Frequently Asked Questions

The following information should answer your most common questions, but if you still need assistance please call (419) 898-3688 or visit our contact page for more information.

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Assistance Programs FAQs

The toll free number for clients is 1-866-386-3071.
The website they can access is Note: You will need to use Internet Explorer or Firefox 4 or above to view the site.
The first step is to be certified by the Food and Nutrition Services. They can call 1 (877) 823-4369, toll free, to get more information and request an application. If they have internet access, they may find most of the answers to their questions, as well as an online application.
If a client already has an Ohio Direction Card, FS benefits, including auxiliary and supplements, will be routed through batch processing. There will be five batch processing times during the business day. Benefits will be credited to the clients account no more than 1/2 hour after batch. The client should contact customer service to verify benefits are available in their account before going shopping.
A new/replacement EBT Card will be sent by mail in 7 to 10 business days if the client is new to the system. Individuals who have lost or stolen cards will need to contact the EBT Customer Service to obtain a replacement card
JARC may be available on the evenings and weekends. Please contact them at 330.424.4015 to discuss your transportation needs.
Along with providing transportation to and from your work assignment, schooling or place of employment, JARC may be able to include drop off and pick up of your child at child care. Talk to a transportation specialist for details.
JARC can provide transportation to and from paid employment, schooling or an OWF assignment from any town in Ottawa County to any destination in Ottawa County.
Families with earned income who do not currently participate in Ohio Works First, (OWF) and who have not participated in at least one of the previous four months, must meet a “gross monthly income test” for eligibility. Gross monthly income includes unearned income and earned income before taxes. The gross monthly income limit for a family of three is currently $796, but this increases annually. If a family member works and pays for child care, the actual verified cost of child care can be deducted. There is no resource limit for OWF because resources are not considered in determining eligibility. OWF has the following additional requirements:
  • dults and minor heads of household must participate in work activities.
  • Minor children in assistance groups and women who are at least six months pregnant may be eligible to receive individual assistance.
  • Children must reside with a parent, specified relative, legal guardian or a legal custodian.
  • Unmarried minor parents and pregnant minors must be in approved adult-supervised living arrangements or live with a parent, legal guardian, specified relative or legal custodian.
  • Adults and minor heads of household who apply for or receive benefits must sign a self sufficiency contract.
Failure to sign the self-sufficiency contract, without good cause, can result in denial or termination of benefits which would affect the entire family. The contract explains the requirements for the participant, the requirements for the county department of job and family services and, if applicable, the requirements for the child support enforcement agency and/or public children services agency.
Assistance groups are not eligible if they include an individual who:
  • Does not sign the self sufficiency contract,
  • Does not comply with the terms of the contract,
  • Terminates employment without just cause while receiving transitional Medicaid or child care benefits,
  • Has income that exceeds the amount for the assistance group size,
  • Has received benefits fraudulently,
  • Receives SSI, or
  • Receives adoption assistance payments or federal, state or local foster care maintenance payments.
Other individuals who are not eligible include:
  • Fugitive felons
  • Probation/parole violators
  • Individuals convicted for fraudulent misstatement of residence in order to receive benefits
Currently, an OWF payment for a family of three is $458. Benefits are issued through either the Ohio Eppicard, which is a pre-paid debit MasterCard, or deposited directly into a checking or savings account. The Eppicard can be used at MasterCard member banks, ATMs and any retailers that accept MasterCard.

Child Support FAQs

You are eligible for services if you are a resident of Ottawa County and/or have a support order in Ottawa County. Some services require a IV-D application. Anyone who receives cash assistance is automatically eligible for services. All services are available at no cost.
Yes, if you receive cash assistance your support payments will be sent to the state. If you don’t have a support order you are required to cooperate with CSEA to establish an order.
The Administrative Processing Fee is a 2% fee charged on payments made through the CSEA. The fee is established by state law. (It was formerly known as “poundage.”)
You must report changes to the agency. You can call your worker, send a message via your web portal, or send a written notice.
You can call the Automated Payment Line toll-free at 1 (800) 860-2555. You will set up a pin number the first time you call and enter this number each time you call. This insures that the information is only given to the parties involved. The payment line will tell you the date and amount of the payment that has been received. For case specific information, including a payment history please visit the OCS Customer Service Web Portal. If you have the child support payment card, you can call toll-free 1 (800) 503-1283 to find out what funds are available or for other customer service options such as replacing a lost card or getting a printout. You can apply for the child support debit card with this application form link and it can also be used for setting up direct deposits into a bank account.
You can make a payment with cash at our office at 8043 West State Route 163, Oak Harbor, OH 43449 between 8am and 4:30pm, Monday through Friday. Payments posted after 1:00 p.m. will be processed the next business day.

