March 2018 Connects E-News

FCS Social Workers: Leaders, Advocates, Champions

Social workers are called upon to help protect the most vulnerable among us and speak up for those in need. In particular, those who work in child welfare must be leaders, advocates and champions for those with whom they work. March is National Social Work Month, a time for recognizing the efforts of these individuals and their impact.

FCCS’s more than 400 caseworkers help families by linking them with service providers, community partners and others to help them meet challenges and keep children safe. With societal pressures like the current opioid epidemic, caseworkers are particularly challenged to help an ever increasing number of families in need. They do so in many capacities including:

  • Screeners who take calls on the child abuse hotline and handle emergency situations

  • Intake caseworkers who investigate initial claims of possible abuse and neglect

  • Ongoing caseworkers who work with families long term

  • Kinship caseworkers who try to find homes for youth with family members or others close to them

  • Adoption caseworkers who search for forever homes for children

  • Youth transition service caseworkers who prepare youth to leave the child welfare system

  • Volunteer service coordinators who try to create positive mentoring relationships for youth

FCCS’s casework staff aren’t the only ones who contribute to social work. Support staff members also do their part to advocate for families by training staff, working with providers, performing community outreach, administrative functions and much more.

FCCS Receives Archives Achievement Award

History on Display at 1919 Frank Road

Franklin County Children Services recognizes the importance of preserving the agency’s history to see how far we’ve come in preventing child abuse and neglect, as well as how far we have to go as a community. The agency has meticulously preserved records from the time when the Franklin County Children’s Home was erected in 1870, to the founding of Franklin Village in 1951, up until the present. As a result of these efforts, FCCS received the 2017 Archives Achievement Award from the Ohio Historical Records Advisory Board. The award was presented to the agency by Fred Previts, state archivist at the Ohio History Connection and accepted by Roger Hansen and Kathleen Dalton of FCCS’s data management team on February 13.

Among the artifacts catalogued in the archives are board meeting minutes, photographs, newspaper clippings, brochures and other documents. These records will be preserved and accessible for future generations. “Franklin County Children Services is commended for this project which can serve as a model for other agencies,” said Previts.

The archivist’s achievements have been commemorated in historical timelines which have been installed on the walls at the agency’s 1919 Frank Road and 855 West Mound Street locations. These vivid displays include agency and child welfare milestones, as well as photographs from events and campaigns throughout the years.  

Click here to learn more about Franklin County Children Services’ History.

Tips for Today: Preventing Teen Dating Violence

Many teens find themselves in unhealthy relationships with partners who are violent toward them. According to the 2013 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, among high school students who dated, 21% of females and 10% of males have experienced physical and/or sexual dating violence. Dating violence can also include psychological/emotional abuse and stalking. It can take place in person or electronically, such as via texting or social media posts. 

When it comes to relationships, The Ohio Domestic Violence Network suggests teens ask themselves these questions:

Does your boyfriend or girlfriend:

  • Trust you?

  • Treat you as an equal?

  • Treat your fairly?

  • Let your relationship develop at your own pace?

  • Make you feel safe emotionally and physically?

  • Support you having your own friends?

  • Listen to your feelings?

  • Respect your opinions?

These are indicators of healthy relationships.

 

Conversely, does your boyfriend or girlfriend:

  • Try to control you?

  • Text constantly or keep tabs on you?

  • Get jealous or make accusations?

  • Easily lose his/her temper?

  • Embarrass or disrespect you?

  • Spread rumors about you?

  • Threaten or force unwanted sexual activity?

  • Scare you?

These are indicators of an unhealthy relationship.

Teens, parents and caregivers should be aware of the signs of unhealthy dating relationships and seek help when indicated. Help is available through from the National Teen Dating Abuse Helpline at (866) 331-9474. For more information on preventing teen dating violence, visit loveisrespect.org.

FCCS Insider: Youth See Themselves During Black Panther Screening

Youth and Mentor at ScreeningFCCS is dedicated to instilling a sense of self-worth in the youth it serves through mentoring relationships and positive experiences. In keeping with this goal, 50 youth in the Simba and Malaika mentoring programs and 30 mentors went to see Black Panther at a local theater on February 19. Simba and Malaika match African-American youth with African-American men and women in one-on-one relationships.

The film Black Panther is a special opportunity for African-American youth to see themselves as super heroes. Tre Johnson writes in Rolling Stone, “An entire generation of children will not know what it feels like to not see themselves reflected back on costume racks, coloring books or movie screens.” FCCS Simba Director Daryle Cobb agrees. “Black representation on the big screen matters,” he says. “It is extremely important to provide opportunities for our youth to see positive images that look like them and are supported by people that they know and trust.”

Click here to learn more about the Simba and Malaika mentoring programs.

Click here to watch the Black Panther trailer.

Upcoming Events

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 FCCS Child Abuse Hotline at (614) 229-7000. Click here to learn more about Child Abuse Prevention Month.

April 11 - Wear Blue Day

FCCS will participate in the statewide Wear Blue Day campaign to support the prevention of child abuse. Wear blue, take a group photo on April 11 and email it to fccsoutreach@fccs.us and you may see your photo featured on the FCCS Twitter or Facebook pages.

April 11 - Child Abuse Prevention Breakfast
7:30-8 a.m. Silent Auction of Youth Art & Check-In
8-9:30 a.m. Breakfast and Program

The Boat House
679 W. Spring St., Columbus, OH 43215

FCCS and its Citizens Advisory Committee host this annual event that highlights child abuse prevention and the accomplishments of social work professionals, client families, youth and community advocates. For more information, call (614) 275-2523.

April 26 - Volunteer Reception
6:30 p.m.
Aladdin Shrine Center
1801 Gateway Circle Grove City, OH 43123

The FCCS volunteer department will honor volunteers and mentors for all that they do for FCCS children.