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Butler County Children Services holds job fair

BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (Larry Davis) -- The lives of almost 500 children were directly affected by people who work for Butler County Children Services.
These included children who were pulled from their troubled homes and placed in foster care.  August 12 the county made a move that it said was a precaution to protect the children. 

Some 100 social workers with Butler County Children Services may walk off the job Monday.  This was an agency that was trying to make changes in the wake of well documented problems, most notably the death of foster child Marcus Feizel.
With the prospect of a strike the county hired people to fill the void.  It was a packed house inside the Ohio Means Jobs office in Fairfield Tuesday.  They were waiting to fill out applications for 20 permanent and 40 temporary positions with Butler County Children Services.  Michael Clark thought his background in nursing and law enforcement made him a good candidate.

"Really, it's about making people feel safe and comfortable.  And sometimes they answer the same questions over and over but you want people to feel safe.  You have to have a true compassion for what you do," said Clark.

The job fair came just days before social workers with children services have threatened to walk off the job.  Pay and increased work loads are the big beefs.  The union said it asked the agency to fill vacant positions the past two years, now with a threatened strike the agency held a job fair.

"It's just ironic that they're going to recruit employees at this time.  But we're happy, we'll welcome employees that come in.  Hopefully we'll be here," said Rebecca Palmer, union president.

County officials said it was a win-win if a strike can be averted and they can still hire more workers from this job fair.

"So if we can hire these and bring them in and get them trained at the same time there's not a strike-it's what I hope happens.  We'll be in good shape," county administrator Charlie Young said.

Those applying hope they can land one of the jobs whether it's permanent or temporary.  If the strike is averted, some of the people interviewed could still be hired as social service workers, family resource specialists and administrative assistants.
Butler County Children Services said it loses about 25 employees a year due to retirements and people leaving for other jobs.

Follow Larry Davis on Twitter @larrydaviswkrc and LIKE him on Facebook




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