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

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

Make an Impact – Change your Community One Child at a Time

The question is often asked, “How can I make an impact on my community?”

You make a difference one child, one teenager or one adult at a time.  It is like casting a stone on a pond.  The ripple that starts where the stone lands is just the beginning.  Those ripples continue until they reach the shore, changing the entire surface of the pond.

Are you ready to cast a ripple on the pond?

Have you considered opening your heart and your home to a child in need of help?
Agape for Youth, Inc. is always looking for individauls and families to provide loving and safe homes to child victims of abuse and neglect.  Our next Orientation to Foster Care class is on Tuesday, April 2, 2013.

With you help, we can change our local community, our world one child at a time!

 

News and Updates from Agape for Youth, Inc.

Here is the latest news and updates from Agape for Youth, Inc.

http://us5.campaign-archive1.com/?u=3232e038d5d249aa151139ad8&id=ea091ec592&e=03d01f5e8d

 

Agape for Youth, Inc. Celebrates 24 Years Serving Youth & Families in Southwest Ohio!

DAYTON – March 7, 2013 – Agape for Youth, Inc. is celebrating their 24th anniversary of serving the families and youth of southwest Ohio.

“I want to thank everyone who has been a dedicated part of the success of Agape during the past 24 years” said Stephen M. Geib, Executive Director/Founder of the organization.  “Our partnering with the local community has been and continues to be greatly appreciated and is pivotal to our serving the families and children of the Miami Valley and surrounding counties.”

“It is a true privilege to be a part of an organization such as Agape for Youth.  The dedication and care with which they conduct their work with families in the community is a not only inspiring, but uplifting” said Randy Pavlak, Agape for Youth, Inc. Board of Directors President.

“We are excited to see what the future holds for our community and the children and families we serve.” said Geib.  “We invite our community to join us as we continue to change our world one child and one family at a time”

Since their inception in 1989 Agape for Youth, Inc. has expanded their services to include foster care, adoption through foster care and reunification services throughout Southwestern Ohio, and counts a foster parent base of more than 80 families. Agape for Youth has been privileged to serve hundreds of youth and their families and looks forward to future opportunities.

Agape for Youth, Inc., 2010 Better Business Bureau Eclipse Integrity Award winner, provides foster care, adoption and reunification services in southwest Ohio.  Agape was founded in 1989 in order to place children into foster homes which could guide and support youth in becoming successful members of society.  Over the years Agape expanded its services to include family foster care, adoption services and ongoing supportive services to adoptive families.  In 2008, as the result of a contract with Job and Family Services, began offering reunification services; working with families whose children are making the transition from out of home care back to their biological family.  The Agape offices are located at 2621 Dryden Road in Dayton, Ohio.

 

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If you would like more information about Agape for Youth, Inc. visit their website www.agapeforyouth.com, call Sandra Geib at 937.439.4406 or email sgeib2@agapeforyouth.com.

 

Congratulations to Sandie Geib

Sandie Geib, Promotions and Support Services Coordinator, has been named one of the Top 25 Women to Watch in 2013 by Women in Business Networking in Dayton, Ohio.
http://www.womeninbusinessnetworking.com/Pages/womentowatch.aspx

Congratulations to Ronald Todd II

Agape for Youth, Inc. Board of Directors Member Ronald Todd II, has been selected by Parity Inc. as of of the 2013 Top Ten African American Men in Dayton, Ohio.

http://www.parity-inc.org/honorees.html

“Focus on the Rules” – Bruce Bridges as featured in the September/October Newsletter

On the run would be the best description of foster parents.  Running to Doctor appointments, therapists and visits with the biological parents.  Let’s take a moment and look at what the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has to say about Transportation.

(A)       Any vehicle owned or leased by a foster caregiver and used to transport a foster child shall be maintained in a safe condition and in compliance with all motor vehicle laws. Such vehicles shall be covered by liability insurance in accordance with current state laws.

(B)       A foster caregiver shall ensure that any person transporting a foster child in a motor vehicle shall be licensed to drive that class of vehicle and that such vehicle is maintained in a safe condition according to state laws.

(C)       A foster caregiver shall ensure that a foster child transported in a motor vehicle shall at all times be restrained by a seat belt including both a lap belt and a shoulder belt in vehicles that are so equipped.

(D)       If the foster child is less than four years old or forty pounds in weight, a child restraint seat secured by a seat belt or the lower anchors and tethers for children (LATCH) system shall be used. The child restraint seat shall be placed in the back seat of any motor vehicle that has a back seat.

