Apr 2, 2019

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Feb 5, 2018
*NEW* Child Care Change Report form now available on our website.
Oct 13, 2017
The Family and Individual Services Unit has been renamed Public Assistance in order to be more aligned with the services provided to the public
Aug 21, 2017

Kenynia Howard was indicted by a Sandusky County Grand Jury and pled guilty to theft and Medicaid eligibility fraud.           

Jul 22, 2015

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.

Nov 7, 2012
Child Support Web Portal Now Available

Guidelines for Supervision

of Children

In Ohio, a parent is legally responsible for the care and supervision of a child until the child is eighteen (or older if the child is incapacitated or has other special needs). Because each child is unique, it is hard to generalize about when supervision is and is not needed. We feel that good parental judgment includes knowing just how much independence your child is capable of handling safely.

There are no laws which specify how much supervision a child requires at a particular age. However, there are numerous laws which make parents responsible for the safety and protection of their child. It is our strong recommendation that parents be cautious about their child's supervision. If there is not certainty about a child's ability to function safely without supervision, then the parent should make sure that the child is supervised. Always consider situations that may be encountered by a child who is unsupervised:

  • The child may not be able to react appropriately when a crisis occurs such as a fire, a burglar, illness, poisoning, burning themselves while cooking, a drowning accident, getting badly cut, breaking a bone, having a serious fall, etc. A good question to ask yourself is whether your child can make split second decisions in an emergency.

  • Children (especially siblings) tend to quarrel and fight when not supervised and this can lead to trouble without parental or adult intervention.

  • Children at increasingly younger ages are becoming involved with alcohol and drugs and this is certainly more likely to happen when they are left unsupervised.

  • Children who are unsupervised are more likely to leave the house, wander around and get into trouble as they are bored and may feel unloved or unwanted.

  • Children left alone are more likely to leave with a parent who does not have custody, or a person they are "not supposed to hang around" with, or a kidnapper.

No matter what the age of the child, the parent is responsible for planning how the unsupervised child, or the child's sitter should react to emergencies.

The following recommendations are guidelines and may be too lenient for your child. It is our strong recommendation that it is not appropriate to consider them too strict for any child:

Ages 10 and under- need access to or direct supervision at all time.

The need for direct supervision increases with younger children.

Ages 11 - 12- probably do not need a sitter if the parent is gone for a short time (a few hours) occasionally, but would need supervision (preferably by an adult) if the parent is gone regularly or for long periods (such as working).

Age 13 and up- most do not necessarily need a sitter. However, some children may need supervision, especially if they have special needs. Parents must cautiously use their discretion and good judgment.

It is the agency's recommendation that no child be left unsupervised for extended amounts of time (i.e., overnight).

When your own child wants to babysit, it is important for you as a parent to participate in this decision. Is your child responsible enough to take care of other children? Can your child cope in a crisis? Will your child know what to do or who to call in an emergency? You should also know what kind of people your child will be sitting for and under what circumstances the activity will occur. Be sure your child is not exploited by the other parents. Do you and your child know where the parents will be and how they can be reached? Do you know when your child will be home? Do you know how to contact your child? Are you certain your child is not sitting for too many children who are too young or too old for your child's supervision?

When employing a babysitter, consider at least the following questions: Does the sitter use alcohol or drugs? Is the sitter alert and capable of paying attention to your child's needs? Will the sitter be too preoccupied with his own needs (watching T.V., talking on the phone, visiting with friends) to be attentive to your child? Will the sitter be mature and wise enough to handle the discipline of your child without using corporal punishment?

Any time you consider leaving your child alone or in someone else's care, it is a major decision. It is our hope that this information will be of assistance to you as you exercise sound parental judgment.