SIDNEY — The Shelby County Department of Job and Family Services provides a variety of programs and mandated services to the residents of Shelby County. Federal and state government entities establish rules and regulations for the department, but it operates under the administrative authority of the local county commissioners. The agency consists of the following divisions; Children Services, Child Support, Financial and Medical Services, Employment and Training Services, Administration, and Support. In 2019, Steve Pulfer was named as the new agency director, after serving as assistant director for the last 17 years.
Pulfer’s report continues:
The Children Services unit is responsible for investigating reports of abuse and neglect of children. During 2019, the unit investigated 369 reports. Last year, drug addiction within families continued to impact the safety and welfare of children. Many times, relatives became involved in situations where the parents were not able to properly care for their children. Fourteen permanent adoptions took place last year, resulting in a stable environment for these children. The unit continues to actively recruit appropriate foster parents, which is a key component in providing a safety net for vulnerable children. The unit also investigates reports of elder abuse and neglect through the Adult Protective Services program.
The Financial and Medical Services unit determines eligibility for cash, SNAP (Food Assistance), and Medicaid Assistance. Those eligible for Food Assistance are issued a card that can be used to purchase food at participating retailers. The average number of monthly Food Assistance recipients in 2019 was 3,423. Cash assistance provides monthly income to those eligible and can be used for various needs. The majority of cases are child only cases. These cases primarily consist of relatives who are caring for a minor child. The average number of adults receiving cash assistance in 2019 was seven compared to 225 children.
Medicaid Assistance continues to be largest caseload within the unit and provides health insurance to qualifying adults and children. The average number of Medicaid recipients in Shelby County for 2019 was 7,910 per month.
The Employment and Training division of the agency operates OhioMeansJobs Shelby County, or the Job Center. Residents of Shelby County and surrounding counties utilize OhioMeansJobs Shelby County. The Job Center is used as a resource in finding employment, job postings, and other job seeking services. In 2019, there was a monthly average of just under 500 visitors to the Job Center. Job postings can be viewed in the Job Center, on the Facebook page, or on the agency website, www.shelbycountyjfs.org. The Job Center regularly conducts employer hiring events, including open interviews.
The Child Support unit is dedicated to providing children with the opportunity for a better life by working with both parents to establish child support, cash medical support, and health insurance orders for the children of Shelby County. In 2019, an Ohio law updated the economic income tables used to calculate child support, requiring a minimum cash order and other changes. In 2019, Shelby County Child Support unit collected $7,044,275.00 for families.
The agency is very fortunate to have dedicated and professional staff who strive to make a difference in the lives of Shelby County residents.
For more information on the department and its services, please visit our website at www.shelbycountyjfs.org.