ACCS Small Insights Logo
September 2010  Volume 1 Issue 8
Greetings!

We encourage you to forward this newsletter to your friends and family who may be interested in the work that Athens County Children Services does each day to support families and keep children safe.

Thank you!
 
Sherri Oliver
Insights Editor and Public Relations & Community Events Coordinator
Renew Your Support For Our Children

This fall, Athens County Children Services will be asking you for your continuing support by voting YES on ISSUE 1. The agency is seeking voter approval of a renewal of the ten year 2-mill levy that was approved in 2000.  A renewal means no increase, rather a continuation of the 2000 tax levy rates.

 

Athens County has historically been very supportive to this agency.In a time when support from the state has been reduced by 27% in the past two years, this local support is critical.

 

We are proud of the services provided by this agency, our mandate of providing protective services to protect children, our preventative services to support families and our community events provide a strong support for the children and families.

 

If you want to help us during this levy campaign we would appreciate your support.


You can:


- Put up a yard sign!

- Volunteer at Friends of Children Services events!
- Make a cash contribution to Friends of Children Services
!
- Write a letter to the editor in support of Issue 1
!
- Encourage your friends and family to vote!

- Join us on Facebook. Just search "Renew Your Support For Our Children" and click LIKE!

 

Whether you participate in early voting or plan to head to the polls on November 2, please support ISSUE 1. 

 

Please contact me at Erika@odjfs.state.oh.us if you would like to help.

 





Andrea Reik
Executive Director
Athens County Children Services
School Social Workers

School Social Workers seek to strengthen families and promote positive school relationships to enhance success. We do this by supporting student, families, and teachers, by increasing access to community resources, skill-building, crisis intervention, improving communication between school and community, and providing opportunities to children.

 

For nearly six years, Athens County Children Services has placed School Social Workers in Trimble, Coolville, and Amesville Elementary Schools. We are happy to announce the addition of Chauncey and The Plains Elementary Schools this year thanks to the generous support of a Project Launch grant.

School Social Workers (SSWs) encourage parents and their children to see school as a positive experience that benefits not only their family but the community as a whole. To accomplish this requires SSWs to develop relationships with families, school staff, and community members with an emphasis on collaboration and positive change.

Through their work with school staff and teachers, SSWs have had a major impact in reducing absence rates as well as the reduction of bullying and conflict through the use of existing peer mediation programs at Federal Hocking Schools. Young girls have had the opportunity to participate in the confidence-boosting Girl Power program in Trimble and Coolville Elementary Schools.

SSWs offer opportunities to children and families. Many children who have never been out of their community before have had the chance to go on field trips both locally and as far away as Columbus! Support for these activities is provided by ACCS, grant funding, Athens County Job & Family Services, My Sister's Place, Glouster Police Department, Bridgebuilders, and Tri-County Mental Health and Counseling.

The Peanut Butter & Jelly Project, which just wrapped up its second year, is an excellent example of how SSWs and the community collaborate to make a real difference for families. The PB&J Project helped to feed hundreds of kids with the promise of peanut butter, jelly, and bread each week. Because SSWs are on the ground with families every day, they are able to quickly and effectively identify needs expressed by families and come up with innovative solutions.

Relationship building through home visits with families has lead to improved family participation at school. SSWs are there to make sure that parents and kids can work together as a team. From attendance at parent teacher conferences to assisting families with utility payments, transportation to medical appointments, helping kids get reading glasses or other services, School Social Workers encourage the collaboration that is needed to help make school a success.

Tom Marx


Tom Marx
Family Support Unit Supervisor
Athens County Children Services

Brothers & Sisters:
Finding Permanency Together

Siblings who are permanently separated are at a higher risk for a number of negative outcomes. Siblings who can live together safely offer each other support, continuity, and reinforce a sense of belonging and identity. However, preservation of sibling relationships in foster care and adoption can be challenging for agency staff to accomplish. Sometimes, siblings cannot be placed together in foster care initially for a number of reasons. Efforts are then made to keep them in contact and bring them back together whenever possible. For children who become available for adoption, their unique situations are assessed. When siblings can live together, the Adoption staff attempt to recruit homes where the needs of all of the siblings can be met.


