Investigations and Assessments
Children’s Protective Services receives and investigates reports of alleged child abuse and neglect in Hancock County. Child Welfare Workers investigate the report by conducting interviews and gathering information about the report in order to determine the safety of the child and the degree of intervention necessary. Investigators also respond to reports of dependent children and families needing services. Upon completion of the investigation, the case worker will recommend services for the child and family which will help keep the child safe, reduce the risk of further abuse or neglect, and keep the family together whenever possible. The Investigators work closely with Law Enforcement and The Center for Safe in Healthy Children in conducting investigations.
When high risk factors of child abuse, neglect, or dependency are identified, a Case Worker can be assigned to work with the family in the home on an ongoing basis. Protective services can be voluntary or court ordered.
Child Protective Services
The primary focus of protective services is safety for the child. To meet this objective, the emphasis is on improving parenting skills, mental health and substance abuse counseling, domestic violence services, child development, and basic living skills such as housing, finances, and transportation.
When abuse, neglect, or dependency is severe, legal intervention may be required to keep children safe. Hancock County Juvenile Court decides matters of child abuse, neglect, and dependency.
When it has been determined by the court that a child is not safe remaining in the home, the Court temporarily places the child into the custody of the agency.
If there is a suitable relative to care for the child, a home study is conducted on the home of a relative and a recommendation is made to the Court. Services are offered to the relative to help the child adjust and to maintain the placement.
Agency Substitute care services protect children who are at risk of imminent harm. Substitute Care occurs when the child cannot remain safely in the home and a suitable relative to care for the child cannot be located. Most children in the care of the agency are placed in licensed foster homes. If a child has severe emotional or behavioral needs, a group home or residential treatment center may be needed.
Foster Care and Adoption
Foster Homes are needed to provide temporary care for children who are unable to live in their own home.
Adoptive Homes are needed to provide a permanent home for children who cannot return to their birth home and are placed into the permanent custody of a child protective agency.
Hancock County Children Protective Services licenses foster homes and approves adoptive homes for families wishing to foster and adopt through Hancock County Job and Family Services.
The agency strives to keep children who are temporarily removed from their home in the county so the children are able to maintain relationships in the community and school when applicable. The agency also wants to keep siblings together.
Currently, Children’s Protective Services is in need of foster homes for infants and young children who have been prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol.
Adult Protective Services
ODJFS is pleased to announce the new online referral portal for reporting adult abuse, neglect, or exploitation is now available. ODJFS will have a 24-hour online portal to report adult abuse, neglect and exploitation in Ohio that is not an emergency. The link to the online portal is https://aps.jfs.ohio.gov/
Adult Protective Services receives and investigates allegations of Elder Abuse, Neglect, Self-Neglect and Exploitation. The Adult Protective Case Worker also provides supportive services, provides families with information and resources, advocates for the client, collaborates with caregivers and/or other professionals in developing & implementing safety plans or plans to improve the home/family situation, and works with law enforcement & legal system regarding legal issues related to the elderly.
When an investigation is complete, On-going services may be offered if concerns have been identified.
If necessary, the Agency may file in Probate Court for a *Emergency Protective Services Order or to request the elderly adult be evaluated for a legal guardian.
*Protective Services: Means an adult known or suspected to be suffering from abuse, neglect, or exploitation to an extent that either life is endangered or physical harm, mental anguish, or mental illness results or is likely to result.
Protective services may include, but are not limited to, case work services, medical care, mental health services, legal services, fiscal management, home health care, housing-related services, guardianship services, and placement services as well as the provision of such commodities as food, clothing, and shelter.
Under the Ohio Revised Code an Adult is:
Any person (60) sixty years of age or older: who resides in an independent living arrangement; and meets one of the criteria below:
- within this county who is handicapped by the infirmities of aging, or
- who has a physical or mental impairment which prevents the person from providing for the person’s own care or protection
Many elderly adults are abused in their own homes, in relatives’ homes, and even in facilities responsible for their care. If you suspect that an elderly person is at risk from a neglectful or overwhelmed caregiver, or being preyed upon financially, it’s important to speak up. Learn to recognize the warning signs of elder abuse, what the risk factors are, and what you can do to prevent and report the problem.
Adult Protective Services can be reached directly at 419-429-8067