We are a nonprofit, volunteer organization with a mission to raise funds and awareness to improve the lives of abused, neglected and at risk children of Geauga County.
There are hundreds of Geauga children suffering from abuse and neglect or in other crisis situations. Whether it be due to parents addiction and substance abuse, mental illness, domestic violence households or lack of resources, these children need our help to have hope for their future.
We assist with funding for normal childhood activities and tangible items to children who have no other outlet to receive these things. The monies that we raise goes to help pay for camps, tutoring, school yearbooks, music lessons, school trips, pay to play sports, funeral clothing, and other experiences that promote social, emotional, physical and cognitive development. Due to strict government guidelines, county agencies that deal with children from abused, neglected and at risk backgrounds do not have funds to help children have normal childhood experiences.
In 2019, we committed $42,000 in funding to children who are being served by one of our community partners. Each partner is required to annually provide a Request for Assistance form with detailed information on how the children who they serve would benefit from the funds of Hope for Kids Geauga based on our mission. All partners have agreed to a specific guideline of disbursement of funds. All funding request are monitored and reported to Hope for Kids board.
We are grateful to be working with our community partners. Each has a different role in how they serve kids in the Geauga County community who are abused, neglected or at -risk but all have one common goal: to make a difference in children’s lives.
Geauga Family First Council
Established pursuant to Ohio Revised Code, Geauga Family First Council is a collaborative, inter-agency organization committed to removing barriers for multi-need children through prevention, early intervention and an inter-system provision of services which support the entire family. Council provides the framework for county agencies to coordinate efforts and to take a pro-active approach to sharing resources and information and discussing areas of concern which impact both families and services.
One of the major functions our Council provides in the county is Service Coordination. Referrals come from Council’s community partners including the schools, JFS, Juvenile Court, the DD Board, and mental health professionals. In Geauga, Service Coordination, is essentially a way of doing business based on the Council philosophy that the kids, being served through Council-funded programs and individualized services, are the “community’s kids.”
Council’s Family Stability Team is the entry-point for individualized support and flexible services geared to strengthening families and keeping children in their own homes. Family Stability services increase the involvement of parents and maintain children in the least restrictive and safest environment possible and are provided through an inter-agency partnership. We work to ensure that families receive the services they need when they need them – whether to resolve chronic issues or address crises. The Hope for Kids funding our Council receives is an instrumental part of our Family Stability Program.
For more information please visit the Council’s web page here
Special Services of Geauga County
The mission and goal of Special Services is to assist residents of Geauga County in need, who are struggling financially, and have exhausted traditional assistance programs; or their need goes beyond the scope of traditional assistance programs. Since the mid 1970’s, Geauga County has provided this assistance to residents of Geauga County. Over the years, the number of people served has grown and the scope of the program has evolved as the needs of the county residents change.
In essence, Special Services is a conduit between people in Geauga County who are in need, and people in Geauga County who want to help. The Community Support/Volunteer Coordinator serves as that conduit and is employed by Geauga County Job and Family Services. Funding for Special Services’ programs and the assistance it provides to Geauga residents comes solely from donations. Donations (monetary and otherwise) are received from individuals, businesses, civic groups, churches, clubs, and other organizations. Throughout the year, donations are sought to fund projects or help with specific needs. Hope for Kids assists in funding two vital programs, The Summer Camp and Enrichment Program and Help Me Learn Day.
The Summer Camp and Enrichment Program is a funding source that provides low income Geauga County children and foster children an opportunity to attend a summer camp, or participate in other type of enrichment activities. While this is a year-round program, most of the requests are received during the summer months.
Help Me Learn Day is a school supply distribution program serving low income Geauga Co. children and foster children. Two distribution days are held each year in August. The first is at Geauga Co. Job and Family Services, and the second is at Chagrin Falls Park Community Center. Pre-registration is required. Eligible children are invited to come to one of the two events to “shop” for their school supplies with the help of volunteers.
For more information please visit Special Services web page here
Job and Family Services – Child Protective Services
Geauga County Job and Family Services is the county agency designated by law to provide for the care, protection, and placement of abused, neglected, and dependent children in Geauga County 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Children Services investigates allegations of child abuse, neglect, and dependency using a differential response model. In addition, we administer adoption assistance funds and support. We make reasonable efforts to prevent the removal of children from their homes and believe that children should be in the least restrictive family setting possible to meet their needs. Services are provided through a family-focused, strength based approach. We work cooperatively with our community to provide a collaborative approach in serving Geauga’s children and families.
For more information please visit Job and Family Services web page here
RAVENWOOD MENTAL HEALTH
Since 1966, Ravenwood Health has provided high quality, comprehensive, community-based behavioral health services to residents of Geauga County and surrounding communities in order to maximize the autonomy, independence and quality of life of recipients of our services. Accredited by the Joint Commission, we have over twenty-five programs across nine sites, sensitive to differing socio-economic needs across the county. Ravenwood is a Trauma-Informed Agency, understanding, recognizing, and responding to the effects of all types of trauma. Concepts emphasizing physical, psychological and emotional safety permeate within the care of our clients, our community and with partner organizations.
Respite Nights for Geauga Children and Families
In continued collaboration with the Geauga Family First Council and other health and human services partners, Ravenwood will continue to provide pro-social activities which strengthen families and promote resiliency in kids. In turn, risk will be mitigated through this protective factor approach. Parents and caregivers will continue to benefit from the positive enrichment provided to their children and their siblings. Noted as the Family Stability Team, we will continue to meet weekly to discuss Respite Night programming and targeted marketing to garner client interest across all organizations.
Each Night includes a warm dinner, light snacks, fun activities, and unorganized play activities over three hours, from 6 to 9 pm. The Metzenbaum Center generously donates the use of their facility for our program. The program invites up to 44 clients to register prior to the evening, ensuring safety for everyone. Children that meet the program criteria will be selected on a first come, first serve basis. No symptoms or behaviors are permitted that present an imminent risk of harm to self or others. Diagnosis of those children served covers an array of mental health concerns.
For more information please visit Ravenwood’s web page here