Xenia — The Greene County Department of Job & Family Services is stepping up its efforts to help adoption-eligible kids find a new home.
The department received a $70,000 grant from the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids to hire staff dedicated to helping place the approximately 19 Greene County residents looking for a family. At their regular meeting on Thursday, Greene County Commissioners authorized the department to move forward with the grant.
The staff member, who will be hired in as a case worker, will do things Wendy’s way.
“They do training for all of their Wendy’s Wonderful Kids,” said Beth Rubin, director of job and family services. “They will train our staff their way. From what we heard it’s a good program with a lot of successes. They engage in what they call child-focused recruitment activities.”
The case worker will spend time getting to know the child, learning his or her history, establishing a relationship and assessing the child.
“In doing so, their goal is to get as many kids who are waiting for adoption with potential adoptive families,” Rubin said. There is also a transition period to make sure there are no frosty feelings between child and adoptive parent.
While many associate adoption with younger kids, one of the focal points of Wendy’s Wonderful Kids is to help adoption-eligible kids in their teens.
“The Wendy’s Wonderful Kids believe very strongly, we do too, you don’t give up on a kid when they’re 16, 17-years-old,” Rubin said. “They still need a forever family.”
The grant pays for the salary of the staff person and will cover some associated costs as well, Rubin said. It is a one-year grant, but it could be renewed after that.
Commission President Bob Glaser was concerned that the case worker could be out of work after a year, but Rubin said that has already been addressed.
“There’s high turnover,” she said of case worker positions within her department.
The department would simply leave a future vacancy vacant for the sole purpose of retaining the Wendy’s case worker.
In other commission news, the board cancelled it’s next two Thursday meetings July 10, 17 and rescheduled them for July 8 and 15 at 9 a.m.