SIDNEY — 2020 was a very busy year for the Shelby County Department of Job and Family Services, while working to serve the people of Shelby County, during the pandemic. In following the Governor’s orders, many protocols were implemented to keep the staff and those served as safe as possible, while still administering the programs.
“Our staff has been outstanding adapting to situations out of their control. Working a combination of in office and remotely, continuing to make home visits, attending court appearances, while assisting the residents of Shelby County” said Steve Pulfer, director.
His report continues:
The agency consists of the following divisions; Child Support, Financial and Medical Services, Children Services, Employment and Training Services, Administration and Support.
Our Child Support Unit received an award from the State of Ohio, earning the award for most improved for the small /medium county category in current support collections. In 2020, Shelby County Child Support unit collected $7,197,096.00 for families. 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.
The Financial & Medical Services unit determines eligibility for Cash, SNAP (Food Assistance) and Medicaid Assistance. 2020 quickly proved to be a year when services would be needed more than ever. As the pandemic began, individuals began applying for cash, food, and medical assistance to help with the loss of income experienced in their households. Staff took on the challenge of learning new policies and procedures to approve applications as quickly as possible so individuals and families would receive the needed help. The agency experienced caseload growth in the SNAP/Food Assistance program by 395, and Medicaid assistance increased by 1,449.
Children Services investigated the following number of reports received by the agency: 137 cases of neglect, 81 cases of physical abuse, 51 cases of sexual abuse, and 6 cases of dependency. There were also 20 Family In Need of Services cases handled by the Children Services. Children Services also handled 45 Court Ordered Protective Supervision cases involving children and families in Shelby County. There were 43 children in agency custody and foster care at some point in 2020. The Adult Protective Services Unit investigated 132 reports regarding maltreatment toward an elderly person
Shelby County currently has 33 children in foster care. The agency also has 4 children who are currently in permanent custody and waiting to be adopted. These children reside in traditional foster homes, treatment foster homes and residential centers. Due to the increasing needs, the agency is always looking for individuals who are willing to provide a loving, stable home for our children as foster parents.
The Employment and Training division of the agency operates OhioMeansJobs Shelby County, or the Job Center. The Job Center is used as a resource in finding employment, job postings and other job seeking services
Due to the pandemic, the Job Center and the Employment and Family Services Unit experienced nontraditional growth in the county unemployment rates. January of 2020 the rate was 4.5% and rose to a high of 21.7% in April, and lowered to 4.5% for November of 2020. This created the need for many residents to look for jobs. Weekly a list of job openings in the area is posted on our website www.shelbycountyjfs.org and on our Facebook page, Ohiomeansjobs Shelby County.
I am proud of the tremendous work by the staff that was accomplished during this unprecedented time, serving the residents of Shelby County.