Children's Day Celebration Held to Honor Kids Agency event by nrk14057


									 Children will be tomorrow what we make of them today.                                                 Aug/Sept 2007

Children’s Day Celebration Held to Honor Kids
Agency event at COSI provides a free day of fun
by Pam Prosser

E   very child is a wonderful gift, a
    unique individual with unlimited
potential. Children need a safe and car-
ing home; the security of a supportive,
loving family; and the opportunity to
make the most of their talents. It is the
goal of Franklin County Children
Services to support such an environment
for our community’s children.
   Each year Children Services provides
help to more than 28,000 abused,
neglected and dependent children in
Franklin County and sees firsthand the          The Children’s Day celebration will be     drawings for prizes, appearances by
importance of providing a happy environ-     held Sunday, September 23, from 12 to         Central Ohio’s favorite mascots, and face
ment for all children. It is the agency’s    5 p.m. at COSI Columbus, 333 W. Broad         painting and balloon art by clowns Jeannie
vision that every child will have a happy    Street. Children Services has teamed up       and Melody.
childhood and happy memories as they         with COSI, Kroger, White Castle and              “Children Services is committed to creating
grow into adults. As an agency that looks    Nationwide to offer this fun family           a community where children are safe and
out for the well being of children,          activity. With the help of media sponsor      happy, where young people are free to pursue
Children Services is proud to celebrate      92.3 WCOL many families will learn            their dreams,” said Eric Fenner, Children
with children on their own day . . .         about Children’s Day. Children up to age      Services executive director. “Children’s Day
Children’s Day.                              18, who are accompanied by a paying           at COSI is about letting all children know
   Children Services will host the annual    adult and have a Children’s Day flier, will   that we and our event partners believe in
Children’s Day celebration at COSI           be able to attend COSI free on this day.      them. It’s about offering children a day in
Columbus, where children get in free,           Many children, including foster            their honor where they can have fun and
thanks to donations from businesses.         children and others under the care of         learn.”
Coupons for free children’s admissions to    Children Services, who typically would           Children Services believes that
COSI are required and are available at all   not have the opportunity to visit COSI        children need to feel good about
participating Central Ohio Kroger and        will be able to explore and discover          themselves and to have a vision of a
White Castle stores.                         COSI’s hands-on educational exhibits.         prosperous future in order to make good
                                             There will be musical performances for        choices. If children are given love,
                                             children by local entertainers Arnett         encouragement and the opportunity to
                                             Howard, Ray Pauken and Celeste                develop their own special talents, they will
                                             Friedman. In addition, youths from            make positive contributions to the world
                                             Children Services’ Therapeutic Arts           around us. Call (614) 275-2523 for more
                                             Program will perform. There will be           information.

                                                                                                 3    Staff Get Master’s Together

                                                                                                 5    Welcome Back Ted D. Bear

                                                                                                 7    New Assistant Director
                                       A Link In the Chain
         August/September 2007
                                       Meet Lisa Cash and Michele Bullock
                                       by Fran Pruitt                                   transformed the way Children Services

                                       I  n July, Franklin County Children              works, but they are working through
                                          Services began implementing the               problems together to make it a success.
                                       statewide child welfare information system          Cash and Bullock describe this as a
                Franklin County
                                       (SACWIS) and the comprehensive                   very exciting time. For them, the
            Children                   assessment and planning model – interim          excitement comes from their ability to

