WILMINGTON — Last year 132 different children were placed in foster care, with most of the children having a drug component related to their custody case, according to the Clinton County Job & Family Services’ (JFS) 2019 annual report.
Clinton County JFS Director Kathi Spirk and Deputy Director Nicole Rodman, along with other members of the public agency’s leadership team, updated Clinton County commissioners this week about the organization and its work. JFS, which has almost 70 employees, includes four departments: family services/public assistance, Child Protection Unit, Child Support, and OhioMeansJobs.
While the drug scourge has continued to put a strain on those who provide child protective services and of course the impacted children themselves, Clinton County is fortunate “the community embraced the cause of the children in the county” in November 2018 with the approval of a new five-year tax levy, stated the annual report presented to commissioners and the media.
A prior child protection levy is in effect through 2024, with the newer one expiring in 2023.
“It will be important over the next five years to monitor levy revenue to determine what future ongoing needs will be for the care of children and mandated services and staffing for child protection,” the report added.
The county also is blessed to have about 33 local foster families who open their homes to local abused or neglected children, the report reads.
“In 2020 foster home recruitment continues to be an ongoing priority,” the report said.
The Ohio START (Sobriety, Treatment, And Reducing Trauma) program has been important to local children and families who JFS works with. START has enabled Clinton County caseworkers to provide more intensive services to those affected by the drug crisis, the report indicated.
Clinton was one of 17 southern or central Ohio counties included in the START pilot, which was launched in spring 2017.
And as part of OhioMeansJobs, Clinton County JFS received a workforce opiate grant to fund a child protection case aide position for 2020.
Reach Gary Huffenberger at 937-556-5768.