Jefferson County held a second national reunification day event on June 15, 2011 at the Midwest Church of Christ. Judge Richard FitzGerald was the guest speaker.
June 23, 2010 was Jefferson County’s first National Reunification Day Celebration. There was a bar-b-que, games for children and door prizes for parents.
Jefferson County Parent Advocates have celebrated reunification by having a picnic since 2009; however, 2010 was the first time it was held in conjunction with nationwide efforts to commend the work of families, social workers, court personnel, mental health experts and others involved in bringing children and parents back together. The gathering was hosted by The Department for Community Based Services, Cabinet for Families and Children.
June 23rd was the day Jefferson County held its 1st National Reunification day. The NRD was a great success with the hard planning of the committee. 125 participants showed up to George Rogers Clark Park to show their support. Of those 125 people, 25 were parents and over 40 kids were present. The parents and kids were able to enjoy music from a DJ, fresh smoked Bar-B-Q and door prizes. Volunteers from the Head start Fatherhood Initiative provided fun and games for the kids. Parents were able to receive information from vendors such as : LCCC, Early Childhood Development, 2 not 1, Dept Comm. Based Services, Neighborhood Place, Health Dept, Preston Chiropractor, FIND, KY Spin, Habitat for Humanity and Legal Aid Society.
We had a very full agenda. Jackie Stamps, Service Region Administrators opened up the event with the Welcome; LaRonda Davis (Parent Advocate Coordinator) did the introductions. Regina Cook with the Mayor’s Office provided a Proclamation for the event. We had several guest speakers beginning with a Birth parent who had been reunified with his son. We also heard from a Foster father who stressed the importance of working with birth parents toward reunification. An ongoing social worker gave her testimony of the importance of working to help families reunify. Words of encouragement came from Honorable Judge Jerry Bowles and Honorable Jude Sadiqua Reynolds provided us with a closing. We were so fortunate to be able to give away some great doors prizes (all donated) to our participants.
This event would not have been a success without the great teamwork from the workgroup which consisted of family court personnel, parent advocates, social workers, AOC, CAA, R&C, P&P and funding from the parent advocate program.
The event also caught the attention of local news media. WHAS 11 and Fox 41 showed segments of the event on the following day morning news.