           Services                    solution (CAPMIS). SACWIS allows any make recommendations about what they’d
                                       county Children Services agency in Ohio          like to see done with activity logs, case
                                       to access prior                                                                   plans at
BOARD                                  information on                                                                    court,
Rhonda Evans, Chair                    children or                                                                       writing
                                       families, aiding                                                                  case plans,
Joseph Mas, Vice Chair                                                                                                   and assist-
                                       workers who
Joy Soll, Secretary                    conduct investi-                                                                  ing others
G. Brent Bishop                        gations of child                                                                  in the
                                       abuse and                                                                         learning
Sara Chase                                                                                                               process.
Marjorie Frazier                       CAPMIS                                                                                Cash
Jerry Hammond                          involves                                                                          has
                                       structured                                                                        worked for
Jeni Horn                                                                                                                17 years
Gale King                              from the time a                                                                   with
Douglas Moore                          child or family                                                                   Children
                                       is referred to the West Region Supervisors Michele Bullock (left) and Lisa Cash.  Services,
Necol Russell-Washington                                                                                                 first at the
                                       agency and
                                       throughout the life of the case, and             agency’s North Region office, then at the
                                       provides tools for identifying the safety of     court liaison office, and has been at West
                                                                                        Region for seven years. She was honored
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR                     a child.
                                           Two years ago, in preparation for            with the PCSAO supervisor of the year
Eric Fenner                            SACWIS, West Region social work                  award for 2006. Cash is serving now as
                                       supervisor Lisa Cash was selected to assist      interim associate director at West Region
                                       in the testing of the system. Cash brought       and is the SACWIS team leader.
                                       in social work supervisor Michele Bullock           Cash feels most rewarded with the
ACCENT on Kids STAFF                   and together they developed a training           success she has had with families of adoles-
Pam Prosser, Editor, 275-2520          session to assist their peers in becoming        cents, maintaining family units and getting
Fran Pruitt, Ed. Assistant, 275-2523   more familiar with the functionality of          parents to manage their own families.
                                       SACWIS while utilizing the concepts of              Bullock has worked at the agency for
Contributors:                          CAPMIS. All West Region staff attended           seven years. She serves on the
Debborha Armstrong                     the training to help achieve familiarity         Committees Communication Council and
                                       with the complex system.                         the Supportive Work Environment
Marty Bulson                               Cash was also identified as a team lead      Committee. She is the visitation
Sharon Burks                           with the Communities of Learners (COL)           coordinator for West Region.
Daryle Cobb                            for the case management group, and                  Bullock is excited about the direction
                                       involved Bullock to assist with this             in which the agency is heading. She is
Jason DeBord                           process. The COL group was developed             happy about arranging visitations and
Kay Marshall                           to look at all components of SACWIS and getting in-home services for families.
Joetta McCruter-Polk                   CAPMIS and to identify potential                    Both Cash and Bullock had praise for
                                       concerns and assist in developing work           the leadership of West Region, and credit
Pam Prosser                            flows for staff in preparation for the July      West Region Director Pam Schirner, who
Fran Pruitt                            16 live date. Now that implementation            was recently selected as the agency
                                       has begun, the region is experiencing a bit associate director, for helping to create a
                                       of anxiety with the system that has totally      wonderful place to work.

2                     Franklin County Children Services            • August/September 2007
A Class Act
Agency staff earn master’s degrees in unique program
by Deborrha Armstrong

I  t was with a great sense of accomplishment and yes…relief
   that 20 Franklin County Children Services employees
graduated on June 10, 2007 with master’s degrees in social
work from The Ohio State University. This was the first group to
complete this unique program, which allowed participants to
attend classes on agency grounds.
    At a special ceremony in July, the graduates were recognized
for their cohesiveness and perseverance during the
three-year program. Speaking on behalf of the faculty, Dr. Tom
Gregoire stated, “We’re very proud of this first class, they impressed
all of us with their commitment, their work ethic and their
performance. They set a very high standard for future Children
Services classes.”
    The group’s overall class grade point average was 3.74 with
three graduating with a straight 4 point GPA. Four graduates
were inducted into the Alpha Delta Mu Social Work Honor
Society and one person was selected as the MSW Clinical
Student of the Year.                                                     Congratulations to graduates:
    These accomplishments did not come without challenges such           Alicia Davis                    Lisa Distelzweig
as balancing work, studying, internships, family life and often          Shannon Evans                   Elyshua Franklin-Martin
fatigue. Yet, these classmates were determined that no one would         Robin Fritz                     Tia Goodlett
be left behind. Adoption subsidy worker Sarah Levels stated, “We         Melinda Grote                   Amanda Hull
would encourage each other along the way because we were deter-          Kelly Knight                    Sarah Levels
mined to all finish together.”                                           Dynell Macklin                  Stacey Patridge
    In addition to finishing together, this group experienced suc-       Lynne Rodriguez                 John Sisinger
cess on many levels, personally, professionally and academically.        Lynn Sowards                    Sarah Tornichio
“I made my parents really proud,” said West Region’s Amanda              Jana Warren                     Cari Wassmuth
Hull. “They really wanted me to go on and finish school and I did.”      Krystal West                    Amy Wood

New Board Member
                                                                                                      funding for arts and
                                                                                                      conventions, and for initiatives
                                                                                                      in education, human services
by Kay Marshall                                                                                       and minority affairs.

