2012 in review
2012 was a year of tremendous change and great accomplishment here at ACCS. We have an amazing staff and a dedicated Board that have given me a warm welcome as I joined the agency at mid-year.
No small change in itself, Andrea Reik retired after 34 years of dedicated service. As I came onboard at the end of July, ACCS was in the midst of launching Seeking Safety for our clients struggling with trauma and substance abuse. That continuing grant is showing promising results for our families and children.
The Wendy's Wonderful Kids grant opportunity came along at virtually the same time I did. We are now fully implemented and working with 7 other counties. Our School Outreach program has grown, and we now have 5 school outreach caseworkers in all five school districts.
We have a volunteer /intern coordinator and 20+ brand new volunteers to help with a variety of initiatives within the agency and the community. We are having great success with involving our academic life skills case worker to help achieve better educational outcomes for our youth.
Our child protection units have continued to refine their new organizational structure and while learning and implementing the Safe & Together model for addressing family violence. Our family support unit has been truly innovative, with record-breaking family visitation while making great strides with parent education.
We have embraced new technology in a big way in 2012. We have a new web-based fiscal system and Faciliworks in operation. 17 iPads were in use by front-line staff at year end. Just since mid-year we have a new phone system and are in the early stages of implementing our new Northwoods imaging system. The aim of this technology is to make us more efficient, but to also ultimately allow us more time to spend working with children and families.
We are off and running with the new year already. 2013 brings with it new challenges, new goals and objectives. Together, we are up for it, with hope and optimism.
Athens County Children Services
Volunteers make a difference!
Since the expansion of our volunteer program in July 2012, volunteers have helped with over 40 events and activities. There are volunteer opportunities for people to work hands on with children and families and others where they are helping behind the scenes. We have used volunteers at the visitation center during holiday events (Christmas party, Thanksgiving dinner, trick or treating), to serve dinner to families during evening visits, and to develop activities for sibling visits. We have also used volunteers to help clients move; set up a clothing bank at a local elementary school; work in our family garden; and shop, wrap, and distribute gifts for our Santa tree project.
|Volunteers help construct the winning ACCS Homecoming Float!|
Currently, we have 23 active volunteers working with our agency. When asked why they choose our agency volunteer Courtney Crowder said "I chose to volunteer with ACCS because I love working with kids." When asked how she felt about her volunteer experience so far she replied, "I really enjoy volunteering with you guys. I've gotten to meet some really great kids as well as adults who work at ACCS and I have fun at each and every event."
We are continuously adding new volunteer opportunities. In the next few months volunteers will provide childcare at foster parent trainings, tutor kids after school, and assist with Kidfest. The requirements for volunteering with our agency are as follows: completing a volunteer application, completing a brief interview with the volunteer and intern coordinator, and submitting to police, fingerprinting, driving, and reference check. If you are interested in volunteering with our agency please contact Katherine Marshall at 592-3061.
Santa Tree wrap-up and thank you!
Thanks to the many individuals, organizations, schools, businesses, and churches who made the 25th annual Santa Tree Project a huge success. We were able to provide over 1400 Athens County children with gifts this holiday season, and it would not have been possible without the generosity of the residents of Athens County and beyond.
We were pleased to see an increase in support from Ohio University students during this year's project, largely thanks to the semester switch that occurred at the beginning of the school year.
National Social Work Month
March 28, 2012
Foster Care Information Meeting
Child Abuse Prevention Month
April 10, 20123
Wear Blue Day
April 20, 2013
Foster Care Month