Call 740-833-2340 To Report Abuse or Neglect of Children
Delaware County Children Services works with children, families, community agencies, placement services, and other support services to ensure that every child in Delaware County is in a safe and stable home.
The mission of Children Services is:
‘To serve the youth of Delaware County who are, or may be at risk of abuse or neglect so that children are raised in a safe, stable, nurturing, and permanent environment.’
Delaware County Children Services investigates allegations of child abuse and/or neglect. If the allegations are found to be substantiated, the county may need to open a protective services case and/or place children in an alternative home setting until they can be reunited with their family.
Children Services works to involve the Delaware community in the care of these children by offering a variety of programs that residents can become involved in. Children Services recruits foster and adoptive parents, respite care providers, and mentors. The time commitments for these programs vary, ranging from a few hours a week or a weekend to permanent care.
Screening and Referrals
Delaware County Children Services receives calls concerning allegations of child abuse and/or neglect 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Calls may come in from anyone in the community such as doctors, law enforcement officials, schools, counselors, relatives, and those who wish to remain anonymous. A call is received by a trained staff member (screener) to collect information from the caller. The call is confidential. Through the collection of information, the type of risk to the child is determined and a worker will be dispatched to the child’s location to conduct an investigating within one hour or up to 72 hours from the time the phone call was received depending on whether the situation is emergency or non-emergency.
Children Services is required by Ohio law to investigate referrals of children who are alleged to be abused, neglected and/or dependent. Children Services is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The caseworker’s first duty is to assure the child is safe or moved to a safe situation during the investigation. During the investigation, information is gathered to determine whether or not child abuse, neglect, or dependency has occurred. They also assess problems the family may be having and if there is risk to the child’s safety, health, or welfare. Law enforcement may be involved depending on the specifics of the situation.
The purpose of Protective Services is to assist at-risk families in keeping their child safe from abuse and neglect while the child remains in their home. When an investigation shows a need for ongoing services, with or without court involvement, a caseworker is assigned to develop a case plan, provide and/or link the family to community services. The goal is to keep families together to improve the family life situation and maintain the child in the home in order to keep families together.
Requirements for All Prospective Foster-to-Adopt Parents
All prospective foster-to-adopt parents must be:
- At least 21 years of age
- In good mental and physical health
- May be in a two parent or single parent home
- Willing to complete agency training program (Agency Training Topics)
Agency Training Topics
Potential foster parents, adoptive parents, and respite care providers are educated on a number or topics and issues that affect both children and the families that will care for them. Children Services ensures that parents are fully prepared for parenting a foster or adoptive child. Some of the topics that parents may be educated on include:
- Overview of foster care
- Abuse and neglect and the impact on child development
- Attachment and separation
- Cultural issues in placement
- Working with primary families
- Effects of caregiving on the family
- Sexual abuse
- Permanency issues for children
- Permanency issues for families