J erry Hammond, longtime Columbus City Councilman and                                                     Hammond has served as
  community and government affairs professional, has been                                             executive assistant to the
appointed by the Franklin County Commissioners to serve a                                             president of Columbus
four-year term on the Franklin County Children Services Board.                                        Southern Power (now
     Hammond was president of Hammond and Associates, a                                               American Electric Power), and
consulting practice specializing in community and public affairs, Board Member Jerry Hammond          as bureau chief for the Ohio
community and government relations, and marketing                                                     Department of Economic and
communications. He began the practice in 1990 and retired at      Community Development. Former positions include those at the
the end of 2006.                                                  Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce, City of Columbus,
    His service on Columbus City Council ran from 1974 through Training Institute of Central Ohio, and Franklin County
1990, where he was president from 1984 through 1990. His          Children Services.
accomplishments include creation of the legislative research           “During the early part of my career I was working with kids,” he
office and the neighborhood commissions, which advise the         said, “and now I have the opportunity to come back to that. I want to
Council on issues such as zoning, that affect their areas. He was serve the Franklin County Children Services Board in any way I can,
also a leader in the development of the downtown area, in         and look forward to contributing to the mission of protecting our
                                                                  community’s children and helping their families.”
                         Franklin County Children Services • August/September 2007                                                 3
                                               All Kids Count Message Delivered
                                                                                  by Daryle Cobb

                                                                                  F   ranklin County Children Services recently celebrated the
                                                                                      annual All Kids Count campaign on the Statehouse
                                                                                  lawn. More than 600 people enjoyed live entertainment,
                                                                                  food and festivities. The event provided an opportunity for
                                                                                  the agency to increase the public’s awareness about the
                                                                                  need for adoptive and foster families as well as mentors for
                                                                                  the children under the agency’s care.
                                                                                      Children Services Executive Director Eric Fenner
                                                                                  challenged the crowd to become merchants of hope for the
                                                                                  thousands of children who come to the attention of the
                                                                                  agency for protection and care. “Each year we see the evi-
                                                                                  dence that this is a caring community as demonstrated by those
                                                                                  individuals who come forward to open their homes and hearts to
                                                                                  children,” said Fenner. “I hope to see this trend continue as more
                                                                                  of you make the decision to adopt, foster or volunteer.”
                                                                                      Information on adoption, foster care and mentoring were
                                                                                  available for those in attendance to help distribute
                                                                                  throughout the community. In addition, photos featuring
Youths in the agency’s Therapeutic Arts Program performed for the crowd.          adoptable children were displayed inside the Statehouse for
                                                                                  public viewing.
                                                                                      The All Kids Count crowd was entertained by several
                                                                                  dynamic youth groups including: the Richens-Timm
                                                                                  Academies of Irish Dance; the Ohio Hispanic Coalition’s
                                                                                  youth group; the Republic of the Philippine youth dance
                                                                                  team; and youths from Children Services’ Therapeutic Arts
                                                                                  Program. In addition, radio station Joy 106.3 reported live
                                                                                  from the celebration and interviewed several staff, foster
                                                                                  parents, adoptive parents and mentors. Complimentary
                                                                                  refreshments from Kroger, Coca-Cola, Gold Medal-
                                                                                  Columbus, Ice Cream Man, Mike Sell’s Potato Chips,
                                                                                  Roosters and White Castle were a big hit.
                                                                                      Children Services hopes that by increasing community
                                                                                  awareness that many children will find the friend, mentor
                                                                                  or loving family they need. For more information,
                                                                                  call 341-6060.

      Adoption worker Deric Cobb handed out ice cream to children enjoying the

                                                    Left - Children Services
                                                    Executive Director Eric
                                                    Fenner welcomes Ted D.
                                                    Bear to the agency’s team.

