Big Week for JFS Employees

I am very proud of the work our employees do on a daily basis. I know we have our challenges, but overall, the majority of the people who work here try very hard to do what is best for the residents of Hamilton County.

This week, we found out two of our employees received Hamilton County Employee of the Year honors!

Child Care Section Chief Amy Story won the Leadership award for her work leading Child Care through a new payment system and unionized providers, her ability to empower and motivate her employees, her willingness to get her hands dirty, her work in modernizing the department and her dedication to professionalism.

Melissa Stokley, a consumer specialist in Child Care, won the Extra Mile award for her work developing a computer system to automatically add additional hours to the child care vouchers, her willingness to help her co-workers and to take on additional work and her professionalism.

I could not be prouder. Both Melissa and Amy will be recognized at the Board of County Commissioners meeting at 11 a.m. April 27, 2011 in the County Administration Building and on Fountain Square at noon May 5 as a part of the Public Service Recognition Week celebration.

In addition, this was the first week of a new program at JFS to honor employees who do outstanding work. Our ROCK STAR program recognizes employees who are Reliable, Outstanding, Creative and Knowledgeable employees who excel in Satisfaction, Teamwork, Attendance and Representing the agency in a positive light. They are ROCK STARs!

The four winners, chosen from a list of 31 nominees, are:

— LeQuita Potter, a Children’s Services worker, in the Sustained Excellence category
— Tim Dingler, FSET Supervisor, in the Remarkable Single Acts category
— Antoinette Smothers, FSET caseworker, in the Outstanding Ongoing Acts of Sacrifice category
— Willie Rogers, workforce development specialist, in the Creative and Innovative Ideas category

Potter won for her positive attitude with consumers; Rogers developed an idea to conduct in-depth FSET interviews by phone; Smothers was recognized for always stepping in to help coworkers and her work in the Work Experience Room and Dingler received his nomination for stepping up with his entire team and taking on the unfamiliar work of a co-worker who was undergoing a prolonged absence.

We do wonderful work here on behalf of the residents we serve! I thank all of our employees for their service.

Shining a Light on Foster Care

Foster care will appear in the news several times in the coming weeks and I could not be happier. This is a subject we constantly draw attention to because the need for foster parents never subsides. With 850 foster children in Hamilton County on any given day, we constantly search for parents who are kind enough to open their hearts and homes to our children.

On April 27, we are working with WCPO Channel 9 on a phone bank that will help recruit foster parents to our Everyday Heroes Collaborative. The station has agreed to feature foster families and help us spread the word about the need for foster parents.

On May 2, we are participating with a group of entities that work with foster children to host MayDay for Foster Children on Fountain Square. The event, scheduled from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., will feature speeches by local dignitaries and foster care experts – slated to start at noon – as well as information booths to educate interested parties on the positive aspects of foster parenting, mentoring, helping children through the child protection court process and more.

On May 18, the annual Butterflies and Blue Ribbons foster family appreciation event is scheduled for Krohn Conservatory at Eden Park. This is always a nice event because it is our chance to say thanks to those families that have stepped up and vowed to change a child’s life and make their community a better place to live.

Hopefully, we will see you at one of these events!