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Thanksgiving Hours

Please remember our office is not only closed on Thanksgiving Day, but also the day after. If you have business to conduct, we are open during normal business hours today and tomorrow.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I have much to be thankful for, not only this time of year, but all year. Every day on this job exposes me to a number of people whose lives have been turned upside down in some way, perhaps through the ugliness of child abuse or the randomness of a job layoff. It puts life into perspective.

 

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Mass Adoption Ceremony Brings Smiles and Tears of Joy

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What a day!

Twelve children joined six families today in our Mass Adoption Ceremony. It was a tremendous day and every time Judge James Cissell proclaimed an adoption final and established a new family, the news was met with a great round of applause, plenty of smiles and even some tears of joy. 

The children were amazing. Some of them were so articulate and it really touched your heart when they described why they wanted to be adopted. I am humbled that our agency could play a part in making their dreams come true. 

Below, you will see links to some of the coverage of the event. I hope it touches you like it did me. And, if you are thinking of adopting, remember we still have about 200 children available for adoption. You can watch videos of many of them on our web site, http://www.hckids.org.

http://www.wcpo.com/news/local-news/12-foster-kids-receive-forever-homes-in-hamilton-county-mass-adoption-ceremony

http://www.wlwt.com/news/local-news/hamilton-county/county-celebrates-adoption-efforts-with-group-adoption-event/-/13550662/23107784/-/yqi80x/-/index.html

http://www.local12.com/news/features/top-stories/stories/toddler-steals-attention-at-mass-adoption-ceremony-4922.shtml

 

 

 

 

 

Adoption Ceremony May Put a Lump in Your Throat

I am getting excited about our upcoming mass adoption ceremony on Nov. 22. We hold it every year to celebrate National Adoption Day and it always results in an emotional validation of the work we do here at JFS.

When you work in the field of abused and neglected children, there are a lot of tough days. The thousands of children we work with each year have really sad stories behind them.

Nov. 22 is going to be a positive day — a day of celebration. Fifteen children will forever join seven families. Believe me when I tell you that what happens in that ceremony will put a smile on your face and, possibly, a lump in your throat.

I wrote about the ceremony in our latest edition of Update. You can read what I wrote at  http://www.hcjfs.hamilton-co.org/UpdateNew2013/November/Cover.htm

We are livestreaming the event. I hope you will join in the fun!

Food Assistance Amounts Will Change in November

Just a friendly reminder that the 2009 Recovery Act’s temporary boost to Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits ended today and Hamilton County food assistance recipients will see a reduction in their monthly allotment.

The amount of your reduction will vary depending on family size and such. For example, a family of four will lose about $36 a month. Please visit our website for more detail: http://www.hcjfs.hamilton-co.org/Demo/services/foodstamps/FSReduction.htm

Families were receiving the extra amount as part of a stimulus package the federal government put together in the face of a faltering economy.  Likewise, the decision was made at the federal level to stop the extra payments.

Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Touching Story Brings Home the Need for Adoptive Parents

This story seems to have touched a nerve around the nation. Even Oprah has tried to help the boy.

We have dozens of children whose stories are very similar. Young men or women who are quickly approaching 18 and life outside the child welfare system with no permanent home or family. They’re facing an uncertain future and they’re scared.

With National Adoption Month approaching, it is a good time to remind everyone that Hamilton County has nearly 200 children awaiting adoption. They’re all looking for someone willing to take a chance on them.

Some carry battle scars — sometimes physical, but most times emotional — from the tough lives that led them to our doorstep. Others are as normal as the children that roam your neighborhood. All of them have one thing in common: they want someone to wrap their arms around them and tell them they will love them forever.

Younger children are more likely to find a home. But our teenagers haven’t given up hope, just like the young man in the story I linked to. If you’ve been thinking about adoption, maybe that story will spur you to check out www.hckids.org and check out the photos, videos and stories of some of those teens.

You might not find the perfect child, but you might find the perfect child for you.

 

 

Great Stories Coming Out of JFS

I hope you are following us on Facebook, Or Twitter. Or receiving our electronic newsletter.  If so, you get to read some of the great stories that come out of our agency,

I especially liked these two from the past week:

http://www.hcjfs.hamilton-co.org/UpdateNew2013/October/Story3.htm

http://www.hcjfs.hamilton-co.org/UpdateNew2013/October/Story1.htm

One is a story of a family that came together under impossible circumstances. Look at the smile on that young boy’s face!

The other tells of the great work a couple of our employees did on behalf of a consumer who was not receiving her child support.

Stories like these keep me going during trying times. I know we help so many people out there — about a half million a year in some way or another!  These stories don’t make the news, but they are very representative of the work we do.

To make sure you stay up on great stories like these, visit our website, www.hcjfs.org, and sign up for our newsletter. Also, like us on Facebook at Hamilton County (Ohio) Department of Job and Family Services or follow us on Twitter @HamiltonCoJFS

Change Coming to Food Assistance Program

I would like to get back to posting regularly and keeping everyone up on all that is happening here at Hamilton County Job and Family Services. Please accept my apologies for falling off over the past few months.

One of the biggest things happening in the next few months is a change in our food assistance program. You can read more about that here. We expect this to impact about 18,000 in Hamilton County – folks who receive food assistance, but have no children. They will now be under work requirements that had previously been waived because of the state’s high unemployment rates.

It is important to note these requirements were in place before the economic downturn, so this is not new to us. And, I believe, most who receive food assistance are already working or performing some type of duty to meet the work requirement.

Still, these changes will make it clear what is required and those who do not comply will leave the rolls in January. We have set up a system to help transition those who have not been working. If you fall into this category, please check with your caseworker or visit the SuperJobs Center for assistance.