                                                    Right - The Richens-Timm
                                                    Academies of Irish Dance
                                                    display their colorful
                                                    costumes during their
                                                    awarding winning

4                            Franklin County Children Services                   •August/September 2007
Agency Debuts New Mascot & Campaign
Ted D. Bear says Child Abuse is UnBEARable
by Joetta McCruter-Polk

T   ired bears hibernate. And that’s what Franklin
    County Children Services’ warm and cuddly mascot,
Ted D. Bear has been doing for the past couple of years.
Now, the agency is reintroducing Ted, as a little older and
slimmer bear, but with the same message that Child Abuse
is Unbearable.
   Ted D. Bear made his comeback at the 17th annual
All Kids Count recruitment campaign at the Statehouse
on July 16. Youngsters and adults alike responded
enthusiastically to his friendly hugs and waves. He was
ready for the cameras dressed in his red T-shirt, blue cap
and shorts, and new red shoes.
    Prevention of child abuse and neglect has been
historically important to the mission of Franklin County
Children Services. That’s why, in April of 1993, Children
Services introduced Ted D. Bear during Child Abuse
Prevention Month. The campaign was targeted to
children ages 4 to 9, and included an animated video and
activity sheets, public service announcements and
participation in community events.                                     Ted D. Bear will be available throughout the year to visit
   The new campaign will feature a school-aged Ted D. Bear, and     schools and make public appearances. Children Services
be targeted to school-age children and their parents. It will       provides speakers on many topics, including the prevention of
feature a theme song entitled, Child Abuse is Unbearable, written   child abuse and neglect. Anyone wanting to schedule a speaker,
by Children Services employee Troy Lindsey. The campaign will       or to see if Ted D. Bear can be a part of an event, can contact
include posters, banners, coloring books, guest appearances on      Joetta McCruter-Polk in the Community Relations Department
TV and at community events, and other materials designed to         at (614) 341-6017.
spread the message.

 Pro Basketball Player Gives Back to
 Adoptable Children
     A basketball clinic taught by a
 professional basketball player was a
 thrilling summer experience for agency
 children. For the past six years Columbus
 native Shaun Stonerook, a professional
 basketball player in Europe, has hosted
 a basketball clinic for adoptable children.
 Forty-five children attended the clinic
 to learn basketball fundamentals.
     Stonerook was adopted through
 Children Services and is committed to
 giving back to the community’s
 children. The ATT Pioneers hosted a
 noontime cookout and treated everyone
 to hotdogs and refreshments.

                       Franklin County Children Services            •     August/September 2007                                 5
College-Bound Mentor Makes All the Difference
by Marty Bulson                                    In December of 2006, Sharp was

J ohari Sharp is a teacher and college          matched with Toya, a dedicated and smart
  advisor for I Know I Can, and a               high school senior who had plans to go to
facilitator for the World Leadership            college. Toya’s dream was to go to
Forum. She brings her special skills with       Spelman College – a historically Black
youths to Franklin County Children              college for women in Atlanta, Georgia.
Services’ College-Bound Mentor program.         She was excited to be accepted there as a
   The program matches mentors with             student. However, Toya thought she could
college-bound youths involved with              never go to Spelman because of the high
Children Services. The mentors provide          out-of-state tuition cost. Sharp showed
support and guidance to the youths              Toya how her dreams could come true by
throughout the challenging time of              helping her apply for and receive a
choosing a college and sorting through          $29,000 scholarship. Now Toya is
applications, financial aid, and scholarship    attending the college she had always
opportunities. The mentor continues             dreamed about.
involvement throughout the youths’                 Special recognition was given to Sharp
college experience.                             and Toya at this year’s celebration for
   Sharp is glad she chose to become a          college-bound youths. The event, titled
mentor to college-bound youths in need of       A Brand New Day, was held to recognize
guidance. “I love to see the joy in students’   agency youths who are entering college.
                                                                                                 College-Bound Mentor Johari Sharp and Toya.
eyes when they are able to have educational        For more information about becoming
opportunities,” said Sharp.                     a college-bound mentor, call 275-2690.

