Introducing Craig Swenson


Craig Swenson

It is my privilege to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the newly appointed Executive Director of Geauga County Job and Family Services. It has been an amazing first four months here at GCJFS. With my experience as County Prosecutor for ten years and representing GCJFS for many of those, I thought I understood quite a bit about the agency; however, I now realize that what I knew was just the tip of the iceberg. I never could have imagined just how special a place GCJFS really is. The staff here passionately and tirelessly strives to serve our community in every way possible. The spirit of service is hard-wired into who we are and what we do and I am moved and inspired every single day I come to work.

The credit for hiring most of the staff currently at GCJFS goes to my long-time predecessor, Tim Taylor. I acknowledge that I have very big shoes to fill following the retirement of Mr. Taylor, but I take comfort in the fact that he left the agency operating at a very high level. I truly believe that GCJFS sets the gold-standard for how County Job and Family Services agencies should operate. With that being said, I also believe there is always room to improve and innovate. In 2015, it is my goal to re-brand the agency in the public eye. It’s time to move beyond GCJFS just being known as the “welfare department.” The public deserves to know the myriad of different services GCJFS offers on a daily basis and how they impact our community. Furthermore, there are some incredible stories that come out of our agency and many unsung heroes that are a part of those stories. Those stories need to be told.

Another goal of mine is to continue to pool community resources and increase efficiency amongst service providers in Geauga County. Our county has an abundance of resources and people who are willing to help our residents. There are countless programs, agencies, boards, committees, task forces, non-profits, churches, departments, etc., in the county that provide aid to those in need. I am looking to gather information about all of these service providers and build even stronger partnerships with each other so we can further streamline our services. We need to ensure that we are not duplicating any work or wasting any resources. Finally, we need to make sure that these services are easily accessible to the public and ready to deliver in a simple, but effective way.

With the spring quickly approaching I would like draw attention to the fact that April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and May is National Foster Care Month. It is nice to have some dedicated time for the entire nation to recognize the nearly 700,000 children who suffer from abuse each year as well as the nearly 400,000 children who are currently living in foster care. Our children services staff, along with our foster care providers, work around the clock to ensure that the needs of Geauga’s approximately 60 foster care children are being met. This is truly an awesome responsibility.

I am looking forward to the many successes and challenges that 2015 will bring. I invite you to visit our agency if you would like to learn more about what we are doing or how we are doing it. However, you too might get lost in the great joy and privilege of serving others!



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