How Do You Like Your JFS News?

Did you know we do weekly podcasts with news about what is going on at Hamilton County’s Job and Family Services Department? You can listen to them here: http://www.hcjfs.hamilton-co.org/Video/podcastplayer.htm

You can access them each week at the top right corner of our home page, www.hcjfs.org.

This is just one of the ways we bring you news from JFS. You can certainly get updates at our website, but we also send news out via Facebook, Twitter, our Youtube page, a RSS feed located on our home page and a newsletter called Update.

If you are interested in what is happening at our agency, please visit our website to learn more about how to keep in touch.

New Way to Help Children and Families

Today, I attended my first meeting with the Ohio Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Children, Families and the Court. The committee offers recommendations to the Court administrative staff on necessary reforms in all areas of child and family law. The Committee reviews and makes recommendations on such topics as domestic violence, guardians ad litem, domestic relations and juvenile matters.

I feel honored to have been chosen to the committee. This says a lot about the work Hamilton County is doing in serving families and children, both through its child welfare system and its juvenile court system. We have long had a great working relationship.

I will keep you updated on the committee’s progress.

Do Ask, Do Tell Us About Child Abuse

We are launching a new awareness campaign today about reporting child abuse. The campaigned is aimed at mandated reporters — police officers, teachers, child care workers, etc. — and encourages them to look for the more subtle signs of child abuse and report them to our agency.

The “Do Ask, Do Tell” is a play off a phrase well-known in society. The goal is to get someone to ask themselves if there could be some concerns about the child and to call us if they have those concerns.

Our website, www.doaskdotellus.com, details the signs of abuse and neglect and also contains the 30-second public service announcement now airing on television. We also have a 5-minute instructional video geared toward the mandated reporters.

Please check it out and let us know what you think. And, of course, if you know of any children who might be victims of abuse, call our hotline at 241-KIDS (5437). Do Ask, Do Tell!

Tips for Public Assistance Recipients

If you are a public assistance recipient, you have surely noticed our processing times increase. I want to stress again we are doing our best to help everyone as quickly as possible.

To help the process go smoothly, here are some tips:

— Wait for our call. We could take a couple of hours or even a day or two from your appointed time to call you, but we will call you. Please do not come downtown. We are handling this type of business over the phone now.

— Apply online. Here’s a link: https://odjfsbenefits.ohio.gov/SelfServiceSplash.jsf You can also determine eligibility and report case changes there.

— Use our Online Service Center. There are many forms located in the service center that can make it easier to do business with us. Here’s a link: http://www.hcjfs.hamilton-co.org/OnlineServiceCenter0906.htm

— Use the public libaries to fax verification documents. This saves you a trip downtown to a packed lobby where you will have to pay for parking and stand in line. We are no longer receipting or coyping documents downtown. You can get a receipt from your local libray when you fax the information.

— Give us 30 days. We are taking up to 30 days to process cases. Please do not call and ask about the status of your case until the 30 days are up.

We are making changes and improving. We will continue to do our best to serve you in a timely manner.

Most Wanted Turns Himself In

Our Most Wanted Child Support poster had only been out in the community for a few days when one of the parents depicted on it turned himself in! Now that is success!

You can read more about the poster here. If you want to see it, click here.

The nine parents on the poster owe nearly half a million dollars to 18 different children. The posters are a last resort for us. These are usually parents who have made no attempt to pay support and have tried to hide from us.

It is crucial children receive the financial support they need to lead healthy, happy children. Our agency is assigned the task of collecting the support. We do not determine custody or visitation issues, we are only tasked with ensuring the support is paid. We do not take sides on this issue. We are on the side of the children.

If you know the whereabouts of anyone on the poster, please call the Hamilton County Sheriff at 946-5350.