A Discussion with the Community

I had the pleasure of joining host Vick Prichard on ICRC’s Community Report this month. It is always nice talking to Vicki and I am especially grateful she allowed us to talk about the work we do.

We discussed difficult child welfare cases, our improvements in processing public assistance cases, upcoming Child Support month and much more.

I appreciate the opportunity to have an unedited, lengthy discussion about what we are doing and why we are doing it. I hope the community appreciates hearing from us.

Please watch the video and let me know what you think. Feedback is always appreciated!







A Success Story Built on Love

I am very pleased to see the story of DJ McCollum has gone national. It is a remarkable story of what determination and true love can do for one of our children.

Here is the link of the story as it appeared in the Detroit Free Press. It was written by Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Mark Curnutte and appeared in the Enquirer last week.


We have been involved with DJ since he was 1 and an angry relative set his crib on fire. We have supported Pat McCollum first as a foster mother and then as an adoptive mother. She is a remarkable person who has done a tremendous job of caring for DJ. We wrote about her relationshop back in February 2010 in our Update Community newsletter:


We often have stories like this in our newsletters. Please sign up if you are interested.

And if you are interested in fostering or adopting some of our children, please visit www.HCKIDS.org to learn more about them. DJ is obviously a very special case and it took a very special person to come into his life. But we have children on all ends of the spectrum, many of whom need simply a loving home to thrive.

And congratulations to DJ and Pat! We are all very proud DJ has graduated and we wish him success!

Celebration of Dreams Rocks!

We had a tremendous time last night! The graduates really seemed to enjoy themselves and the speaker, Adrian McLemore, told a very compelling story.

I saw a lot of smiles, handshakes, pats on the back — it really was a great opportunity to recognize those teens who have beaten the odds. I am so proud of them and it was tremendous to see how proud they are of themselves.

Channel 9 did a nice story on the event. Here’s the link:


Celebrating Youth Who Persevere and Overcome

I am really looking forward to tomorrow night when we celebrate the high school graduation of 35 students in our care. These foster youth have overcome great obstacles to reach academic sucess and throwing them a well-deserved party is always one of the highlights of my year.

For many, the Celebration of Dreams ceremony is the only non-school recognition they receive of their achievement. They get to dress up, hear an inspirational speaker, enjoy a nice meal and spend time with people whom have helped them along the way. We will recognize them with certificates of achievement, a video that they star in and gift certificates to help them transition to independence.

I am especially looking forward to this year’s speaker, Adrian McLemore. He is a former foster youth himself, and is now caring for his nieces and nephews in order to keep them out of foster care. He has a remarkable story. You can read more about him here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/18/adrian-mclemore-veteran-o_n_879722.html

To learn more about the Celebration of Dreams itself, here is a press release: http://www.hcjfs.hamilton-co.org/Buttons/Media/Pressreleases/2012/June/Press%20release_%20Celebration%20of%20Dreams%202012.pdf