Serving Families and Children in southwest Ohio since 1989 info@agapeforyouth.com Dayton 937-439-4406 Cincinnati 513-914-2971

We All Need a “Pep-Talk”

Welcome to spring 2013!! Give me sun, a lot of sun…you know, the vitamin D stuff….and positive talk, give me positive talk with encouraging words and spirited conversation. Earlier this year I was introduced to Robbie Novak, AKA ‘Kid President’, and the inspiration he has brought into my life, and the lives of many others is virtually unbelievable. Robbie has become somewhat of U-tube celebrity. He begins his video with “we all need a pep-talk”. Adults, the world needs you to stop being boring…yeah you…boring is easy, everybody can be boring, but you’re “gooder” than that!! He goes on to use a number of illustrations one of which is “what would Michael Jordan do if he quit?,..oh yeah, he did quit, no he retired. I mean what would have happened if he quit in high school?..he would have never made Space Jam, and I love Space Jam!!” Through his inspiring videos Robbie continually encourages all of us to appreciate life, and especially to “create something that will make the world more awesome!!”. A little bit of detail on Robbie. This spirited encourager is a nine year old from the State of Tennessee. He is diagnosed with brittle bone disease, and has had over 70 breaks in his young life, yet one of his goals is to inspire the world through encouraging us to “stop complaining and dance”, which he in fact does throughout the majority of his videos. In reflection, while I have been very thankful to have special people in my life who have been responsible for giving me a ‘pep-talk’ when unaware to them, it was most needed, and thankful to be an encourager as well, yet I cannot help but to be drawn to the inspiration that Robbie brings with his humor, and a spirit of encouragement. I want to encourage all of us, if you haven’t, to take a few moments and like over 5 million other people, check out ‘Kid President”…..cause he is truly right…..”we all need a pep-talk”! Make today great, Steve

Why we do what we do!

Whay we do what we do

This is a photo of the letter one of our foster mom’s received on Mother’s Day from her foster daughter.    As stated by the Agape Youth Specialist for this little girl.  “I had to share this letter with all of you because it was so precious and a great reminder of why we do what we do.   This is a Mother’s Day letter from an 8 year old foster youth.This little girl is adorable but rarely ever says anything to anyone. She is very quiet, and is used to having her older brothers speak for her. Her words in the letter are not only so precious, but this is the most I’ve ever heard her “say.”

 

SAVE THE DATE! – September 12, 2013

Mark your calendars and Save the Date for the annual Agape for Youth, Inc. Fundraising Gala. This exciting fundraising event is scheduled for Thursday, September 12, 2013 and is being held at the Dayton Racquet Club.

We look forward to an evening of sharing the mission of Agape for Youth, Inc. with the local community and raise funds to assist in providing additional programs and service to the families and children being served at Agape.

For information on how you can get involved in the event through sponsorship, donations or to be a volunteer, please contact Sandra Geib at 937.439.4406 ext. 11.Save The Date 2013

5K Benefiting Agape for Youth, Inc.

Join us on June 22nd for the annual Back to Health 5K at Indian Riffle Park in Kettering.2013 5k Flyer

Proceeds from this event will benefit the families and youth being served at Agape for Youth, Inc.

Registration forms will be available at the Agape for Youth, Inc. office beginning May 2nd.  Online registration is available at www.3000health.com and at www.keysports.net.

We look forward to seeing you on race day!

 

Congratulations to the Staff at Agape for Youth!

Congrats photoOn Thursday, April 11, 2013,  Agape had four representatives from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) on site here at our office to audit/review selected records in relation to Agape’s ODJFS License renewal as a foster care, adoption and reunification agency.

We are extremely pleased to share that Agape received feedback from the ODJFS representatives of 100% compliance in all areas reviewed!!!

Special thanks to Bruce Bridges, Supervisor of Licensing and Compliance/Intake, for coordinating all documents, and records for this audit, and all co-workers involved in the preparing of Agape for this license renewal.

Agape Recruitment signs are in Full Bloom!

Have you seen the bright green signs around the community that are popping up like dandelions after a spring rain?Sign 2

Agape for Youth,Inc. is looking for families and individuals that are ready to open their heart and their homes and help us change the world one child at a time.

Our monthly no obligation Orientation to Foster Care class is held on the 1st Tuesday of each month.

The May 2013 Orientation is on Tuesday, May 7th.

For additional inforamtion or to RSVP to attend please contact Val at 937-439-4406 ext. 13.

 

 

The Need for Foster Parents in the Miami Valley

When people ask, “why do you still need foster parents when you have more than eighty families”?  The truth is that while Agape has been extremely successful in recruiting, licensing, and maintaining foster families they are temporary with most families only fostering for a time in their lives when they have the time and energy to give to the youth we serve.  Some of our foster families adopt the children placed in their care, and honestly there is no more space for additional kids. 

We at Agape For Youth, Inc. are extremely proud of the amazing role we have played in getting children reunified with their families, and when needed, providing permanent families for the youth entrusted to our care.  Agape’s mission of serving youth who have experienced abuse and neglect is never done, and more youth are exposed to these negative influences every day.

