EATON — According to Job and Family Services Director Becky Sorrell, unemployment rates and food stamp usage is dropping for Preble County.
During the Preble County Commission meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 26, Sorrell presented her monthly report.
Children Services referrals are increasing compared to previous months, but Sorrell noted, this is expected with school back in session. Rates always drop during the summer and increase in the fall. The highest rate of referrals is in child neglect, but a lot of times, the department will try to remedy the situation while the child is still in the household, according to Sorrell.
Child placement costs have also been reduced, by reducing the number of children placed in residential and group homes.
“There is a two-fold reason for that. We have been working to reduce those numbers all along. Then, the Family First Prevention Services Act that is going to be a requirement for our state, is going to require that children not stay in residential or group home placements for more than 10 days in order to receive our federal reimbursement dollars,” Sorrell said.
“We decided to be proactive on that and start working towards practicing that way now,” Sorrell said. “We really work to try and find placement for the kids that removes them from group home placements and gets them reoriented into community and foster homes.”
Sorrell explained, studies show children in residential and group home placements only benefit for six to nine months. After that time frame, their behavior starts to degrade. She added, looking at the jail roster, she can find individuals who were emancipated out of residential or group home placements. They are not used to living out in the community, she said.
Sorrell also reported, Job and Family Services is still looking for a front desk employee. The position has been open since March, but the agency has found it difficult to fill the position due to the pay rate and required drug screening, she said. JFS will be posting the position again, and Sorrell hopes to find a friendly person to fill the opening.
Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH