Williams County

117 W. Butler Street
 Bryan, OH 43506


Williams County Job & Family Services assists families with a variety of needs via  Income Maintenance Programs, Public Employment and Training Services and Child Support Enforcement Programs.






Income Maintenance


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Income Maintenance



At Williams County Department of Job & Family Services, the Children Services Unit has the responsibility and authority to provide protective services to children.  The unit receives referrals of abuse, neglect or dependency which must be investigated.  In Williams County alone, there were 219 child abuse/neglect complaints investigated in 2003.  Of those 219, 65 were physical abuse, 68 sexual abuse, 76 neglect and 10 emotional maltreatment.  These complaints involved 451 children.

Additionally, the Children Services Unit recruits and certifies foster care homes and provides adoption services for the children in our custody.  There is a great need for foster homes in Williams County


Defining Child Abuse/Neglect:

Some cases of child abuse and neglect are easily recognized: an infant left alone in a hot car, a three-year-old with multiple facial bruises, a child who repeatedly is locked out of the house for long periods of time. However, these cases represent only a fraction of the many children who are in need of professional help.

What about the more subtle forms of abuse or neglect? - verbal abuse, poor supervision, overly strict discipline. The key to recognizing the various forms of child maltreatment is a basic understanding of the meaning of the term child abuse and neglect. There are numerous factors involved in defining child abuse and neglect: cultural and ethnic backgrounds, attitudes concerning parenting, professional training and affiliation, all contribute to a definition. In seeking commonly acceptable meanings, it is helpful to begin by distinguishing between abuse and neglect.

ABUSE (Legal Definition)

Abuse represents an action against a child. It is an act of commission. Generally, abuse is categorized as follows:

Physical Abuse: the non-accidental injury of a child.

Sexual Abuse: any act of a sexual nature upon or with a child. The act may be for the sexual gratification of the perpetrator or a third party. This would, therefore, include not only anyone who actively participated in the sexual activity, but anyone who allowed or encouraged it.

Emotional Abuse: chronic attitude or acts which interfere with the psychological and social development of a child. Each of us is guilty of having unkindly snubbed a child or having criticized him too harshly, but emotional abuse is consistent and chronic behavior. It usually is related to a constellation of interactions and is cumulative.

Three elements usually are involved and create the environment for an incident of abuse: 1) the abuser, 2) the victim, 3) A CRISIS. A crisis generally will be the precipitating factor that sets the abuser in motion. The crisis may come in any form or level of apparent severity; for example, the crisis may be the loss of a job, divorce, illness, death in the family, a child's wet pants, consistent crying, a broken dish. What is significant is not what the crisis is, but what it creates: a situation beyond the abuser's ability to cope in a normal manner. The culmination of the resulting frustration and anxiety is abuse.

Not all abuse is the result of frustration or stress. Abuse may occur for a wide variety of reasons, including inappropriate concepts of discipline, association of the child with negative events, and psychological disorder. Most abuse, however, does not occur as a result of willful desire to hurt a child.

NEGLECT (Legal Definition)

Neglect is failure to act on behalf of a child. It is an act of omission. Neglect may be thought of as child-rearing practices which are essentially inadequate or dangerous. It may not produce visible signs, and it usually occurs over a period of time. Neglect generally is physical or emotional.

Physical Neglect: failure to meet the requirements basic to a child's physical development, such as supervision, housing, clothing, medical attention, nutrition, and support. For purposes of reporting, some agencies will further break down this category into more specific acts of omission, such as medical neglect, lack of proper supervision, or educational neglect.

Emotional Neglect: failure to provide the support or affection necessary to a child's psychological and social development. Failure on the part of the parent to provide the praise, nurturance, love, or security essential to the child's development of a sound and healthy personality may constitute emotional neglect. The effects of extreme deprivation can be seen in the medical syndrome "non-organic failure to thrive." Failure to thrive is a condition in which children show a marked retardation of cessation of growth. On a normal growth chart, failure to thrive children usually fall below the 3rd percentile.

Making a Child Abuse/Neglect Complaint:

The reporter should provide the name, age and address of child(ren), names and addresses of the parents/caretakers, a description of the child abuse/neglect and the name and address of the alleged perpetrator. 

Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.:       

Children Services Unit                                      419-636-6725

For Emergencies After Regular Business Hours:                          

Williams County Sheriff’s Department               419-636-3151
(Sheriff’s Office will page the on-call Children 
              Services Worker.)


To report suspected child abuse or neglect,


please call 419-636-6725


Foster Care:

A child will remain with a foster family for a limited time as the ultimate goal is reunification with the child’s birth family.  During the time a child is placed in their care, a foster family’s responsibility is to help that child feel secure and to assist the child with the tasks of normal development. 

Who becomes a foster parent?  Foster parents can be the following:

  • Single or married
  • Of any ethnic background
  • Employed or stay-at-home

What do I have to do to become a foster parent? 

  • Complete preservice training, first aid, CPR and communicable disease training, as well as homestudy/background check which focuses on all members of the foster care household.
  • Following approval, approximately 40 hours of ongoing training every two years is needed in order to maintain a license.

In addition, foster parents are required to work closely with their foster child’s caseworkers, biological relatives, health care providers, teachers and other individuals who have frequent and meaningful contact with the child. 

Your home could be the one that gives a child hope.  If interested in foster care, contact our Foster Care Specialist at 419-636-6725.


Williams County Department of Job & Family Services’ mission is to decrease the number of children waiting for permanent homes, to prevent discrimination in the placement of children, to identify and recruit permanent families who can meet each child’s needs and to provide support to families to ensure the stability and well-being of the children in their care.

The agency provides a comprehensive scope of services to birth parents, adoptive parents and adoptive children, particularly those children who have been in foster care.

See the adoption website at http://jfs.ohio.gov/oapl/index.htm for information and to view photo listing of children available for adoption in Ohio.

If you are interested in adoption, contact our Adoption Specialist at 419-636-6725.  



Adult Protective Services (APS):

The agency is mandated to investigate referrals involving adults 60 years of age or older who live in the county and who are alleged to be abused, neglected or exploited.  The assigned social worker is responsible for meeting with the client to assess the alleged concerns and linking that client to appropriate services within the community, including but not limited to home delivered meals, in-home care, probate court and financial assistance.

To report adult protective concerns, please contact our APS caseworker at 419-636-6725.

Child Care:

If you are working or attending school, you may qualify to place your children in day care facilities. The Child Care Specialist certifies day care centers and private homes as acceptable providers. Customers can qualify for vouchers to cover all or part of the day care cost. 

To find out if you qualify for child care services or to become a child care provider, contact our Child Care Specialist at 419-636-6725.

At Risk Pregnancy Services (ARPS):

Healthchek offers preventative health care free to all Medicaid eligible individuals through age 20. Services include physical exams, dental care, vision and hearing services.

The At Risk Pregnancy program screens expecting mothers to reduce the chances of pre-term delivery, low birth weight babies and other poor birth outcomes for the Medicaid population. Eligible pregnant women receive special services including pregnancy counseling and education, nutrition counseling and care coordination (medical case management).  The agency may also provide transportation services.

For more information on these services, contact our ARPS Coordinator at 419-636-6725.


117 W. Butler Street
Bryan OH  43506

Phone  419-636-6725
Fax  419-636-8843

Office Hours (Monday through Friday):  8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Susan Jackson, Director
Geri Severs, LSW, Children Services/Social Services Supervisor


Ohio Department of Job and Family Services


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Income Maintenance


Under Construction

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Income Maintenance


Under Construction

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Income Maintenance


Under Construction




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