BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) — Job and Family Services are not stopping during this pandemic.
Serving over 600 families a year, how are they continuing to help?
Abuse reports are down in Ohio, but that really doesn’t tell the whole story.
Belmont is seeing what Ohio is seeing, with calls down 50 percent since April. This is likely due to the lack of interaction with the outside world. People just aren’t seeing things to report since children aren’t out and about.
The Belmont case worker said they are first responders for children, and still go out with the Sheriff’s Department. The Services Director even received a call last night.
Each case worker is reaching about 15 families. It’s a balance between keeping workers safe while also protecting the children they serve.
If we need to see the house, workers are going into households. They’re wearing protective equipment.
CHRISTINE PARKER, Belmont County Children Services Director
If it’s a new case, what we’re doing right now, if it’s appropriate, the workers make contact with the family first asking if anyone in the house is sick. If not, they are scheduling an appointment with the family and trying to meet outside.
If anyone has suffered a job loss due to this pandemic and they meet the income criteria of 200 percent below poverty level, they can receive temporary help paying for costs and health coverage.
That application form can be dropped off at the Job and Family Services Building or you can find it here.