I am not normally a talkative person, nor do I necessarily believe people care to know what I think. But this is a critical time at Job and Family Services and I feel very strongly that we should be as open and accountable as possible. Thus, I am becoming a blogger.
Thankfully, I have people to help me with this. My technology skills are basic at best, but I hope to learn as I go. Please have patience and feel free to let me know how I might improve.
The most important thing to me about this blog is being able to connect with you. We serve hundreds of thousands of county residents every year and I want to make sure you get the information you need. And I want to hear about your experiences and ideas. Please consider this a two-way communication vehicle. Much of what we do is confidential, so there will be things I cannot talk about, and I certainly will not be able to solve all problems, but open dialogue should help clear up confusion around many issues.
For those of you who do not know about our department, we are the agency responsible for local child protection, elderly protection, child care, child support enforcement, workforce development, cash assistance, food stamp disbursement and Medicaid disbursement and even more. We are an agency that helps. We are the largest provider of food assistance, medical assistance, child care help, employment services and other services in Southwest Ohio.
And the news of this post – unfortunate as it is — is that the economy continues to drive up the number of people walking through our doors. There are 13,000 more people receiving food assistance right now than a year ago. That’s 93,000; one out of every nine Hamilton County residents. And most of them are working; they are just not earning enough to make ends meet.
Our Medicaid numbers, child care assistance numbers, cash assistance numbers…they are all at high levels, too. More people are seeking modifications to child support orders because they have had changes in their employment circumstances. Our Workforce Development area is extremely busy as people fall out of work and look for help getting back on their feet.
So, you can see, this is a critical time for us and it is extremely important that we do all we can to communicate with the residents of this county about how we can help. Thus, I am now a blogger! Go easy on me and please cut me some slack.