Protecting and Supporting Children
We believe in preserving, empowering and strengthening families so children are safe from abuse, neglect and dependency. We strive to reach safety, permanency and well-being of children by advocating for their rights and providing services in the least intrusive manner, as required by law.
Our goal is to provide support so families are able to safely care for their children. We are here to help. We respect the dignity of families.
Here are some answers to questions people often have about how Children’s Services works. Please feel free to explore other parts of our website, where you will find more information about other ways our agency helps families in need.
If this sounds like work you’d like to do, consider joining our child protection team. We have some great opportunities available for anyone looking to help children and families in our community.
More questions? Contact us.
Children’s Services operates the county’s 24-hour child abuse hotline, (513) 241-KIDS (5437), and is legally responsible for taking reports of child abuse and neglect, investigating reports and acting to protect child victims and children at risk of harm.
When abuse or neglect is reported, trained caseworkers investigate. If they determine abuse or neglect has occurred, they will try to help caregivers deal with the issues that have led to abuse or neglect.
In some cases, Children’s Services may remain involved with a family if additional services are needed. The division works closely with both families and community partners in making decisions that affect the children. Children’s Services may also refer families to services – such as drug abuse treatment, emergency housing, mental health counseling and parent training – for additional help.
If necessary for the safety of the children, Children’s Services seeks protective temporary or permanent custody of children through Juvenile Court. Children may be placed in temporary care or relatives, foster parents or others when they cannot be safe in their own homes. In some cases, Children’s Services will provide training in independent living skills for older teens.
The Children’s Services division of Hamilton County Job and Family Services is one piece of a larger child protection system in Hamilton County including:
- Law enforcement agencies
- Hamilton County’s Prosecutor’s Office
- Hamilton County Juvenile Court
- The Mayerson Center for Safe and Healthy Children at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
- Many other boards and agencies
Do Ask, Do Tell
Each year, approximately 1.5 million children become the victims of abuse and neglect in the United States. More than four times that number – 6.6 million children – are reported victims, but investigations do not yield enough proof of abuse or neglect. Amazingly, even more abuse and neglect goes unreported. Studies show that only one in 10 incidents of abuse is actually confirmed by social service agencies. Millions of cases go unreported. Report concerns by calling 513-241-KIDS (5437).