These siblings were adopted together!
James, Wesley, Meskle, Johnathan, and Tatem

In an effort to address the important of sibling connection, there has been an agency-wide effort to engage in education about the importance of keeping siblings together and intensifying our efforts on behalf of siblings. This past month, a sibling group of five and a sibling group of three were placed with their prospective adoptive families.


Families who adopt sibling groups are often motivated by wanting to expand their family be adoption, have a large family, but especially by wanting to help brothers and sisters stay together. They find that siblings know things about each other that no one else knows, and that as parents they are richer for having adopted siblings.


Athens County Children Service is always in need of foster and adoptive families, but we have many sibling groups who need to stay together, and finding families who can help that happen is a particularly critical need.


Are you interested in pursuing foster care or adoption? Please contact us at 740-592-3061.

Upcoming Events

Sunday, September 12
Albany Fair Parade


Friday, Saturday and Sunday September 17 - 19
Paw Paw Festival

Saturday, October 2
Indian Mound Festival

Saturday, October 16
OU Homecoming Parade

Saturday, October 23
WXTQ Chili Cook Off

Sunday, October 24
Dairy Barn Pumpkin Fall Festival

Contact Information
 
Sherri Oliver
Editor/Public Relations and Community Events Coordinator
Athens County Children Services
 
Please send any feedback, questions, or comments to Sherri Oliver at olives@odjfs.state.oh.us
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Our Mission

Protecting Children
Strengthening Families
Securing Futures
Quick Links

Contact Us

If you suspect child abuse or neglect, please call:

740-592-3061
(M-F, 8:00am - 4:30pm)
 
1-877-477-0772
(After-hours, weekends, holidays)
 
If you would like more information on foster care and adoption, please call:
 
740-592-3061
(M-F, 8:00am - 4:30pm)
Children Waiting
Shelton

September 1993

Shelton is a teenager who loves to be outside. He enjoys fishing or doing any kind of outdoor activity.  He also enjoys woodworking projects and creating different things.  He's a kid who values people more than material possessions and says that his adoptive family wouldn't have to have a lot of money.  As long as they are kind to him, pay attention to him and do activities with him, he says he would be happy.  Shelton wants to be adopted and is very clear about why he can't live with his birth family.  Shelton's foster parents describe him as "a hard working kid" and enjoy having him in their home.

Shelton has an IEP at school.  He takes medication to help him manage his behavior.  Shelton is emotionally a lot younger than his chronological age.  He has siblings with whom he would like to stay in contact.  Shelton is in counseling and would need to continue.

Shelton needs a family that will provide him with lots of structure and supervision.  He would also do best in a home where he is the youngest or only child.

For more information on Shelton, please visit our website!

Staff Notes
Congratulations to Michele Mowrey, who has accepted the new position of School Social Worker at The Plains Elementary and Chauncey Elementary Schools. Michele was formerly a Help Me Grow Service Coordinator and has been with ACCS for 20 years.

Also, congrats to Ashlee Dupler, who just accepted a position as Family Services Secretary. Ashlee was formerly the receptionist in Building 10 and has been with the agency for a little over one year.

We'd like to welcome Tammy Richards to ACCS. Tammy is the new receptionist for Building 10. Welcome, Tammy!

A look back at Lace Up
Nearly 250 school-age children in Athens County received brand new tennis shoes through the Lace Up For Kids program. Lace Up For Kids is a partnership between Wendy's, Power 105, and Athens County Children Services that is now in its tenth year.

The project received a very generous gift of $750 and volunteer help from the Kiwanis Club of Athens. Various other individuals and organizations, including the Southern Ohio Copperheads, assisted with donations of money and shoes.