EATON — During the Preble County Commissioners’ meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 28, Job and Family Services (JFS) Director Becky Sorrell looked back on 2017, recalling changes, successes, and department feedback.
In 2017, the department spent:
•$699,678 on TANF (cash assistance), with an average of 275 recipients per month. According to Sorrell, most of those recipients were children who are living with relatives. There are only two work eligible adults right now who are receiving cash assistance.
•$19,895 on Disability Assistance, with an average of 15 recipients per month. Those recipients were receiving $115 a month. However, the state eliminated that program. Sorrell added, that program was for single individuals who had a disability and were waiting on a response from social security programs.
•$5,638,965 on Food Assistance, with an average of 4,285 recipients per month.
•$79,843,550.72 on Medicaid Expenditures, with an average of 9,858 recipients per month. Sorrell noted, this is the largest expenditure that the department has. Many of those people are in nursing homes, which is where most of that money goes. Preble County does have a lot of residents who are receiving medicaid.
There were a total of 4,043 intakes for all programs in 2017 and the department yielded 13,839 phone calls. The Job Center had 4,538 visitors, with 74 individuals receiving training.
In the Fraud Department, for people who received money they were not eligible for, there was a total of:
•$129,961.41 in collections. Sorrell added, they collect those funds whether it was the individuals or agency’s error.
•2,815 IEVS Alerts. These inform the department if an individual has become employed, that way they can verify that they have reported their employment. If a person does not report they are working and continues to receive help based on incorrect data, they will be responsible for paying back anything they were not eligible for. They are required to notify Job and Family Services within 10 days following any change in income or household data.
•14 Intentional Program Violations. These are the people who did not just forget to report data, but are attempting to fraud the agency.
•51 Fraud Referrals. This is when people outside the agency calls into the department to report potential (they know someone working while receiving food stamps). This leads to an investigation, Sorrell explained.
For Social Services, the department: served 256 Child Care children per month, transported 464 unduplicated people on 4,831 trips (cost of $196,853), helped seven people with emergency needs (cost of $3,134), 14 Salvation Army cases (cost of $1,408.20), and had 97 Adult Protective Services referrals.
For Children Services, the department: received 686 referrals, placed 72 children in custody, completed 11 adoptions, had a total cost of child placements of $1,614,662.57.
As for 2017 successes, Sorrell stated that they had their first Enhanced Leadership Development Team.
“They moved partitions, like the project proposed, and it has created a quieter environment and achieved the goal. We weren’t sure if it would work or not, and it did work, it was a chaotic move and there was a push-back about who wanted to sit where, but once it was over it has been really nice for the staff,” she said.
“We had our first Adoption Day celebration, so I was very pleased with that. We had multiple adoptions done on one day, had pictures taken, and the judge joined us in creating a special adoption day celebration. We had 11 children adopted last year.”
In other good news:
•11 employees participated in feeding the families at the Cold Shelter.
•The Fraud Department earned $17,000 in incentive money.
•They had 100 percent performance review in income maintenance.
•They had 156 “very satisfied” ratings for their Ohio Means Job’s (OMJ) Job Center.
•They spoke at the HIT Foundation fundraiser to bring awareness to the county homeless population and their needs.
•Many other positive developments occurred in 2017.
“We made a lot of strives last year, I’m very proud of our staff,” Sorrell said.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH