EATON — Preble County Job and Family Services is having issues finding a qualified case worker, leaving Children Services under-staffed. JFS Director Becky Sorrell presented her October report during the Preble County Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 22.
She indicated the staff, being pulled thin and in the midst of the holiday season, are very stressed.
“We’re still struggling to hire the Children Services Social Service Worker II. We really don’t get qualified applicants,” she said. “We had three qualified applicants, but one didn’t show up to her interview and didn’t show up to her second interview. One had been terminated from Child Welfare. The other didn’t pass the drug screen.”
“We’re really not finding anyone,” Sorrell said. “I’ve advertised in colleges and newspapers. I contacted the social work departments again. I’m really not having any luck hiring a case worker. I’m worried about the effect of the case load on the case worker that we have. We need to fill this position.”
A part-time Social Service Worker I position was filled recently, but Sorrell requested the commissioners allow that position to work 25 hours, instead of the 24 she was allotted.
“That would let me work them five hours a day,” she said.
Commissioner Denise Robertson said, “I think the premise is if you do go over in hours, you’re still under the threshold for full-time and benefits.”
“These positions should never go over,” Sorrell said.
The commissioners approved the hour increase.
Sorrell added, the new Medicaid system rolled out last year, and they were expecting problems from the new system and the transitioning process. They are adding cash and food stamps into the system as well. However, only pilot counties are affected at this moment and Preble County is not one of them.
“That has been going on since the first of November. The counties are reporting that it actually is going well. There have only been a few hiccups,” she said. “One of the problems with us is that if a person applies for assistance in another county that is transitioning, they cannot come out of the new system and into the old. If they move into Preble County, their case must still be handled by the county they are coming from.”
They are already having to handle a case like that, due to a family moving into the county.
In other commissioners’ news, they approved.
•An expenditure in the amount of $3,203 for the purchase and delivery of seven new office chairs for JFS.
•A payment to the sheriff in the amount of $1,050 for the Healthier Buckeye Grant Fund.
•A transfer of funds to various departments.
The Preble County Commissioners meet every Monday and Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the Preble County Courthouse.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH