New Adoption Day Videos

Please check out these three videos of our Adoption Day ceremony. This event is always a highlight of our year!

http://www.youtube.com/hcjfs

More Mentors Needed

Our Higher Education Mentoring Initiative was a great success this year, with 12 students going on to higher education. Just as importantly, I believe they made life-long friends in their montors.

HEMI mentors are paired with foster children in high school and assist, encourage and support their academic achievement, helping them to graduate and transition into higher education. It is really something many of our children need — hardly anyone ever talks to them about the possibilities available to them if they achieve college graduation.

Being a mentor is your chance to change a life and change this community. To register, contact Annie Dick at annie.dick@uc.edu or 556-4368.

Holiday Hours

Hamilton County’s Job and Family Services Department will be closed on Thanksgiving and the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Our website, http://www.hcjfs.org can also provide much information about the agency and its services. To apply for assistance, Hamilton County residents can visit http://ODJFSBenefits.ohio.gov and fill out an online application. After an individual fills out the online application, the paperwork is automatically forwarded to a county caseworker for review. The process is quick, easy and secure.

The agency will re-open for business on Monday, Nov. 29.

Thanks!

Fabulous Day on Friday!

Friday was a great day here at JFS as we witnessed seven children adopted into three loving families! Our agency celebrated National Adoption Month with a mass adoption ceremony and our foster children finally received the permanent families they so want and need. One family adopted five siblings!

Here’s a link to a video (toward the bottom of the page) that shows the whole ceremony. We livestreamed it to the community. It actually starts about the 28-minute mark. This will put a smile on your face!

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/hamilton-county-mass-adoption-ceremony

Online Applications Now Available!

In case you missed it yesterday, we now have a website and online application for low-income residents who need help with food, medical needs or daily expenses.

This is an excellent example of becoming more accessible to the citizens of Hamilton County. We are now serving one in six in this community in some of our public assistance programs — 133,000 food assistance recipients and 155,000 Medicaid recipients — and we are trying to make the application process as accessible as possible.

Many of the people coming in for help have lost their jobs over the past couple of years, or taken lower-paying jobs. They have had to make choices between paying the electric bill and putting food on the table for their children. With our help, their paychecks stretch a bit further.

But they are not familiar with us and our processes. They haven’t been a part of our system. By putting an online application process in place, we are saving them the trip downtown, the waits in line, the gas money, the parking costs, etc. Good government is about being efficient and customer-firendly. I believe this helps us achieve that.

The website also has a calculator and form to report changes in case information. Check it out:

http://ODJFSBenefits.ohio.gov

Good Customer Service Results in a Big “Thank You”

All of our employees are going through special customer service training this year. We placed an emphasis on it as we transitioned to a smaller workforce that was being challenged to meet greater demand. The county’s Training group has done a wonderful job helping us with this project.

The below link provides a story that is a perfect example of why this is so important. I am so proud of Latasha. She really helped someone in a tough situation, and that is our mission down here: working today so this community can have a better tomorrow. Nice work, Latasha!

http://www.hcjfs.hamilton-co.org/UpdateNew2010/November/UpdateInsidePage1_1011.htm

November is National Adoption Month!

We have our special annual mass adoption cermony planned to celebrate National Adoption Month, along with a few other events. This is always a great time of year for our agency. Please read my letter on National Adoption Month and stories on some of the other things going on at JFS in this month’s edition of our community newsletter, Update.

http://www.hcjfs.hamilton-co.org/UpdateNew2010/November/HCJFS_UpdateNovember2010Cover.htm