E-Link Spring 2022.jpg
Hello Spring
Clark_welcome_Purple 2022.jpg

Hello Friends:

Spring has sprung! Or at least that’s what the calendar says. The recent weather we’ve experienced might have many of us wondering if that’s accurate. Either way, April will surely bring us some sunny days. April also brings Child Abuse Prevention Month. This is an opportunity to raise awareness of the devastating impact that child abuse has on our community. It’s also a great time to say thank you to our protective services staff for the incredible and impactful work they do every day, on the frontlines, to help ensure the safety and well-being of the children in our community. We also greatly appreciate and value the many community partners who join us in this endeavor.

In this edition of the Job & Family Services E-Link, we invite you to attend our Child Abuse Prevention Breakfast, congratulate long-time employee Karen Wolfe on her retirement, wrap up the Holiday Donation Drive, recap Statehouse Day for the CSEA, and provide an update on the Benefit Bridge program.

I hope you find the Spring edition of the E-Link to be informative and as always please don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or feedback. 

Take care and stay safe,

Corey Clark

Fairfield County Job and Family Services Director

Save the Date Kick off breakfast2022_InviteFinal.jpg

You're Invited

Retirement_Karen Wolfe.jpg

With more than 32 years of experience, Karen Wolfe has been a cornerstone of Fairfield County Protective Services. As of May 2, though, Karen will be taking on a new role – retiree. Karen has long served as a voice for youth freed for adoption, advocating that all children deserve permanency, regardless of their age or needs. Karen is quick to remind those she works alongside that unadoptable is unacceptable and she has spent her years working tirelessly to secure a forever family for every youth.

With Karen’s departure, Ruth Hoch will take over as the Adoption Supervisor for Protective Services. Ruth has 21 years of experience with Protective Services. Ruth and the Adoption team will miss Karen’s leadership and compassion, as well as her open invitation she has offered to all to come sit in the rocking chair in her office (in times of decision and distress).

In retirement, Karen plans to travel, particularly to Arizona where she can spend her days in the sunshine. Her grandson Everett is also busy scheduling activities for her to enjoy her free time. For friends and colleagues who would like to wish her well, Karen’s retirement party is scheduled for April 19 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at RockSide Winery and Vineyards.  

Spreading Holiday Cheer

to Those in Need

Student Donation.jpg

Fairfield County Job and Family Services wishes to take the opportunity to send a sincere “Thank You” to all the donors throughout Fairfield County and surrounding counties for your incredible generosity during the 2021 Protective Services Holiday Donation Drive. We have such an amazing community that supports our children and older adults in need, and thanks to your involvement many children and elderly adults were blessed with another memorable holiday season!

We received nearly 250 wish lists this year, which comprised a total of 500 children and 12 elderly adults. We were able to fill EVERY one of them! We also received donations of 35 bikes, 70 holiday meals, and many other wonderful items from various churches, businesses, schools, restaurants, and group organizations. We were able to be a part of the Shop with a Cop Program again, for which we would like to extend a special thanks to the Lancaster Police Department as well. We had 15 children from 5 different families participate.

We are so very blessed to have such a strong spirit of giving and sense of community in Fairfield County. Thank you to everyone who made the holidays bright for those in need, especially during this most difficult year. 

brad and Jennifer Donation.jpg

Fairfield County CSEA Attends Statehouse Day


A contingent from the Fairfield County Child Support Enforcement Agency attended the OCDA-sponsored Statehouse Day on March 1, 2022. Organized by the Ohio Child Support Directors’ Association (OCDA), the annual Statehouse Day provides Ohio county Child Support Enforcement Agencies (CSEA) an opportunity to meet, update, and share child support related information with their respective State of Ohio Representatives and Senators. 

Fairfield County CSEA Deputy Director Patrick Welsh and Fairfield County CSEA Supervisor Kelly Shoemaker met directly with Representative Jeff LaRe, Representative Brian Stewart, and Senator Tim Schaffer throughout the day. Our focus was on expressing appreciation for their support of our Agency, promotion of Ohio House Bill 83 (the Caretaker Bill) and explaining how, if passed, it would improve the lives of children in Fairfield County by enabling child support to follow the child, regardless of a final legal custody order. Another talking point was Ohio House Bill 508 (the Shared Parenting Bill) and its proposed creation of a concerningly high “clear and convincing standard” necessary to deviate from a proposed new default 50/50 shared parenting standard, judicial discretion and eliminate the current “best interests” of the child standard. 

We also used the meetings as an opportunity to highlight Fairfield County’s current child support collection percentage of , a number significantly above the state average, as well remind them of the fact that the State’s child support program brings in over $11.00 for every $1.00 spent. The meetings were very productive, and it was wonderful to showcase the important child support work we are performing here in Fairfield County.  

Benefit Bridge Makes a Difference

Benefit Bridge flyer.jpg

Benefit Bridge is a program in Fairfield County designed to help participants transition off public assistance benefits to paid employment. Many families experience a benefits cliff when an increase of income causes them to no longer receive the benefits that were helping them to feed their families, afford medical care or access child care. These benefits can be so significant that low-income workers may be temporarily better off financially by not increasing hours or taking a higher paying job.

Participants in the Benefit Bridge program at JFS have a Care Team they work with that offer them support and help with navigating the benefits cliff. The Care Team also includes a Peer Mentor, the Mentor is someone who used to be receiving public assistance and is now successfully employed. He uses his experiences to better assist and relate to families transitioning off benefits. One focus of the program is financial literacy and budgeting. JFS has partnered with Park National Bank to offer Financial Literacy classes, including information on how to set up a savings account. JFS is working with several participants through Benefit Bridge and below is a recent success.

Hannah was receiving OWF and working to obtain her GED. In May of 2021, she started working through a temporary agency at a local manufacturing company and was eventually hired on as a full-time worker making $14 per hour. This income put Hannah over the income guidelines for OWF and SNAP.  This meant that Hannah now had to figure out how to navigate losing benefits she could depend on each month. Hannah began working with the Benefit Bridge Care Team at JFS. She is now half of a credit away from obtaining her GED, has been promoted at work and is making over $18 per hour. Hannah attended financial literacy classes, opened and regularly deposits money into a savings account, and is working to improve her credit so she can purchase a car. JFS has been able to offer a variety of supportive services to support Hannah to help her become self-sufficient. 

Circus Night is now "FAMILY FUN FEST"

Family Fun Fest 2022.jpg


Facebook  Twitter  Instagram