Judge Carey speaks to Six and Twenty

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The Six and Twenty Book Club meeting on October 7 was held at the First Christian Church’s community room.

Mrs. Faye Mahaffey was the host and program leader for the day. The book she is circulating this year, “Saving Jemima: Life and Love with a Hard-luck Jay”, was written and illustrated by Julie Zickefoose, a biologist, writer, artist and wildlife rehabilitator.

When Jemima, an orphaned blue jay, is brought to Julie she is starved and very sick. Julie’s constant care brings her around and she soon takes over the house and the rest of the author’s summer.

Julie lives in a remote area in Appalachian Ohio on an 80-acre wildlife sanctuary. She writes a daily blog about her adventures and is active on Facebook. Julie’s big concern for Jemima was that she wouldn’t forget how to be a “wild” blue jay as she grew up.

This inspiring story was the springboard to the rest of the day’s program.

Mrs. Mahaffey invited guest Judge Chad L. Carey to speak about efforts that the Juvenile Court is making to provide diversion interventions for youth instead of their having a formal court record.

Judge Carey was excited to share information about a new project funded by a grant from the Ohio Department of Youth Services. The new Clinton County Resource Center whose goals are to provide diversion programming, such as educations and hands-on activity driven trainings, in lieu of a youth having to go through a formal court proceeding.

The Resource Center is a reactive program that is complaint driven rather than a prevention program, such as CCYC. Both programs are highly needed within a community to provide supports for our at-risk youth depending on need.

Not all complaints that are brought to the Resource Center staff are eligible for this program, and some may still need to attend a judicial hearing, leading to a formal court record. Youth will be assessed upon entering the program in order for staff to determine the appropriate intervention for youth and family. Some may be in need of mental health supports/interventions.

These concerns will be addressed by an on staff licensed therapist who will also assist families in enrolling into mental health support within our greater community. Some youth, both in diversion and on probation, will be eligible or found to be in need of pro-social and life skills building. The goal for the Resource Center is to assist youth in better preparing for life after adolescents and to provide them with the skills to make healthier choices for themselves and those around them.

The nonprofit “Friends of the Juvenile Court” accepts donations to help assist all programming within the Juvenile Court, including at-risk youth, probation, and the courts 4-H club Bacon & Bits. If you have any further questions regarding the Resource Center, please contact the Clinton County Juvenile Probation office. More information will be provided in the coming few months.

Mrs. Mahaffey had an autumn-themed table with pumpkins as its centerpiece. She offered members cookies decorated with a blue jay print made by Laney Cakes Bakery.

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