The Sandusky County Department of Job and Family Services along with the eight counties listed below implemented a call center know as COLLABOR8. These nine (9) JFS Departments share a telephone and imaging system between counties to service public assistance consumers.
A Sandusky County Grand Jury recently indicted Fremont resident, Kelly Provonsha, on charges of tampering with records and grand theft.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What should I do if I have concerns regarding a child being abused or neglected?
You can contact Children Services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (419) 334-8708. You will be asked several questions regarding the family and your concerns. This information will be used by the agency to help us determine our next course of action.
Why are children removed from their own homes?
When children are removed from their homes, it is due to serious concerns of child abuse and/or neglect. Many times this abuse or neglect is a result of substance abuse, marital problems, the mental or physical illness of the parent, lack of parenting skills or abandonment. The decision to remove a child is never easy and always one of last resort. However, if a child's home environment is one in which they cannot be safe and no service can be offered to eliminate the concerns, the agency will remove the child at least temporarily.
How does the agency get custody of a child?
Anytime the agency decides they must remove a child for safety reasons, Juvenile Court is contacted in order to obtain an order for emergency temporary custody. The Court then holds a series of hearings to determine if the agency should continue to have temporary custody and what needs to be done in order for the child to be returned home. Ultimately, the judge makes the final decision regarding the agency having custody of a child and how long the child should be out of their home.
Once a child is removed from their home, where do they live?
The agency will always look for the least restrictive setting for a child that must be removed from their home. The first choice is always a relative. However, if there are no appropriate relatives available, the child will be placed in a foster home. Some homes are within Sandusky County while others are farther away. If a child has serious behavior issues, the agency may need to place them in more a more restrictive setting (group home, residential center).
Do children who are removed get to visit their families?
The agency will offer visitation to families any time a child is removed from their home. The worker assigned to the case will do their best to make the days and times convenient for the family members. Visits may occur at the agency, The Village House, or at other agency approved locations depending on the specific circumstances of that case.
Do children who are removed ever get to go back home?
Yes, once sufficient progress is made by the family in reducing risk to the child. Reunification is almost always the initial goal on any case where the child has been removed. The agency works very hard with the family in order to help them make the progress necessary so the child may return home. However, in circumstances where sufficient progress is not made and therefore, the child would not be safe, the child will be removed permanently.
Does the agency work with any families who still have their children living in the home?
Yes. In fact, it is our hope that we can keep families together by offering services to help with any problems so that the child never has to be removed. Some cases are done on a voluntary basis while others involve services being ordered by Juvenile Court.
What kind of services does the agency offer to families?
The services that the agency will offer to any family depend on the needs of that particular family. Some common services that are offered include: parenting classes, therapeutic counseling, case management, intensive in-home services, and substance abuse assessment and treatment.
Do I have to give my name when I call to make a report?
The agency will accept anonymous reports. However, we strongly encourage you to give your name and phone number. This will assist us if we should need any more information from you regarding the family. Also, your name will not be released under any circumstances, unless you are needed to testify in a future court action.
How do I know if my concerns warrant calling Children Services?
This is one of the most difficult questions to answer. Very simply, if you feel that a child's safety or well being is at risk, you should call. Even if the agency determines that there is no need to investigate, information can be provided to the family that may address your concerns.
What can I do to help prevent child abuse and neglect?
Each person in the community can play a role in helping to prevent child abuse and neglect. If you have children of your own, make an effort to spend more "quality time" with them, eat meals together whenever possible and most of all, act out of love and not anger. Things that can be done outside of the home include volunteering at community programs that involve children and families, sponsoring a child abuse prevention program at a school or your place of employment, asking your local recreation center or library to offer materials to families on parenting issues, asking your church to sponsor activities that create positive family experiences or helping to plan a presentation to church members or at your place of work on child abuse and neglect prevention. The important thing to remember is that prevention of child abuse and neglect is possible only if the whole community is involved. For more information and ideas check out our Child Abuse Prevention Section.