SIDNEY – Steve Pulfer, who has more than 33 years of experience working at the Shelby County Department of Job & Family Services, was appointed director of the agency in August.
Pulfer became the Job & Family Services interim director on Aug. 3 following the retirement of Tom Bey then the Shelby County commissioners appointed him as the permanent director on Aug. 27. He’s excited to continue working with the staff at Job & Family Services and other agencies in the community to assist Shelby County residents and their families.
“It’s very rewarding when we’re able to assist people to get employment or help them reach their goals,” Pulfer said.
The Department of Job & Family Services serves Shelby County residents with employment and family services, financial and medical services, child support, and children services.
Last year the department served approximately 8,000 people on Medicaid and about 3,350 on food stamps. Close to 6,000 people went through the job center last year, and the agency handled more than 4,000 child support cases.
Job & Family Services has programs to get individuals into the workforce and create stable families, Pulfer said, which hopefully will help them and the community as a whole.
“It’s important for us to be able to assist somebody, to be able to help their families, so it doesn’t increase generational welfare, it reduces generational welfare,” he said.
Pulfer began his tenure at Job & Family Services as an employment counselor. He’s been in management for the past 29 years, serving 12 years in program administration and 17 years as the assistant director.
Dave Jenkins, who has been with the agency for 15 years and has more than 30 years of experience in children’s services, will become the assistant director for the Shelby County Department of Job & Family Services. Jenkins will oversee children services while Pulfer will lead the other divisions within the department.
The Shelby County Department of Job & Family Services has approximately 60 employees. They work with local residents to find services within the agency and through outside groups.
Pulfer enjoys helping people find employment and also really enjoys working with families. Reuniting families and finding adoptive families for children are among his favorite parts of the job.
The opioid crisis has been a significant challenge, Pulfer said, as it’s made it more difficult to get children into safe situations.
“The opioid crisis has been a difficult moment for many communities and ours has dealt with that as well,” he said. “It changes the work of children’s services where we have some really difficult situations.”
Opioids continue to be a major issue, but Pulfer has started to see some positive signs in combating the crisis.
“In Shelby County it seems to be that it’s leveling out a little bit,” he said.
For more information about the Shelby County Department of Job & Family Services, visit its website at http://shelbycountyjfs.org/, call 937-498-4981 or visit its office at 227 S. Ohio Ave. in Sidney.
Reach this writer at email@example.com or 937-538-4824.