Hamilton County Job and Family Services

Ambriehl Crutchfield / WVXU

Hamilton County Job and Family Services is celebrating 60 foster care students in a ceremony tonight. The 20th annual Celebration of Dreams will honor graduating students who are or have been in foster care custody. The students are graduating from Cincinnati Public Schools around the county this year.

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Ohio's Child Support payment system is changing. Participants will get letters early next month outlining the change from e-QuickPay Mastercards to smiONE Visa cards.

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When Hamilton County taxpayers approved an expanded Children's Services levy in November, some of those extra dollars were marked for new programs. Now, Job and Family Services is rolling out the new initiatives.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Hamilton County voters will have a new tax levy on the ballot this November. Two of the three commissioners approved a "bridge" to aid an existing children's services levy.

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The ongoing opioid crisis has caused a dramatic increase in the number of children being removed from their homes due to one or both parents being addicted to drugs. And local agencies are struggling to find individuals and families willing to foster or adopt these children and provide them with the love, safety and stability they need.

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Foster children aging out of Hamilton County’s child welfare system cost almost eighteen million dollars in social expenses and lost productivity each year. Teens who suddenly find themselves on their own face challenges in transitioning to adults. A local mentoring program is one of several interventions that can have a positive impact on young people while helping to reduce those costs.

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Fueled by the heroin crisis, there are now more kids in Hamilton County foster care than in the past two decades.

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Called the “invisible victims” of the heroin epidemic, children of addicts are suffering as their parents use and sometimes overdose. 

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Ohio is trying to get a handle on opioid abuse. New numbers show overdose deaths are rising.
 

Hamilton County Human Resources

Hamilton County Commissioners are debating what to do with what could be up to $60 million in surplus levy funds. 

Commissioners approved a $22.5 million settlement Wednesday between Hamilton County Job and Family Services (JFS) and the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services.

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Many think of child sex trafficking as a problem in some foreign countries, but it also exists here. Ohio is ranked among the worst for child sex trafficking in the United States, according to The Cincinnati Enquirer and a report from the Ohio Attorney General’'s office.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

After the March death of a two-year-old whose family was in the Job and Family Services system, Hamilton County leaders ordered a review of the child welfare system.  Prosecutor Joe Deters says the review found no fault with the system but reforms are needed.

Hamilton County Job and Family Services is extending its August amnesty program for parents who owe child support.

Department spokesman Brian Gregg said the August amnesty program  - which allows those whose driver's or professional licenses to be re-instated after paying a month's child support and reporting their employment  - will be extended through September.

Over 300 people took advantage of the amnesty in August, but there are thousands more eligible.