XENIA — Re-accreditation for children services by the Council on Accreditation and cost effectiveness in child support enforcement highlighted 2013 for the Department of Job and Family Services.
In her annual report to the county commissioners, Director Beth Rubin gave a positive review of last year for all of the programs offered by her department.
In addition to the re-accreditation, children services successfully had it’s 1.5 mill levy renewed in November with the largest passing percentage in it’s history. The number of total children in placement has continued to stay level since a five-year high of 251 in 2009. The 175 children placed last year was just one higher than 2012.
“We feel like we’re in a good place with that,” Rubin said.
Children services also continued to receive solid feedback from its users as it received an 82 percent satisfaction rate from those who received surveys.
“Not all the people … are always happy,” Rubin said. “It doesn’t always end up the way (people) would want it to end up.”
When it comes to collection of child support Greene County tops the list. In fiscal year 2013, the county collected $22.24 for every dollar expended. Ohio’s child support program collected $7.45 for every dollar expended. Ohio’s number is 40 percent higher than the national average.
“We are doing an excellent job of collecting child support with our limited resources,” Rubin said. “Of course, there are certain aspects that our outside of our control — the economic climate at any given time being a major one. But clearly, we are committed to doing the very best job we can to ensure that child support orders are enforced.”
In all, it collected $27 million.
Income maintenance is another important program under Rubin’s watch. One in 11 in Greene County receive some type of food assistance and one in eight receive Medicaid benefits. Basic public assistant pumped more than $178 into the local economy in 2013.
The Ohio Works First program helped low-income families survive with cash assistance as long as the adult recipients participate in job readiness programming and supervised work activities to help move toward self-sufficiency.
The department is also successful in recouping fraudulent and overpayment as approximately $90,000 was collected by the benefit recovery and investigative unit.
Social services programs provided $4.4 million in child care assistant — all paid for by the State of Ohio — and 12,176 in one-way trips to Medicaid recipients in need of transportation.
OhioMeansJobs, formerly known as the One-Stop and GreeneWorks continues to deliver employment and training services to those seeking work. Federal law requires certain Ohio Work Force and food assistance recipients to participate in an activity that increases employability skills and reduces barriers to employment. The federal program requires 50 percent of participants to complete their assignment. In 2013, 2,660 appraisals were conducted in Greene County resulting in a participation rate of nearly 70 percent.