This past weekend, an article ran in our local paper regarding the results of the reorganization efforts of Butler County’s Children Services. The committed personnel and dedicated social workers are working hard to mitigate the difficult circumstances that confront many children in our county. Of course, these are they that diligently give of themselves everyday and are clearly doing the lion share of the work. However, I am also grateful for the opportunities that the faith community have been given to invest in the lives of children who are at risk.
Over the last year much has been accomplished by many compassionate churches. We have seen a youth camp (LIFT Ministries) donate over $4000 to provide suitcases for children being displaced instead of using a garbage bag to carry their belongings. In conjunction with the camp efforts, Cedarville University pledged a full ride scholarship (totaling over $200,000) every year to a qualifying student that times out of the foster care system. An event entitled, “Summer Slam” was a 3 day event that took foster children skating, bowling and provided a magic show. During this same event the children were able to visit Rethreads (our cities free clothing store) and participate in a service project. During the holidays, the church provided meals for Thanksgiving and gifts for Christmas. Multiple informational meetings have been held and foster care recruitment initiatives are under way.
In addition to these events, I have been able to introduce Jerome Kearns (the director of Family Services) and his staff to many pastors in our community. We have met together to establish an open dialogue, communicate the needs and identify a path in which we can partner together. Specifically, this open dialogue has raised up many who are willing to be foster parents and are taking the next steps in becoming licensed to do so. Although, there is still much to be accomplished, there have been a lot of significant investments made that are helping to make the difference.
I am grateful for the opportunity and I am looking forward to the continued impact that the faith community can have in our county. Below is the published article in its entirety that was published in Saturday’s paper. May this be a welcomed reminder that together we can make a difference.
Children Services revamp getting results
BUTLER COUNTY —