Aug 28, 2014

Request for Proposals - Child Care Training

The agency is requesting bids for all costs related to the provision of child care training. Bids must be received by Sept. 5. Read the details on our agency's website.

Aug 26, 2014

Food stamp discrimination alleged in civil rights complaint brought against Ohio

Advocates for the poor have filed a civil rights complaint against Ohio officials for failing to renew the state's food stamp waiver for all 88 Ohio counties, which resulted in thousands of Ohioans losing the federal benefits, states an article in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

In a complaint with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which can be found here, the advocacy groups argued the decision disproportionately hurt minority Ohioans. The complaint was filed jointly by The Legal Aid Society of Columbus, the Ohio Poverty Law Program, the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio and Advocates for Basic Legal Equality.

Aug 22, 2014

Comments on Ohio's 2014 TANF plan

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services has submitted its 2015 Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) plan to the federal government. The plan is in its public comment period until late August. The Athens County Department of Job and Family Services submitted comments to ODJFS relative to that plan. 

In a nutshell, we recommend the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services not accept Ohio’s TANF plan as written because of the state’s inability to meet the TANF program goals, its unfair and inequitable treatment of needy families, its tendency to shirk civil rights and ADA compliance in the implementation of the program, and numerous other reasons explained below.

Aug 18, 2014

Editorial: Streamlining delivery of human services is critical for Ohio's poor. So is providing adaquate resources

An editorial from the Cleveland Plain Dealer states that Ohio's range of welfare programs resembles a row of silos. Each caches valuable services. But each stands alone. Both for welfare clients and Ohio's budget managers, that kind of architecture guarantees problems.

Now, an Ohio Office of Human Services Innovation, recently created by the General Assembly and backed by Gov. John Kasich, will aim to "break down [those] silos" to coordinate service delivery. ...

The legislature told the Human Services Innovation office to recommend by Jan. 1 how to better coordinate human services and achieve "standardizing and automating" eligibility screening. ...

As legislators debated the Innovation office, Athens County's Jack Frech, a veteran, respected county Jobs and Family Services administrator, testified that the goals given the Innovation office "are admirable," but that legislators should add one: "[Assuring] that the basic human needs are met for all Ohioans."

Legislators, to no one's surprise, didn't put that on the Innovation office's must-do list. But Frech's point is crucial: Smoothing service delivery is important, but having adequate services to deliver is, in the larger scheme of things, equally — arguably, more — critical.