- OR -

You can send a check or money order to:
PO Box 182372
Columbus, OH 43218-2372

Please list the following information on the payment:
  • Obligor Name
  • CSEA SETS Case number
  • Court Order number
  • Social Security Number of the Non Custodial Party
This ensures that the payment will be applied to the proper child support case. (If a payment is received locally, it is immediately sent to Ohio CSPC for processing.)

You can pay online from your bank account using this link or call 1 (800) 403-0879 for information for this service. You can also pay with a credit card using this link or call 1 (888) 392-3391 for more information including fees charged for this service.

Parents who owe child support now have the option to make payments in cash and in person at Walmart and CVS MoneyGram locations anywhere in Ohio. Ohio's Child Support Payment Central partnered with MoneyGram, a money transfer company with 40,000 locations in the U.S. and 350,000 worldwide. MoneyGram can electronically send payments to Ohio Child Support Payment. To pay, parents need their case ID and Cause or Docket number, Receive Code: 14674 and paying through MoneyGram charges a $3.99 fee in addition to the payments. MoneyGram also has a mobile app that accepts payments; for more information about the mobile app, click here.
Please visit the Child Support Customer Service Web Portal at At that site you will be able to access and print a payment history as well as other information about your child support case.
If your payment is generated from an Income Withholding order to an employer or financial institution we are not able to take any action unless the payment is at least 10 business days later than expected. However, if you believe there are other factors that may be contributing to the late payment such as a change in the Non-Custodial Party's employment status, please contact your Case Manager. You may also call (419) 898-3688 (Ottawa County DJFS), press 3, then press 8.
There are several reasons why you may not have received a full payment. Possibly the Non-Custodial Party did not work a full schedule and the employer was not able to withhold the entire amount. Another reason may be because you have already received the full amount of support due you for the month. In that case all or part of an additional payment may be applied to arrearages due the state or to administrative fees.
Your Case Manager is responsible for hundreds of other cases. (S)He will make every attempt to return your call as soon as possible. When you leave a message please be sure to provide clear and complete contact information as well as your SETS number or your SSN. Visit the Child Support Customer Service Web Portal at for specific payment information. General information can also be found on this website, the Ottawa County DJFS website.
If you do not currently have a child support case you can access the Establishment Packet on this web site by going to Support Establishment. To begin the process, complete the packet and return it to the agency. If you are in the process of filing paper work with the court to establish a child support order, you do not need to complete the packet. The Child Support Agency will receive a copy of the order once it has been filed.
You always have the option to contact the genetic testing labs directly and pay for the test. However, if you have a case and paternity has not been established, the agency will be scheduling genetic testing for you and will notify you of your appointment date and time. Visit Paternity Establishment on this website. You are encouraged to contact your Case Manager to discuss your specific situation.
The Child Support Agency has many tools and initiatives that we utilize to collect child support payments. We base enforcement actions on specific case circumstances. It is our goal and intention to collect child support on every case. As we endeavor to do so we sometimes encounter barriers and situations that prove difficult to overcome. In these cases, we may attempt several different enforcement actions in order to find one that is effective. We will continue to provide collection services as long as there is money due on a case. We rely on information that the Custodial Parent is able to provide to us. If you have location information or employment information please access the Child Support e-mail from this website and send the information to the agency. Please visit our Enforcement page.
In Ohio, the current child support order typically stops when your child has turned 18 and has graduated, or turns 19 and has continuously attended an accredited high school. The court can deviate from these guidelines. Visit our Terminations/Emancipations page.
You must contact any attorney to petition the court for a change of custody order. You may petition the court on your own but your documents must accurately reflect the format and the information required by the court.
Cash medical orders are orders activated on your case when the medical obligor is not providing medical coverage. When medical coverage is being provided, according to the court order, the cash medical order is not active on the case. For more information on cash medical contact the child support agency.
The following services are designed to help job seekers find and maintain employment. Services are free and include: computers, fax and phone to aid job search, training in beginning computer use, tools to create a resume and prepare for job interviews, career exploration, facts on occupations in demand and wage statistics, information on obtaining a GED or remediation in reading, math and English, and tips on funding for school. The Ohio Means Jobs also offers information and guidance about starting your own business.
The Ohio Means Jobs system does not handle unemployment claims and cannot assist individuals with this issue. To file a claim call 1 (877) 644-6562 during business hours of 7:30 AM – 4:30 PM Monday through Friday or visit
The Ohio Means Jobs and its partners can help companies find qualified employees and provide training and other resources to employers. Services include recruitment, employee training, retention services, and rapid response to help employers with critical need.

