ODJFS holds Public hearing for Title XX plan

CADIZ — The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services held a public hearing at Wednesday’s Harrison County Board of Commissioners meeting in order to hear from residents about the Title XX Federal Social Services Block Grant plan.

ODJFS Assistant Director Deb Knight read the plan at the meeting. According to Knight, Title XX has five national goals:

∫ Achieving or maintaining economic self-support to prevent, reduce or eliminate dependency;

∫ Achieving or maintaining self-sufficiency including reduction or prevention of dependency;

∫ Preventing or remedying neglect, abuse or exploitation of children or adults unable to protect their own interest or preserving, rehabilitating or reuniting families;

∫ Preventing or reducing inappropriate institutional care by providing for community-based care or other forms of less intensive care; and

∫ Securing referral or admission for institutional care when other forms of care are not appropriate or providing services to individuals in institutions.

Currently, the draft plan includes recruitment of adoptive parents, case management services, counseling, foster care services for children, information and referral services, adult protective services, child protective services, residential treatment services, transportation and special services for youth involved in, or at risk of, involvement in criminal activity.

Knight explained that under the new plan, all of the services are scheduled to be provided without regard to income, with the exception of counseling. This service will be provided to individuals whose income is under 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines, who are not eligible for Medicaid and have no insurance with their employer.

“What we are running into is that some of the parents of children we have in custody, who are required to participate in counseling, don’t have insurance,” she said. “Their income is too high for Medicaid and their employer doesn’t provide insurance, so under this plan we would pay for that counseling so that they can participate in their case plan and get their children returned (to them).”

Under the 2019 plan, the agency is striving to expand its services to better help more clients.

Knight said all comments or suggestions the public may have regarding services the agency should include in the Title XX plan should be forwarded to the ODJFS by May 15. The final plan must be completed and provide by June 15 and will then go into effect Oct. 1. Visit jfs.ohio.gov for more information.