Greetings Friends:

During the past few months, I have referred to the following quote regularly, “It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.” With this in mind, I have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of sunny and light filled days and am thankful that summer is finally, here. 

The pandemic gave us the opportunity to reevaluate how we provide our services to the community in a safe and effective manner. Over the past few years, we, along with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, have been working to make our services easily accessible via phone, email, and internet without requiring face to face contact at the agency. With this strong virtual service foundation in place, we were able to easily shift to providing our services through teleworking arrangements for almost all of our staff. Throughout these challenging and uncertain times, the JFS team has been patient, flexible, and most importantly attentive to meeting the needs of our customers. I cannot thank or praise them enough! 

As we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic and adjust how we provide the best service possible, please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions or concerns. Our customers and community partners are at the forefront of our minds when adjusting our service approach to meet the social distancing and safety precautions that are currently in place.

In this edition of our newsletter, you will notice that the JFS staff participated in two drive-in and drop-off food drives that benefitted the Salvation Army, we celebrated Foster Care Awareness Month, are looking forward to receiving your Wear Purple pictures for Elder Abuse Awareness, information on SNAP benefits due to school closures, and lastly, how we are opening up the OhioMeansJobs Center to provide job search assistance.

Take care and stay safe,
FCJFS Food Drive Held in May
Our Drive In & Drop Off Food Drives, held during the months of April and May, made it possible to donate multiple vans full of items to our local Salvation Army.
May is Foster Parent Appreciation Month
Since 1988, May has been recognized nationally as National Foster Parent Month, acknowledging and offering gratitude for the efforts of foster parents across the country to provide care for children in times of need. Currently, Fairfield County Protective Services has 35 licensed foster homes and, on May 5, the Fairfield County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution recognizing May as Foster Parent Appreciation Month.

The foster homes licensed by Fairfield County range in experience from a few months all the way up to four decades of fostering, but each home shares one common characteristic – the strong desire to help children and families. Unfortunately, there are times when children can’t be in a home with their birth parents or custodians, and in those situations it’s foster parents who step forward to provide care, provide consistency, and offer nurturing homes. They also assist and mentor birth parents to help ensure children have an opportunity to return to their families, in a safer, healthier environment.

There’s always a need for more foster parents. Protective Services is constantly working to get new foster families licensed and in position to take placements. If you’re interested in becoming a foster parent, you can reach out via phone at (740) 652-7887 and ask to speak to a foster care caseworker or you can visit to get more information on what it takes to become a foster parent.
Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT)
June is Elder Abuse Awareness Month
Fairfield County Adult Protective Services is excited to invite community members to help us promote Elder Abuse Awareness by wearing purple on June 15, which is recognized nationally as Elder Abuse Awareness Day. Each year, Fairfield County Protective Services and JFS staff celebrate by donning their favorite purple outfits and sharing on social media.

We encourage each of you and your organizations to show your support for elders in our community by sending a photo to

If you have concerns about an older adult age 60 and over, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our dedicated staff to report your concerns. During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a decrease in calls of concern. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to take your concerns. Please call 740-652-7887.
COVID-19 Pandemic Assistance
During March, Fairfield County Job and Family Services assisted Fairfield County residents who were directly affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Limited Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, (TANF) funding supported this disaster services program. Income eligible families with children in the home were able to receive assistance based on losing income or increased household expenses. 

The agency issued $101,008 in rental assistance and $112,166 in utility assistance. In addition, $94,431 in Walmart vouchers were issued to assist families with food, hygiene, cleaning products and toiletries. All vouchers were issued to either Walmart Lancaster or Walmart Canal Winchester based on the customer’s choice. Special thanks to Walmart for partnering with us for this service.
New Ways to Provide Services Amid Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted services in every sector around the world. At FCJFS, the vast majority of services are being provided via telephone, email and other virtual means. A couple of exceptions to that can be found in the Child Support and Workforce Development departments.

Child Support has continued to accept cash payments from non-custodial parents without interruption. Prior to the Stay at Home Order, Child Support accepted in-person payments in the office but with the office closing to the public on March 18, other arrangements had to be made. The very next morning, the Child Support Cashier had been relocated to the Drive-Thru Payment Center located at 135 W. Chestnut St. in Lancaster. In addition to accepting payments at this location, Child Support is also doing genetic testing for customers who need to establish paternity. This testing is done under the supervision of a Laboratory Technician who instructs the customers on collecting the samples while remaining in their car.

Workforce Development reopened the Ohio Means Jobs (OMJ) Center on June 1. The OMJ Center is open on a limited basis for customers who are actively seeking employment or need to file unemployment AND do not have access to a computer and/or internet. There is a limit of 10 customers in the OMJ Center and social distancing and other recommended workplace safety standards are followed at all times.

JFS will continue to provide most services without the need for customers to visit the building but when exceptions are necessary, creative and safe solutions will be implemented.