(1)(2)   An infant less than one year of age or twenty pounds in weight shall be restrained only in a rear-facing position and whenever possible shall not be placed in the front seat of a motor vehicle equipped with passenger air bags.       Children at least one year old and between twenty pounds and forty pounds in weight shall be restrained in a forward-facing position.

(E)       If the foster child is less than eight years of age and less than four feet nine inches in height, the child shall be properly restrained in a booster seat if paragraph (D) of this rule does not apply. The booster seat shall be placed in the back of any motor vehicle that has a back seat.

(F)  If paragraph (D) of this rule does not apply and When the foster child is at least four eight years old of age but not older than fifteen years of age and forty pounds in weight and less than eighty pounds or shorter than four feet, nine inches in height, the child shall be restrained in a belt positioning booster seat in a forward-facing position or in a seat belt including both a lap belt and a shoulder belt in vehicles that are so equipped. The booster seat shall be placed in the back seat of any motor vehicle that has a back seat.

(G)  All children age twelve and under shall ride in the back seat of a motor vehicle that has a back seat and shall not ride in the front seat of the vehicle unless the vehicle does not have a back seat. If a foster child rides in the front seat of a vehicle as allowed by this rule, the foster caregiver must disable the passenger side airbag if the vehicle is so equipped.

(H)       Paragraphs (C), (D), (E), and (F) of this rule do not apply to the foster caregiver who has a signed affidavit by a licensed physician in Ohio or a licensed chiropractor in Ohio. The affidavit shall state that the child who otherwise would be required to be restrained, has a physical impairment that makes use of a child restraint system, booster seat, or an occupant restraining device impossible or impractical, provided the person operating the vehicle has safely and appropriately restrained the child in accordance with any recommendation of the physician or chiropractor as noted on the affidavit.

All of us at Agape appreciate your efforts to help keep children safe and want to say thanks for all you do.

Bruce

 

“Celebrating the Past” – Steve Geib featured in the September/October 2012 Newsletter

During these past few months we have had much to be thankful for here at Agape for Youth, Inc.!  As I have shared, the past few years have been quite challenging to non-profits, and Agape has been no exception.  We have come together as a team, met these challenges head on, and weathered these storms of the past years.

Our ship is upright and sailing!! We have added new staff, we continue to be given opportunities to serve youth and families, continue to build our Youth Council, and most recently have established one of the strongest leadership team of administrators in our history.

Agape staff and foster families remain second to none!!  They are focused, centered, and driven to “serve with excellence”!  Together, we have embraced the principles of Strength Finders, and as an administration we are growing together in the Strength Based Leadership model of this initiative.

Agape continues to be blessed with opportunities such as having been named the local charity for the ClubCorp annual event held at the Dayton Racquet Club, along with receiving grants through the Dayton Rotary Foundation, and the Care Source Foundation.  Earlier this year, we were selected as the charity for the Back to Health Center 5k Run, and also continue to be the recipient of the semi-annual food drive sponsored by Dr. Van Merkle at Back to Health that has benefited our reunification families.

The generosity of our Sponsors has been overwhelming to say the least!  Thanks go out to Anthem, Vectren, Horan and Associates, WesBanco, Matt Scarr, PNC, SouthBrook Church, and Key-Ads for their continued generosity and financial support.

“Agape Strong” and Strength Finders 2.0, both initiatives being the mindset of Dr. Pam Gulley, our Development Coordinator here at Agape, are becoming a cornerstone to the future foundation of Agape.

I have had the pleasure of knowing and working alongside Dr. Gulley for over 10 years.  Dr. Pam has served as a trainer, consultant, advisor, and those who know her, “an entertainer” always leaving us laughing and uplifted, at Agape. She has also become a close friend to me, and to my family.  It is with mixed emotions that I announce Dr. Gulley’s retirement as the Development Coordinator with Agape.  Dr. Pam’s home base is Columbus, and her private practice has grown to a place that it requires her full attention.  Please know Dr. Pam, while absent from the day to day operations of Agape, will not be gone totally from Agape.  Look for a return and very special engagement next year.

This past week, as Dr. Pam gathered her belongings on her final day, we reflected on some great memories she has had here at Agape.  Once again, she moved me to tears.  Not tears of sorrow, tears of joy, (actually from the laughter) that we have been so very blessed to know and work with this wonderful professional.  Never one to say good-bye, (neither am I), she departed saying “see you soon”

It’s a good day here at Agape, and in the spirit of Dr. Pam, “see you soon”.

Steve

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