Malaika Honors Women Who Help Girls Dream
by Sharon Burks                                                                                             president of the Columbus

T    o be successful members of society,                                                                    Association of Black Social
     children must become self-sufficient                                                                   Workers, was the guest speaker for
and independent. In order to become                                                                         the evening. She spoke passion-
self-sufficient and independent, they must                                                                  ately about her own dreams.
believe in themselves and focus on making                                                                      Mentors spoke about their
their dreams into realities.                                                                                dreams and youths read their
    For 12 years, the Franklin County                                                                       essays, titled My Dreams for My
Children Services Malaika program’s                                                                         Life. Dawn Steward has been a
mission has been to provide African                                                                         Malaika mentor for 10 years to
American women the opportunity to                                                                           Heather. She is proud of
mentor, guide and assist the African                                                                        Heather’s accomplishments and
American girls under the agency’s care.                                                                     plans to encourage Heather
They meet on an individual basis and help                                                                   throughout her college career. “As
the girls with their self-esteem, school                                                                    her mentor since she was eight years
work, career goals and dreams for the           Malaika Director Sharon Burks (left) welcomes mentor       old, I have watched her truly grow,”
future.                                         Miranda Serrano and Aleah to speak about their dreams.     said Steward. “With all of the trials
    Malaika mentors were recently                                                                          and tribulations she has had to
honored at an annual reception for the          there to cheer the girls on when things are                overcome, she has evolved into a
guidance they give to the girls they            good, to comfort them when things go               beautiful black butterfly. I am very proud of
mentor. The theme for the reception was         wrong, and to encourage them to reach              her accomplishments, and most of all I am
Dream Girls. This theme was chosen              for their dreams.                                  humbled that I was allowed to be a small part
because the Malaika youths are encour-             The evening was a celebration of hopes of her life.”
aged to believe that they can make all of       and dreams. Pat Lyons, executive director              For more information on becoming a
their dreams come true. Mentors are             of Prevent Child Abuse Ohio and                    Malaika mentor, call 275-2690.

6                            Franklin County Children Services                 •    August/September 2007
Pam Schirner Appointed as New                                                                                            managed care program;
                                                                                                                         and developed a peer
Assistant Director                                                                                                       review program (a require-
                                                                                                                         ment of the Council on
by Pam Prosser                                                                                                           Accreditation).

C     hallenging and satisfying is how Pam Schirner, the new                                                                In 2004, direct service
      assistant director of Franklin County Children Services,                                                           called her back where she
describes her 34-year career in child welfare. As the agency’s                                                           started, but this time as
assistant director, Schirner is responsible for all areas of direct                                                      the director of West
service to families and children, as well as foster care and                                                             Region. Here she
residential placement.                                                                                                   supervised 125 ongoing
    After receiving her bachelor’s degree in social work, Schirner                                                       social workers, their
started working at Children Services in 1973 as a regional                                                               supervisors and support
caseworker. For 14 years, she worked as a caseworker in the regions,      staff. West Region provides services to families and children in the
at Intake, in placement, and in the receiving center.                     western half of Franklin County.
    “As a 22-year-old fresh out of college, I thought that I would work       As Children Services’ assistant director, Schirner is looking
briefly, get married and become a mother,” said Schirner. “However, the   forward to making an impact on various areas of child welfare. She
work spoke to me and I became energized and gratified working with        is committed to improving outcomes and standards in regards to
children and families in need.” Schirner did get married, raised five     children and families serves by the agency. Schirner plans to
children, and completed her master’s degree in public policy and          establish a system that will decrease the number of children who
management all while working at Children Services.                        are reentering agency custody because of abuse and neglect. She is
    In 1987, Schirner moved into the area of administration. Here         focusing on creating more stability for children under agency care.
she supervised staff that did case reviews; developed and managed             “I am grateful for the opportunities I’ve had to make a meaningful
the county’s Deceased Child Review; developed, implemented and            impact on the children and families in our community,” said Schirner.
supervised staff that monitored contracts through the cutting edge        “I’m looking forward to making a difference.”