You can make a difference, and help us to change the world one child at a time.

You can show a child it is possible to succeed and reach their dreams.   Come join us at Agape for Youth and be a foster parent…..it doesn’t take a perfect parent to serve alongside us.

 

National Social Work Month – Bridget Sheets, Adoption Coordinator

2013SWM-LogoCMYK-WebSince this is National Social Work month, I thought I would stop and take the time to reflect on my years in this profession. I have practiced social work for about the last 37 years! Sometimes I can’t believe it has been this long! Most of my experience has been in child welfare. I retired from Montgomery County Children Services after 30 years of service and then decided I wasn’t done yet. Working with children who have been through so much trauma in their young lives can be the most challenging yet rewarding experience in one’s life. Adoption has been my ‘special’ area of practice. I have been able to give direct service to children and families of adoption. What is amazing about adoption is that on occasion I hear from children (who are now adults) that remember me from our experiences together! Now that makes me feel old!

All kidding aside, I am thankful for the opportunity to carry on the social work tradition. I come from a family of social workers-my husband, my son and my daughter-in-law share in this profession as well.  Lets hope I can ‘sneak’ some social work tradition into my grandchildren!

Peace to all

Bridget

Featured Foster Family – Cliff & Lauretta P.

youth1The 24th anniversary of Agape is this month and Cliff and Lauretta P. will celebrate their 24th year of being foster parents with Agape. Cliff and Lauretta have been foster parents with Agape for Youth, Inc. since its inception in 1989. Cliff and Lauretta have been providing care for foster children for over thirty years. Cliff and Lauretta are both treatment level foster parents and report that they are willing to take any youth into their home and work with any child. Their interest in serving comes from their passion for making a difference. They enjoy children and thought that fostering would be a good way to help children who are underprivileged or disadvantaged. They enjoy being foster parents because of the many rewards it offers and watching the children in their care grow and mature into productive adults. Cliff and Lauretta stress the importance of patience and loving the youth that come into care. The best advice that they have for new foster parents is to maintain that level of patience and work in collaboration with your Agape worker to ensure that the child’s needs are being met and that continuity of care is possible.  Cliff and Lauretta state that they love the closeness Agape offers and report that they feel a part of the agency because Agape is family oriented and dedicated to serving youth and families in the community.

Many thanks to Cliff and Lauretta for sharing their talents and for their dedication to making a difference in our community one child at a time!

“Great Ideas”

Recently during one of those unusually warm evenings this past winter, I was sitting outside with my wife tracing the separation of stars in the sky. Okay, actually I was looking up in the air trying to think of something inspirational to say!?!?!  As I recall some significant events of the past few years, I couldn’t help but to reflect upon, and appreciate the family and friends in my life that have supported me in my times of “great ideas”.

My wife, Sandie has disguised herself for many of these years as my “dream-endorser”. Even today, when a new “great idea” is presented to her, she still smiles as if to say, “Please realize I believe this “great idea” to be crazy, however since it is less crazy than some of your othher “great ideas”, go ahead, I’mmmm with you”.

These “great ideas” began with moving to Northern Michigan in 1984 to be part of a “new” business. When asked about moving, Sandie said “sure, we’re young; we have a one year old son, no real assets, no real responsibilities, of course, let’s go”.  I was so excited; I think now I actually missed the sarcasm in her voice. We moved to Michigan, only to return about two years later. It wasn’t a total loss though; we added new friends and our daughter, Emily to our family.

While there have been many other “great ideas”, I can only remember Sandie getting particularly upset regarding one of them.  This occurred when I “informed” Sandie that this particular “great idea” was the best of all.  Let me offer some advice.  Do not “inform” a supportive spouse. “Educate” them, but do not “inform” them when it comes to a “great idea”, no matter how great it is!! Years ago we made the commitment that we would never go to bed angry with one another. This noted exchange resulted in nearly an entire night “challenge” of this commitment.   It was about 3:00am when she said, “Would you just admit you are wrong so we can go to bed?”  Oh, was that all you wanted; I thought you wanted me to throw out my “great idea”.  “Sorry Babe”, let’s go to sleep.

One of the “greatest ideas” I have ever been a part of was being a founder of Agape for Youth, Inc., in March of 1989. Family, friends, and even strangers at the time, were all so very encouraging.  I can still remember my father asking me “are you scared”? I replied “yes, actually I am”.  He said “good, fear will either motivate you, or stagnate you…you make the call”. I can honestly tell you there have been a number of times over the years this “call” has been put to the test. I remain now, and forever thankful to continue to have this opportunity to serve youth and families, with the greatest of co-workers, foster  families, adoptive families, and reunification families I have ever had the pleasure of working alongside.

In closing, I owe so many for their prayers and encouragement, a debt I can only repay through continuing to “serve with excellence”.  Thank you all for being a part of Agape, and our 24 years of serving youth and families throughout Southwest Ohio.

Steve

Stop CISPA