Programs & Services
Ohio Works First (OWF)
Ohio Works First (OWF) is the financial assistance portion of Ohio’s Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program. OWF was established to provide time-limited assistance to eligible families. OWF provides cash benefits to eligible, needy families for up to 36 months. After 36 months, a family cannot receive additional cash assistance unless the County Department of Job and Family Services approves an extension of benefits. There are two kinds of extensions, hardship; and good cause. A family can receive a hardship extension any time after the 36-month time limit has ended. A family can only receive a good cause extension after a 24-month waiting period following the 36-month limit. The emphasis of OWF is self-sufficiency, personal responsibility and employment.
The Food Stamp Program helps people with low incomes obtain nutritious food. Food stamp benefits are issued by the U.S. Department of Agriculture through county job and family services departments and are used to purchase specific staples and grocery items at participating grocery stores. Food stamp benefits are dispersed through the Electronic Benefits Transfer system. At the grocery store check-out counter, the amount purchased is deducted electronically via a plastic card from the individual’s or family’s total monthly allotment of food stamp benefits. Eligibility, determined based on federal guidelines including income, resources and household size. About one million Ohioans receive food stamps.
Important Things to Know When Applying for Food Stamps
To apply for cash and food stamp benefits, you must complete a face-to-face interview. An interview will be scheduled after you complete the application and mail it, fax it, or deliver it to the county agency. The face-to-face interview may be waived if you meet a hardship condition • It is important that you mail, fax, or deliver your application to us as soon as possible as it could affect the first day that you may be eligible to receive benefits. • A caseworker can help you if you are having problems getting needed information. It is important that you inform your caseworker that you need help.
Federally funded, this program provides for coverage of medical expenses for eligible families and individuals. The Medicaid program provides health care coverage to three primary markets: children to age 19 whose families fall within income guidelines (Healthy Start, Ohio's Title XIX Medicaid and Title XXI Children's Health Insurance Program-CHIP); adults participating in OWF, pregnant women and some working adults with limited income; and persons who area 65 or older, blind or have some disabilities. Many people who are aged, blind or disabled may receive care in a nursing home or other institution, or may qualify for one of the Home and Community Based Services Waiver programs which enable them to live in their own home in the community.
Disability Assistance (DA)
provides for cash assistance and medical coverage for individuals not qualified under OWF, medically dependent, or pending other forms of ongoing public assistance (Social Security Disability, SSI).
Learning, Earning, And Parenting Program (LEAP)
LEAP is designed to help OWF-eligible teen parents and pregnant teens who have not completed high school. Financial incentives are provided to help LEAP teens graduate or get their High School Equivalence Diploma or GED.
Child Care Assistance
Child Care Assistance provides payment of a portion of the cost of child care while parents are participating in OWF work activities, are employed with low incomes, or are attending training programs. Care is provided in certified family child care homes or state licensed child care centers in the community. In Defiance County, child care services are administered by Northwest Ohio Community Action Commission (NOCAC) through a purchase of service contract with the CDJFS.
WORK ACTIVITIES - are mandatory for OWF recipients and many food stamp recipients in order to receive cash assistance, and can include: employment placement assistance, work experience, basic education (GED preparation), job readiness training, job search assistance. Self-Sufficiency Contracts are utilized in helping families design personalized plans that will help each adult family member become self-sufficient.
Prevention, Retention, and Contingency Program (PRC)
PRC is designed to help families at different levels of need. Services are provided either directly by the staff of the CDJFS, or under contract with other area service providers. Goals of the program include: services to prevent dependency on public assistance, help families to attain or retain employment and to assist families with contingency or emergency services in order to overcome barriers to self-sufficiency. Specific services can include payment of rent or utilities, car repairs, training/employment programs, legal services, domestic violence counseling, family planning services, teen pregnancy prevention programming, and other services to vulnerable children and families.
Child Service Protective Program
Defiance County Department of Job & Family Services receives all reports of suspected child abuse and neglect of children, and must investigate these reports in a timely fashion. If necessary, our social services staff works with families to develop case plans that identify services needed to prevent further abuse or neglect. In most cases, In-Home Services or referrals to other resources are provided and the child remains in their own home. If the determination is made that a child cannot remain safe in their own home, the agency works with the Juvenile Court to remove the child from the situation. The case plan then identifies steps to be taken to ensure that the child is able to live in a safe, permanent environment, usually by returning them to their natural parents. Out-of-Home Care Placement Services become necessary when the child must be removed from home. Substitute care may be provided in an authorized relative home, licensed foster home, group home or institutional setting. Adoption Services may be necessary when it is determined to be in the best interests of the child.
Adult Protective Services (APS)
Like children, adults are sometimes in danger of harm, unable to protect themselves, and have no one else to assist them. APS reduces or remedies conditions causing endangerment to adults, maximizing their independence and self-direction, and preventing unnecessary institutionalization.
Title XX of the Social Security Act -provides funding to counties for local services programs for families, children and adults. The funds are to strengthen, restore, maintain or improve their ability to be self-supportive and independent. Currently in Defiance County we provide many services either directly or through a purchase of service contract with other service agencies in the community, to include: transportation, information & referral services, health related services, homemaker services, shelter for domestic violence victims, family planning services, and more.
The Workforce Development Department is dedicated to helping job seekers find jobs and employers find qualified candidates. The goal of connecting employers is met largely in part by the services available at Northwest Ohio Job Center – Defiance County. If job seekers are not able to find gainful employment by only using the resource room at NWOJC, they can meet individually with one of our staff to discuss their individual needs that may include training. Our resource rooms are equipped with computers, internet access, telephones, copy and fax machines, local job listings, resume and cover letter development tools, televisions/VCRs to view job search and career exploration tapes, local newspapers, an assortment of publications to assist you with your job search, and a variety of self-assessment tools.
Northwest Ohio Job Center Employer services include FREE job posting, a room for job fairs, skill assessment software, application and resume pre-screening, and more!