Foster Youth Hit the Streets to Raise Awareness

Our foster youth are taking matters into their own “legs” tomorrow, May 28, in an effort to raise awareness around the issue of child abuse and foster children.

They will walk through downtown and congregate on Fountain Square to draw attention to their cause.

“We want to raise awareness so people will understand there are real people behind the words ‘foster care,’ ” said Laquita Howell, 18, a member of the Hamilton County Foster Care Youth Advisory Board who has been a foster child for the past five years. “Every time a decision is made regarding foster care legislation or how tax dollars are spent in child welfare, we want people to think about the faces of our youth.”

The event starts at Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services, 222 E. Central Parkway, at 11:30 a.m. and the foster youth invite anyone who supports the cause to walk along. The event is supported by the Youth Advisory Board and the Higher Education Mentoring Initiative.

The county has about 850 children in foster care each day. Foster care is necessary when children are abused, neglected or abandoned and a child protection agency must take temporary custody to keep them safe. Hamilton County receives more than 5,000 verifiable reports of abuse and neglect every year. These cases involve sexual abuse, bruises, burns, fractures, children not being fed, parents refusing to give their children medical attention, hazardous living conditions and more.

Those interested in foster care or adoption can call 946-1000 or visit www.hckids.org for more information.

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Turning Sad Tales into Happy Ones

I recently wrote a foster care column for Cincinnati Parent to mark national Foster Care Month. We have more than 800 foster children in our care at any one time, and caring adults in this community have the power to change their sad stories into happy ones. Here’s a link if you would like to check it out:

http://www.cincinnatiparent.com/Articles-i-2010-05-01-243766.112112_Foster_Care.html

Adoption Event Draws Big Crowd

I just received the results from the “Wait No More” adoption event this weekend. It really looks like the community responded. Thank you so much!

More than 500 people attended, representing nearly 250 families and 160 different churches. Almost half of those families, 111, initiated the adoption process!

We are extremely grateful to have been given the opportunity to participate, along with many other adoption agencies in the community. We have more than 200 children waiting for loving homes, and events like this provide the opportunity to tell their stories. Thanks again for the great response.

Adoption Event Tomorrow!

Our agency will participate in the “Wait No More” adoption event tomorrow at Christ’s Church in Mason, 5165 Western Row Road. There will be several speakers talking about adoption and agencies with information on children available for adoption. The event is from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

If you are interested in adopting, please stop by. You will hear more about the kids who are waiting, the process of adoption from foster care and ways to support adoptive families. In addition, agency and county representatives will be on site to answer questions and help you get started.

In Hamilton County, we have more than 200 children available for adoption. We really appreciate the chance to participate in events such as these!

More information, including registration is available here: www.icareaboutorphans.org

Scam involving EPPICards

We heard this week about a scam being perpetrated on the state’s EPPICard (food assistance) customers. I want everyone to be aware of it.

Basically, someone is sending fake text messages to EPPICard holders. The vendor does not communicate with consumers through text messages. Do not respond to inquiries asking for your personal or card information.

If you have concerns that your information has been compromised, you may call 866-320-8822.