New Heart Gallery and Wear Blue Highlight Child Abuse Prevention Month in Hamilton County

A traveling photo exhibit featuring portraits of children available for adoption will be unveiled April 13 as part of Hamilton County’s celebration of Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The Heart Gallery of Hamilton County will be unveiled in a short, private ceremony at The Phoenix, 812 Race. St. The exhibit will be on display from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., with the short ceremony at 6 p.m. Local media are invited to attend and take photos and videos of the display.

The Heart Gallery will move regularly to high-traffic areas where the compelling portraits will draw attention to the more than 200 children available for adoption through Hamilton County Job and Family Services. Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has already agreed to host a part of the exhibit after it is unveiled.

April 13 will also be designated Wear Blue Day in Hamilton County, with local residents being asked to wear blue to raise awareness of the problem of child abuse. Child welfare agencies in state’s 88 counties have banded together in a campaign to increase awareness of child abuse and discuss reporting and preventing it. April is national Child Abuse Prevention Month and this is the fifth straight April the state’s counties have held a “Wear Blue” event.

“Our past Wear Blue events have been very successful with thousands of local residents dressed in blue not as a fashion statement, but as a social statement to bring awareness to what is a very serious problem in our community,” said Moira Weir, direct of the county’s Job and Family Services Department. “

Job and Family Services assists nearly 16,000 children every year and investigates more than 5,000 reports of new abuse annually.

Hamilton County Job and Family Services is sponsoring a Facebook photo contest for the most creative photo featuring someone wearing blue. Visit and like the agency’s Facebook page,, and share your picture. You can also follow the agency and post pictures on Twitter, @HamiltonCoJFS and #OhioWearsBlue.

The Heart Gallery unveiling, which is sponsored by Hamilton County JFS, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund, will feature more than 30 photos of some of the abused and neglected children who are in the permanent custody of JFS and awaiting adoptive families.

The children available for adoption come from a variety of backgrounds, neighborhoods, economic circumstances and living situations. They may have varying levels of medical, emotional or behavioral problems. They all bring their own personalities, strengths, interests and gifts.

But they all have one thing in common: the desire for a loving family and sense of permanency.

Any Ohio resident over 18 years old is eligible. Adoptive parents must:

  • Pass a physical to show they are in good physical health and capable of caring for children.
  • Pass a local, state and federal (if not a resident of Ohio for the past five years) background check.
  • Pass a home study process (includes fire inspection as well as other rules and regulations).
  • Pass more than 30 hours of specialized training.

Those interested in adopting or becoming foster parents can learn more at or by calling (513) 632-6366 or e-mailing


by Jane Prendergast

Filed Under: News

Tagged: adoption, child abuse, child abuse prevention month, foster care, hamilton coujnty job and family services, hamilton county department of job and family services, heart gallery, moira weir, neglect, ohiowearsblue, wear blue