February 2018 Connects E-News

FCCS Community Partner Rise Sister Rise Inspires Girls

FCCS staff facilitate a panel discussion during a Rise Sister Rise event in 2016.

With an emphasis on resiliency, Rise Sister Rise (RSR) aims to address disparities between African-American girls and their counterparts by focusing on academic success and positive socialization. RSR “helps to mitigate the trauma black girls have experienced by bringing more positive experiences into their lives,” according to Tonia Still, director of Franklin County Children Services' Malaika mentoring program. Malaika has collaborated with RSR since the research-based initiative was launched, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Mental Health in 2011.

According to RSR Founder Fran Frazier, "Ensuring that they’re 'at promise' instead of 'at risk,' RSR is building brighter futures for local African-American girls." In an ideal world, all children would grow up with the same encouragement and opportunities. Sadly that especially hasn’t been the case for African-American girls in metropolitan areas. "For those girls growing up in urban neighborhoods, research has shown that they experience more maltreatment and trauma than children of other races/backgrounds," said Frazier. They are disproportionately exposed to racism, gender discrimination, violence, and mental and emotional abuse.

RSR’s offerings include community dialogues, workshops and the Black Girl Think Tank, a forum in which girls can develop critical thinking skills, learn to communicate across barriers and build community. Whether it’s addressing concerns such as limited access to community resources, teen dating violence or colorism, RSR “gives girls safe spaces to talk about issues,” Still says.
For more information on Rise Sister Rise or to get involved, visit www.risesisterrise.net.

Protecting Children by Strengthening Families

   Franklin County Children Services and its staff are responsible for investigating reports of child abuse and neglect. The agency fulfills its mission of protecting children by strengthening families by providing services that ensure the safety, permanency and well-being of children. This is accomplished through prevention, protection, placement and permanency programs. Child maltreatment occurs in various forms, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse, as well as neglect and dependency.

In 2017, FCCS served 32,160 children. The agency received 32,230 referrals of child abuse/neglect and screened in 13,315 cases. The agency publishes a Prevalence of Abuse statistics page with a two-year comparison each year. Click here to review the 2016-2017 statistics.

If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, call the FCCS 24-hour Child Abuse Hotline at (614) 229-7000.

Celebrating African-American History Month

Franklin County Children Services strives to maintain cultural awareness and sensitivity by recognizing and celebrating the diverse population that the agency serves. February is a time to pay particular attention to the heritage and accomplishments of African-Americans to inspire and uplift children and families of all cultures. During African-American History month, agency staff can participate in culturally-specific workshops and discussion panels.

   Here are some additional ways to celebrate:

  • Expand your horizon of black history; research overlooked historical figures. Many of us know about the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. and Harriet Tubman. But do you know Martin Robison Delany or Harriet Jacobs?

  • Celebrate Black History Month by confronting past and present injustices. Stand up for a cause that promotes equality. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “An injustice for one is an injustice for all."

  • Make an effort to learn something new or positive about the black community or experience. Attend a lecture or visit an African-American museum.

  • Be thoughtful. Ask questions and be aware of sensitive moments in history.

  • Be proactive and celebrate black history all year long. Knowing leads to understanding, which gets us one step closer to peace and living in a harmonious world.

For more tips, visit The Huffington Post or Slate.com.

FCCS Insider: Agency Youth Visit Columbus State

FCCS youth learn about support services at CSCC during visit. A group of FCCS youth can now see college as a realistic option for themselves, after a visit to Columbus State Community College (CSCC) on January 24. Twelve youth attended the event, during which they learned about options for pursuing degrees, areas of study and financial aid. Presenters emphasized the fact that CSCC offers flexible schedules and the Preferred Pathways Program which enables students who wish to obtain a bachelor’s degree guaranteed acceptance when they transfer to nine area universities. Presenters also talked about the Trio Programs which provide assistance to low income and first generation students. They particularly focused on the Student Support Services program, which offers tutoring; a mentoring program; assistance locating financial aid; as well as academic, career and personal advising.

Youth involved with Children Services, often have a hard time picturing themselves in college. Thanks to the generosity of CSCC and its staff, these young people know that they can pursue a degree and that they’ll have support along the way.

Upcoming Events

March - National Social Work Month
National Social Work Month is a time for increasing public awareness and knowledge of the profession of social work and its impact on society.

April - Child Abuse Prevention Month
April is a time to raise awareness about child abuse. If you suspect a child is being abused, call the 24-Hour Child Abuse Hotline at (614) 229-7000.