Hello Friends,

Coming into the Summer months, I am thankful we have removed signs from our doors and transitioned to a more normal way of life – Fairfield Forward. I can’t thank our staff enough for their dedication to JFS and their co-workers this past year. During the past couple months, we have not only transitioned staff back to the office from teleworking, but also had several changes in leadership. I am truly honored to have been appointed JFS Director and intend to carry on our rich tradition of exceptional customer service and strong community partnerships. Patrick Welsh, formerly Child Support Operations Manager, was promoted to Deputy Director of Child Support. Levi George was also promoted to IT Manager following Dan Neeley’s promotion to County IT Director. I look forward to working with them both as part of our senior leadership team. 

I also want to take this time to thank former JFS Director Aundrea Cordle for her leadership and guidance in navigating our agency through the pandemic. We could not have been in better hands during such an unprecedented time. In her new role as Deputy County Administrator, we will continue to benefit from her experience and leadership in developing new and innovative plans for our community.

Speaking of plans, JFS recently began the process of developing a new Strategic Plan that will guide our agency through the next 3 years. In the next month, we will be reaching out to our community partners and stakeholders to ask for feedback on our performance and how we can best serve our community in the future. Your feedback will be a vital part of determining our direction and shaping our goals for the next 3 years.

I hope you all enjoy your Summer and please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or suggestions you may have.

Corey Clark
Fairfield County Job and Family Services Director
Join us for a VIRTUAL Worldwide Elder Abuse Awareness Day Event

06/15/21 8:30am - 06/15/21 9:30am

Join our event on June 15 by clicking here: https://bit.ly/3hkzwIS
I'll be there!
I can't make it
Each year, Protective Services looks forward to recognizing June 15 as Worldwide Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD). This year, Protective Services will celebrate this day by hosting a virtual training and recognition event. In collaboration with community partners, Job & Family Services APS staff will provide a presentation on the exploitation of elders within Fairfield County. The goal of the presentation will be to offer a local perspective regarding trends and statistics and how each community stakeholder responds to the challenges of this ever increasing concern. Elder exploitation continues to be on the rise both locally and nationally. In fact, in 2020, 31% of all concerns reported to Fairfield County Protective Services-APS were regarding elder exploitation. This event will also include the announcement for the first annual Partner in Supporting Seniors Award winner while also paying tribute to essential workers serving the elderly throughout Fairfield County.

Protective Services welcomes all members of the Fairfield County community to WEAR PURPLE on June 15 to help raise awareness about elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Stakeholders and community members can forward pictures wearpurple@fcjfs.org. The photos will be posted to our social media sites. 

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 at 740-652-7887. Concerns can also be reported through the statewide portal, launched last year, at https://aps.jfs.ohio.gov/.

We hope everyone can join us virtually on Tuesday, June 15 at 8:30 to take part in our Worldwide Elder Abuse Awareness Day event.
Summer Youth Employment Program Makes a Difference
Fairfield County Job and Family Services will be administering the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Summer Youth Employment Program this summer for Fairfield County TANF-eligible individuals who are 14-18 years of age enrolled in secondary school. The program will operate May through September 30, 2021. Participants will be placed at contracted job sites with the focus of providing job readiness and work experiences with education, employment, and training supports. If you know someone who may be interested in participating in the program, please refer them to Gina Knight at 740-652-7675.
2021 Foster Parent Appreciation Month - CELEBRATE WITH US!
Called upon in times of great need, foster families step forward to provide a safe home for children who are often facing moments of great trauma and fear. Those same foster families partner with child welfare professionals to meet the needs of those children to ensure their well-being is being addressed. All the while, foster families work to either support a child eventually returning home or finding some alternative permanency outcome.

Fairfield County Protective Service’s foster families work to accept placements of children of all age ranges and various levels of need. Often, placements are made emergently, with the families having only a short time to prepare, but they still accept those youths into their homes with open arms. At the same time, those same foster families begin working to partner with birth parents and other family members to be part of the process for children to eventually return safely home.

The Fairfield County Board of Commissioners passed a resolution officially recognizing May as Foster Care and Adoption Recognition & Recruitment Month, with Governor DeWine doing the same at the state level and President Biden doing so nationally. Beyond our 39 current foster families, there is always a need for more homes able to take placement of youths with a variety of needs. If you’ve ever been interested in fostering or would simply like more information about the process, please visit https://fcjfs.org/services/kinship_foster_adoption or reach out at (740) 652-7887 and ask to speak with a foster care caseworker.
CSEA Update
While addressing the Covid-19 pandemic has been a primary legislative focus throughout the past year, there is a very substantive piece of legislation related to Ohio’s Child Support Program presently pending. Ohio House Bill 83, introduced by Representatives Allison Russo and Susan Manchester, passed unanimously out of the Families, Aging, and Human Services Committee on May 18, 2021, and will likely be subject to a vote on the House floor in the coming weeks. Ohio House Bill 83 aims to create a consistent process enabling caretakers to receive child support services, regardless of county, and will allow that support to reach the home where the child is residing. This bill is a culmination of many years of discussion and work as we have watched our caretaker caseloads grow across Ohio. Unfortunately, the opioid and mental health epidemics continue to further this increase in caretaker case volume.

Presently, some child support enforcement agencies can legally provide services to caretakers with only physical custody of a child, while others cannot. Fairfield County, due its Appellate District placement and resulting case law, is one of many that cannot provide child support services to non-legal custodian caretakers absent the caretaker’s receipt of public assistance benefits (Ohio Works First) on behalf of the child or the involvement of Protective Services. As a result, many parents in these scenarios have not been required to provide support to the very person that is caring for their children, sometimes for years. These caretakers are often on a fixed or limited income and child support could be a great resource to their households and the children for whom they provide care.