(New Philadelphia, Ohio) – Tuscarawas County Job & Family Services is offering an in-depth look at the agency through an ongoing series with Newsymom.com.
This week’s focus is on Children Services. Officials at JFS say time and time again that they believe the best place for a child is with his or her family as long as the child is safe. However, the agency is committed to taking swift action in the instance a child is not safe.
“We help families become strong by providing services and working with parents,” officials explain in an online report via the JFS website. “The police have a different job. They investigate possible crimes against children, gather evidence, make arrests, and work with the court to deal with criminals.”
The Children’s Services department within JFS notes a prioritized effort to keep your personal information private. “Sometimes we must talk to other people who know your child,” they explain in the published report. “When we do this, we do our best to respect your privacy and reputation. Unless a court gives us permission, or there is an emergency involving your child, we cannot enter your home without permission. You have the right to talk to a lawyer at any time during the assessment or after it is done.”
When a Report is Made to Children Services
Children’s Services visits begin when someone makes a report. A report to Children Services can be made by anyone who thinks a child is not safe.
There is an Assessment
A Children Services caseworker must then look into what happened to determine if the report is true. Officials also work to find out if the child is safe.
What Officials Look For
Children Services officials look for the following to determine if the child has been harmed or is in danger or whether the child is hurt, physically, sexually, or emotionally:
- Serious injuries, such as those needing a doctor’s care.
- Punching, beating, hitting or burning a child.
- Breaking bones, cutting or bruising a child.
- Making a child feel afraid.
- Sexual contact with a child (or letting others have sexual contact with a child).
- Violence between household members in the presence of a child.
- No adult supervision or protection such as the child being left home alone.
- Alcohol or drug use in the home.
- Unsafe housing
- No medical care, school, or food.
- A temporary emergency keeping you from caring for your child.
JFS officials encourage parents to seek resources and services available to help their families. “We know parenting is hard work,” officials explain in the public report. “Every family has strengths and challenges. Our goal is to help build on your family’s strengths and provide services to help you meet the challenges.” Families are welcome to tell their caseworker about any service or program they feel will help themselves of their family:
- Parenting classes
- Counseling for parents ad/or children
- Help for a drug or alcohol problem
- Help with housing and food
- Medical care
- Job skills and training
- Help for domestic violence
More information, including access to the full report, can be found here.