Intake & Protective Services
Intake Services staff responds to concerns of children who are suspected of being abused, neglected or dependent. Licensed social workers meet with the family and work with community agencies to evaluate the safety of children. Investigations are completed within 30 to 45 days.
Protective Services staff provides case planning and supportive services to help reduce the risk of harm and to maintain children in their own home. When a child is abused, neglected, or dependent and has been removed from home, families are provided casework counseling, linkage to community resources and family visitation to help resolve problems which led to the child’s removal and work towards reunification or the identification of an alternate permanent plan for the child.
Alternative Response: An exciting new innovation in service delivery for families and children called ‘Alternative Response’ (AR) has been launched at Summit County Children Services – enabling agency caseworkers to engage with the families they serve in even more supportive ways than ever before.
Summit County Children Services (SCCS) along with a consortium of five other Ohio counties (Champaign, Clark, Madison, Montgomery and Richland) has been awarded approximately $1.8 million in grant funding by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the American Humane Association's National Quality Improvement Center for Differential Response to develop and implement the Alternative Response (AR) model of Child Welfare Services over the next 3 ½ years.
Kinship Care & Navigator Services
Navigator Services of Summit County – (330) 996-1798 or (866) 996-1798
E-mail Address –firstname.lastname@example.org
Summit County Children Services believes that the best place for children to thrive is in their own homes. However, when a child has been abused or neglected and there is a need for placement outside of the home, whenever possible, children are placed with relatives or individuals considered to be “kin” to the child.
Kinship Care is an arrangement where grandparents, relatives, Godparents, or close family friends provide a child with a home to reside in, food to eat, clothing to wear, and unconditional love. Kinship Care is provided when a child’s parent(s) are unable to care for the child due to abuse and/or neglect, drug dependency, abandonment, incarceration, or death. Kinship Care arrangements may be formal or informal depending on the situation.
Kinship Care staff provide ongoing support to relative caregivers by identifying available community resources, answer questions and offer information and emotional support.
Navigator Services of Summit County
The primary goal of Navigator Services is to “navigate” kinship caregivers through various government and community programs and services. Navigator Services provides information and referral services for financial resources, day/evening child care, tangible resources such as appliances and beds, health and medical care, housing and legal information. The program also assists kinship caregivers in identifying their unique needs as well as offering individual support, advocacy and assistance to meet these needs.
NOTE: Navigator Services is available to ALL kinship caregivers residing in Summit County. The children DO NOT need to be involved with Summit County Children Services in order to access this service.
Services Provided to Youth
Independent Living Program
Summit County Children Services’ Independent Living Program serves children in agency care, 16 years and older, by preparing them for a successful transition from agency care to the world of work and further educational opportunities. A structured curriculum covers such topics as budgeting, meal planning, locating a residence, preparing for a job interview, etc. The program also stresses hands-on experiential work and participants are offered follow-along support in the community.
Transitional Housing Program
Summit County Children Services provides transitional housing and support services to youth adults aged 18 to 25 years who have previously been in agency care and become homeless. Program participants receive instruction and support in employment, education, budgeting, leisure time management, relationships and sexuality, career planning and other life skills to achieve self sufficiency and permanent housing.
Thomas W. Blazey Family Interaction Center
Visitation services are provided to maintain placement stability and family connectedness for children in agency custody. The Blazey Family Interaction Center provides a safe and nurturing environment for family visits. Services include supervision and oversight of visits to ensure each child's safety, as well as parenting education and role modeling to increase the liklihood of family reunification.
Primary medical care for all children in agency custody -- which was formerly provided on-site at the agency's Thomas W. Blazey Diagnostic Center -- is now being provided by Akron Children's Hospital at the hospital's main campus. Dental care is now being provided by various community providers.
The Clothing Center
The Clothing Center provides clothing support to all children and families associated with the Agency. Over 4,000 purchase orders are issued to children in out of home placements each year. Emergency clothing packets are prepared and distributed to children coming under care. An inventory of essential items (diapers, formula, bottles and personal hygiene supplies) is maintained for use by caregivers, social workers, visitation center and clinic staff. The program also operates a donation center. Foster, adoptive, kinship and birth families may “shop” for free for children’s clothing that has been donated by the community.
Community Education and Outreach
Child & Family Awareness Month
This month-long series of free activities, held every April, is designed to build a solid foundation of community support for children and families. Coordinated by Summit County Children Services, more than 160 sponsoring agencies, organizations and businesses work together throughout the year to implement a broad range of activities and educational initiatives. Activities include student creative contests, a family festival with character entertainment, and seminars for professionals and the community-at-large.
Ambassador Speakers Bureau – (330) 379-2090
Staff and volunteers are available to speak to groups or organizations on numerous topics addressing agency services and child abuse/neglect awareness. In addition, a Positive Parenting Series featuring topics such as Praise and Encouragement, School Success, Handling Stress and Anger, as well as the “No More Bullies” training are offered. Presentations are available for professional trainings, schools, day care centers and places of worship.
Child and Family Leadership Exchange
Modeled after Leadership Akron, Child and Family Leadership Exchange incorporates a detailed examination of our local social services system and reviews techniques for impacting and advocating for improved services. Local professionals who serve children and families commit to one and one-half days per month for eight months to participate in class sessions and complete pre-class assignments. The goal of the program is to enhance talent, knowledge and leadership skills among family service providers for a stronger community.
Northeast Ohio Regional Training Center (NEORTC)
Based at Summit County Children Services, the NEORTC is one of eight centers statewide that provides mandated child protective service training to staff and caregivers in 14 counties in Northeast Ohio as part of the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program. The staff of the center develop, contract, monitor, evaluate and track training based on the needs of more than 1,000 regional personnel and 1,400 caregivers.