 Recent Retirees                                      Billie Jones began working at                     Richard Schira began his
                                                   Children Services in 1977 as an                   service with Children Services in
     Linda Graves began her ser-                   administrative specialist and found               1987 with 15 years of social service
 vice with Children Services in 1978 as            placements for children. She later                experience with MRDD consumers
 a caseworker in an abuse unit. In                 worked at Intake as a caseworker and              and delinquent youths. He started as
 1980 she became a casework supervi-               was promoted to a public information              the director of group homes and was
 sor and in 1988 became associate                  specialist in 1982. She became the                promoted to associate director of the
 director of East Region. She served in            community education director in                   substitute care and group living
 this capacity in Northeast Region,                1991 and was promoted to be the                   program. In 1991, he became the
 Southeast Region and Intake. She has              director of volunteer services in 2004.           director of the Clinical Assessment
 greatly contributed to the agency by                  Jones has educated the community              Department and Therapeutic Arts
 conscientiously ensuring organization,            about child abuse and neglect, and                Program. In 1996, he was promoted
 accuracy and professionalism.                     promoted the agency’s mission of pro-             to director of referral services.
     She is best known for her program             tection and permanency for children.                  Schira has greatly contributed to
 planning and clinical skills. Graves              She made sure that children were                  the agency by ensuring quality clinical
 has developed crisis workload man-                matched with caring volunteers. She               leadership, compassion for families,
 agement plans, which have been uti-               operated a successful Holiday Wish                programmatic creativity, and profes-
 lized at Intake and in the regions. She           program for 19 years, ensuring that               sionalism to program services. He has
 has written program descriptions and              thousands of children received gifts.             encouraged the agency to progress as
 helped developed the infant/toddler                   Jones has been a true ambassador              the needs of youths grew, served on
 investigative protocol. Graves took the           for Children Services and has con-                numerous committees and served as a
 lead when it came to celebrating holi-            tributed in many ways, such as start-             liaison to service providers. Schira has
 days and special agency observed                  ing a tutoring program for staff to help          exemplified commitment and dedica-
 events such as Black history month.               children, working on levy campaigns,              tion to families and providers, and has
     Graves has exemplified commit-                and taking on projects such as sum-               always kept his focus on doing what is
 ment and dedication to the agency,                mer camps and fun events that have                right for the community’s youths.
 working on levy campaigns, attending              provided opportunities for children.
 events and supporting youths.

                         Franklin County Children Services                 •    August/September 2007                                          7
                                                    Wendy’s Wonderful Kids
     by Jason DeBord                                WWK adoption recruiters. These

     D    errick is a quiet and thoughtful          recruiters dedicate 100 percent of their
          teenager who is hoping to find an         time to aggressive child-focused
     adoptive family. The 15-year-old is intelli-   recruitment programs targeted exclusively
     gent and ambitious. He interacts well with     on placing foster children in loving,
     others, but also enjoys time to himself.       adoptive families.
         Being a part of a small one or two            The Dave Thomas Foundation for
     parent family would work well for Derrick.     Adoption recently held a summit that
     He likes his surroundings to be neat, clean    brought together 170 Wendy’s Wonderful
     and quiet, so gaining a sibling with similar   Kids adoption recruiters and supervisors
     preferences would be a good fit. Derrick is    from the 50 states and Canada. The
     close to his brother Devon, 16, who is also    recruiters shared information about their
     in foster care. Finding a family that they     work in adoption and heard from leading
     could both be a part of would be a dream       professionals in the adoption field. A
     come true for the brothers.                    special emphasis was placed on finding
         The Wendy’s Wonderful Kids (WWK)           permanent families for older children in
     program at Franklin County Children            the foster care system.
     Services is working with Derrick to find          Wendy’s Wonderful Kids’ core beliefs
     him a permanent home. Wendy’s                  are that every child deserves to live in a
     Wonderful Kids, a program of the Dave          safe, loving and permanent family; no
     Thomas Foundation for Adoption, part-          child should linger in foster care or leave
     ners a major corporation and a national        the system at age 18 without a permanent
     foundation to help place foster children in    family of their own; and every child is     Derrick is hoping to find an adoptive family.
     permanent, adoptive homes. Children            adoptable. For more information,
     Services receives grants that fund two         call 341-6060.

                                                                                               Address Corrections: 614/275-2523
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  PERMIT #1917                                                                                            855 W. Mound St. Columbus, OH 43223
   COLUMBUS, OH                                                                                           Franklin County Children Services
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