, I think one of the best stress reduction strategies is humor. I grew up with a big brother who was a scout so there was generally a copy of Boy's Life around. You may want to check out the following for a set of family-friendly and kid appropriate holiday jokes.
ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS!
COMINGS & GOINGS
Carol Enneking (Allen)
Kathy King (Belmont)
Susan Roark (Pike)
Melissa Marzec (Portage)
Robert Seaman (Scioto)
Ester Baldridge (Allen)
Vanessa Berhalter (Belmont)
Crystine Waller (Crawford)
Rebecca Wheelersburg (Pike & Scioto)
Denise Meyer (Portage)
Robin Bowdish (Tuscarawas)
HERE'S WHAT YOU THINK ...
QUESTION OF THE QUARTER
What your favorite toy when you were a child?
I had a Baby Pebbles from the Flintstone Collection. I received her from Santa when I was 5 or 6 and absolutely loved her. The next summer, I was playing with her in one of our out buildings and never saw her again. I thought she had fallen through a black hole (Star Trek Era) and have been looking for her ever since. I told this story to my daughter a few years ago and she surprised me at Christmas with a new Baby Pebbles from Santa. I cherish the doll and the thought that went into this special gift. By the way, I still hold to the black hole theory and everything that disappears from my life is in some holding tank in space with my original Baby Pebbles. (Anne Denman - Wyandot)
Inch Worm (Margaret Osborne - Ottawa)
My Barbie dolls and all the hand-sewn clothes my grandma made for them! She was a former Home Ec teacher! (Amy Frese - Ashland)
I would have to say my Thumbelina doll that winds up and moves was a close second. It still works! Poochie, my stuffed dog, was my absolute favorite-I took him with me wherever I went. (Kendra Warthman - Perry)
My favorite toy when I was growing up was Hot Potato. The neighbor kids would sit in a circle and pass it around. You wound it up and when it buzzed you were out of the circle. SO much fun and loads of laughter. Simpler times. :) (Sharon George - Seneca)
Barbie! (Susan Roark - Pike)
This is really sad.... I don't remember ANY toys I had ( thanks a lot Sue
) When you live in the country, you play mostly with animals !! (Jane Whyde - Franklin)
My favorite toy was my Sit-n-Spin. Might explain the problems I have in my adult life!!!!!
(Maggie Henry - Clinton)
If I'm being honest, my favorite toy as a child has to be Barbie! Lol, more because I loved to dress them and I just remember how much fun pretend play was, especially when my cousins or neighbor friends joined me. I now get to enjoy watching my daughter play with Barbie's and how much fun she has, just as I did when I was a little girl.
☺ (Lydia Tolbert - Wood)
SFY19 FCSS REIMBURSEMENT FORM
NOVEMBER 9, 2018
SFY19 FCSS ADVANCE EXPENDITURE REPORT
DUE WITH FIRST REIMBURSEMENT REQUEST FORM
REMEMBER - A cash basis report is due to the State Auditor's Office 60 days after the end of your council's fiscal year.
Association Meeting-ANNUAL MEETING
October 22 & October 23, 2018
November 16, 2018
December 14, 2018
OFCF REGIONAL MEETINGS
November 16, 2018
November 26, 2018
November 18, 2018
Please check with your Regional Coordinator
November 14, 2018
ALWAYS CHECK IF IN DOUBT! Things change and typos occur so always check with the sponsoring group if in doubt about any due date or meeting/training date.
EAT BETTER, EAT TOGETHER MONTH
We've all heard about the many benefits of eating together. Here are just a few:
- A 2000 survey found that the 9- to 14-year-olds who ate dinner with their families most frequently ate more fruits and vegetables and less soda and fried foods.
- A family meal is the perfect opportunity for parents to expose children to different foods and expand their tastes.
- The average restaurant meal has as much as 60% more calories than the average homemade meal.
- Kids who eat with their families frequently are less likely to get depressed, consider suicide, and develop an eating disorder. They are also more likely to delay sex and to report that their parents are proud of them.
- Eating family dinners at least five times a week drastically lowers a teen's chance of smoking, drinking, and using drugs. Teens who have fewer than three family dinners a week are 3.5 times more likely to have abused prescription drugs and to have used illegal drugs other than marijuana, three times more likely to have used marijuana, more than 2.5 times more likely to have smoked cigarettes, and 1.5 times more likely to have tried alcohol.
- Of teens who eat with their family fewer than three times a week, 20% get C's or lower on their report cards.
- In 2008, a study of IBM workers and found that sitting down to a family meal helped working moms reduce the tension and strain from long hours at the office.
- Meals outside the home cost an average of $8.00...homemade meals cost an average of $4.50 (Figures are from 2007-I'm sure the costs have gone up significantly.)
These facts, and the research to back up the figures, are cited in Sarah Klein's "8 Reasons to Make Time for Family Dinner"
A really good source of information about helping kids eat healthy is "Nourish Interactive".
There is a lot of information as well as games, videos, and printable tips you can share with your council members and parents. You can also share the website electronically.