Job and Family Services releases annual report

By Braden Moles - [email protected]

EATON — Preble County Job and Family Services Director Becky Sorrell presented JFS’ annual report to the Preble County Board of Commissioners during their meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 24.

Social Services

An average of 191 children were served per month. This childcare is available to income eligible families who are working or attending an approved educational program.

$240,922.64 was spent on transport for 464 Medicaid recipients. This was spread between 4,259 trips.

$110,426.24 was spent on Prevention, Retention and Contingency (PRC), which are Temporary Assistance for Needy Family (TANF) dollars provided to counties to assists families needing short-term assistance. This was spread among 206 families.

In JFS’ function as a local Salvation Army, 12 people received assistance from $4,081.74 in Salvation Army Funds. The Red Kettle Campaign in December 2020 raised $8,043.74, which the Salvation Army agreed to match in 2021.

Children Services

Sorrell reported that Children Services continues to operate under “crisis conditions” regarding their staffing issues.

“This is a common situation across the State, and we are thankful for some monetary relief provided by the governor, however the lack of qualified staff to fill out open case worker positions continues to have the agency operating with staff who are overworked and overwhelmed,” the report reads.

Despite hiring three staff members in 2020, three staff members also submitted their resignations, citing hours and workload. An additional staff member retired, and another was transferred.

648 referrals were received, and 333 were screened in. 135 referrals were drug related.

60 children were placed in custody, a decrease of 55 from 2019. Sorrell reported that the top three reasons for custody were dependency, neglect, and drug abuse of a parent.

A total of 192 children were in custody in 2020, and 158 were in protective supervision, and no adoptions were completed.

The total cost of child placement was $2,173,677.73, an increase of $737,376.70 from 2019.

Preble County Child Support Enforcement Agency collected a total of $6,405,588.56 in child support, an increase of $162,067 from 2019.

103 support orders were established, and 19 paternities were established.

Public Assistance

Sorrell reported that $719,263 TANF dollars were spent on Ohio Works First recipients, and there were an average of 264 recipients per month.

$7,650,543 was provided in SNAP benefits to an average of 4,053 recipients per month.

This was an increase of $2,238,287 due to SNAP benefits being provided in full last year, regardless of income, due to COVID-19.

There were $93,295,505 in Medicaid expenditures, an increase of $10,015,616 from 2019.

Other data

There were 593 visitors to the Preble County Job Center in 2020, and 62 individuals received training. There were 452 employer contacts, and additionally, there were 270 youth program participants.

Collections for fraud totaled $97,352.33.

“The agency works to collect payments that have been made in error and has historically received awards for outstanding collection by our fraud department,” the report reads.

The agency’s total budget in 2020 was $5,121,251 compared to $6,313,080 in expenditures.

In other business

Children Services’ monthly report for January showed 66 ongoing or open cases involving 148 total children. 74 are in paid placement, which includes foster care (both network and local) and residential or group homes, which costs $203,219.01.

JFS’ monthly report for January showed 245 OWF cash recipients and 3,986 food assistance recipients in Preble County. There was $6,083.10 in fraud collections and $455,559.22 collected in child support.

The Preble County Board of Commissioners meet every Monday and Wednesday at 9 a.m. in the Preble County Courthouse. These meetings are open to the public.

By Braden Moles

[email protected]

Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles

Reach Braden Moles at 937-683-4056 or on Twitter @BradenMoles