Child Protective services offers a wide range of social services coordinated and delivered on behalf of children who are at risk of abuse or neglect. Licking County JFS receives reports alleging abuse or neglect 24 hours per day every day of the year. Children who are under eighteen years of age or mentally or physically handicapped and under twenty-one years of age may receive protection services from Children Services.
Social workers respond to these reports by interviewing and assessing the child and his or her family to determine what, if any, risk and safety factors are present. If it is determined that the level of risk is low, often the family is referred to Family Development Services or agencies within the community to help the family resolve any identified problems. If the child is considered to be more significantly at risk, the family will likely be transferred for services within Children Services.
When a child is determined to be at critical risk, and without intervention could be in danger of serious harm, Children Services can request the Licking County Juvenile Court to issue an order to temporarily place the child out of his or her home. Children can be placed with relatives, foster parents, or residential centers. Social workers then work intensively with the family to reduce the risks in the home and reunify the family as quickly as possible.
Unfortunately, sometimes it is not always possible to safely return the child to his or her home. Children Services then may request for the court to order a legally secure and permanent order for the child.
How to Report Child Abuse/Neglect
If you believe that a child has been abused or neglected, please contact Licking County Job & Family Services. Reports may be made by calling our abuse and neglect hotline at 740.670.8888 or in person at 74 South Second Street, P.O. Box 5030, Newark, Ohio 43058-5030, weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. After hours, weekend, and holiday emergency, please contact the Licking County Sheriff’s Office at 740.670.5500 and ask for the on-call social worker.
Any report shall contain:
The names and addresses of the child and the child’s parents or the person or persons having custody of the child, if known.
The child’s age and the nature and extent of the child’s known or suspected injuries, abuse, or neglect or of the known or suspected threat of injury, abuse, or neglect.
Any other information that might be helpful in establishing the cause of the known or suspected injury, abuse or neglect or of the known or suspected threat of injury, abuse, or neglect.
Any person who has reasonable belief that a child may be abused or neglected should report their concerns to Children Services. All reporters’ identities are confidential and are not released.
Some individuals are required by law to report suspicions of abuse or neglect. A mandated reported is an attorney; physician, including a hospital intern or resident; dentist; podiatrist; practitioner of a limited branch of medicine as specified in section 4731.15 of the Revised Code, registered nurse; licensed practical nurse; visiting nurse; other health care professional; licensed psychologist, licensed school psychologist, independent marriage and family therapist; speech pathologist or audiologist; coroner; administrator or employee of a certified child care agency or other public or private children services agency; school teacher; school employee; school authority; person engaged in social work or the practice of professional counseling; agent of county humane society, or a person rendering spiritual treatment through prayer in accordance with the tenets of a well recognized religion; superintendent, board member, or employee of a county board of mental retardation; investigative agent contracted with by a county board of mental retardation; or employee of the department mental retardation and developmental disabilities.
Any person making a report in good faith is immune from any criminal or civil liability.