Children & Adult Protective Services FAQs

Abuse is an act inflicted against a child which causes injury. It could be physical, sexual or emotional. Neglect is a failure to act on a child's behalf. It may not produce visible signs, and it usually occurs over time. Neglect can be physical or emotional.

Anyone who suspects or knows a child has been maltreated or is at risk of abuse or neglect is encouraged to make a report. This includes family, friends and neighbors. Professionals who work with children, such as school employees, counselors and medical practitioners, are required to report. The identity of the reporter is confidential and will not be revealed unless a court determines it necessary.

When determining the appropriateness of leaving an older child alone, there are many factors to consider:

  • The child's age and maturity.
  • Responsibilities expected of the child.
  • The child's knowledge of safety techniques.
  • The length of time and the time of day the child is left alone.
  • The proximity and accessibility of trusted adults.

The important question to ask is, "Does the situation place the child at risk of harm?" If you are unsure, err on the side of safety.

We do everything we can to keep families together whenever possible. When parents cannot provide a safe home for their children, we first look for other relatives or friends for help.

Parents are required to work a case plan which is designed to help eliminate the risks and safety concerns that led to removal. The Court evaluates progress when deciding whether to reunite the child.

You must complete a foster to adopt homestudy. OCDJFS foster/adoptive home assessors try their best to complete the foster to adopt homestudies as quick as possible. There are multiple items that must be completed in order to become a foster to adopt parent. To discuss these, please call us at (419) 898-3688.

If you are adopting a special needs child through OCDJFS, most related costs such as attorney fees, court fees, medical fees, and other fees, can be reimbursed to you through Non-Recurring Adoption Expenses. If you are adopting a child that is not special needs, you will be responsible for these costs.

Yes. You can adopt if you are single, married, divorced, living with a significant other, etc. All household members must be included on your foster to adopt homestudy.

Once you are approved for adoption and a child has been placed into your home, the child must live with you for a minimum of six months before you can adopt.

There are times that babies do become available for adoption. Typically, if a baby does become available for adoption and relative options have been exhausted, the foster home will adopt.

You will need to contact the Aging & Disability Resource Center 1 (800) 686-7367. Request to speak with the Long Term Care Ombudsman to report your concerns.

Anyone can report suspected elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. Certain professionals are mandated by Ohio law to report elder abuse. This includes all medical healthcare professionals, attorneys, social workers, law enforcement and emergency response personnel.

You will need the address or the exact location of the older adult and all information you have about the nature of the abuse. The screener will also ask you a series of questions to gather as much information as possible about the situation and the needs of the older adult.

APS strives to maximize independence and prevent, eliminate, or remedy the conditions that cause or contribute to the endangerment or abuse of adults.

Adults have the right to refuse help. APS respects the wishes of those that decline assistance except in situations where the adult clearly lacks the capacity to make this decision. APS works with doctors, mental health professionals and the courts when an adult’s ability to make decisions is in question and the adult is at risk of being abused, neglected or financially exploited.

There are several steps that you must complete in order to become a licensed foster parent. You have to complete 36 hours of pre-service training, have a fire inspection done on your home, have medicals completed on each of your family members as well as other requirements. For further information on how to become a foster parent, please call us at (419) 898-3688.

It Depends. Some stay for one night and others become available for adoption. You will learn more about this in your pre-service training.

During the homestudy process, you are able to have alternative caregivers approved to help watch your foster children. They will be required to complete background checks. You can also be approved to use county daycare, during the times that the adults in your home are working.

During the homestudy process, you have to complete a form called Child Characteristic Checklist. This will tell OCDJFS what ages & sex of children you are willing to take. Also, the checklist will tell OCDJFS how many children you are willing to take into your home, what diagnosis/special needs of children you are willing to take. This is your choice.

The rate for OCDJFS foster parents is $40.00 per day or $50.00 per day depending on age and special needs of child.