Local resource expo will have more than 80 local organizations

Community invited to get free information bags, directories at event at Fairfield H.S.

Area families, community volunteers, and professionals will receive resource bags and gain more information about where to access local services during the Butler County Family & Children First Council’s 10th Annual Resource Expo.

“It can be a challenging task to learn the ever-changing programs and resources in the community. By connecting our helping community and families with the resources available, we hope to strengthen their knowledge and simplify the process to improve outcomes for families in need,” said Beth Race, executive director of The Butler County Family and Children First Council.

The Butler County Social Services Resource Expo will highlight the available resources from more than 80 faith-based, government, health and non-profit organizations. The event will be in the cafeteria at Fairfield High School on Friday and it is open to the public. Resource bags and printed directories will be available to 300 visitors on a first-come, first-served basis.

Hosted by the Butler County Family & Children First Council, the event is designed to be a “one-stop” resource fair for community members and social service professionals. Attendees will have a chance to network, visit booths, pick up brochures, learn about different programs, and talk about the available resources in the community.

“The Council has been holding the event for 10 years, and it started as ‘help for the helpers,’ so it’s an opportunity for different non-profit agencies, and the youth-serving government agencies, to get together and learn more about what programs and resources are out there, and to network. The event has really grown,” Race said.

This year, there have been new workers join social service organizations as well as staffing shortages, Race said. The event is beneficial for new staff members, and it also deepens the relationships between agencies.

“We trying to get people connected to where the go-to resources are in the community,” said Race.

Butler County Children Services, Butler County Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio Means Jobs, Supports to Encourage Low-Income Families (SELF), Pause for Parents, and Play for Kids are among the participating organizations.

“There was a cool story that happened three years ago, and it’s still happening. Shared Harvest was able to connect with the Juvenile Justice Center. They were able to help package some bags, and as kids are leaving custody, they’re able to get backpacks. That just happened from a casual conversation between two professionals that connected at the event,” Race said.

In addition to the annual Social Services Resource Expo, the Butler County Family & Children First Council sends out a free, bi-monthly resource e-newsletter, provides free and low-cost trainings, convenes the cross-systems committee and hosts the No Wrong Door Initiative to raise on-going awareness about the community resources and programs that are available for youth and families.

“We are pretty resource-rich in Butler County, so I’m just happy to get everybody under one roof, and connecting,” said Race. “The organizations are able to share the valuable information that they have,” Race said.

Typically, more than 250 attendees turnout for the Resource Expo. A drive-through event was conducted in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The event returned as an in-person, masked event in 2021.

“Being able to meet someone, get a card, and make that phone call connection, when you’re trying to find that most needed service for a family is so valuable,” Race said.

The Butler County Family and Children First Council is a group of 55 youth-serving government agencies, non-profits and family-member representatives, who gather five times a year to look at the gaps and needs, and to strengthen services for youth and families.

How to go

What: Butler County Social Services Resource Expo

When: 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday

Where: Fairfield High School, 8800 Holden Blvd.

Admission: Free. Swag bags and resource directories available to the first 300 participants.

More info: Contact Beth Race at beth.race@bcesc.org or (513) 887-5534.

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