What are my rights?

When you are involved with Children’s Services, you have the right to:

  • Be treated with courtesy and respect.
  • A caseworker who listens to your needs and concerns and works with you. Your caseworker should manage your case in a caring, private, professional manner.
  • Decline to cooperate with the assessment.
  • Refuse to accept services recommended by Children’s Services on a voluntary basis.
  • Participate in preparing the case plan. You also get a copy of the plan.
  • Clear, honest answers to your questions so you understand why decisions are being made and actions taken in your case.
  • Be informed about other ways to get help if Children’s Services cannot assist your family.
  • Written notification of Hamilton County Juvenile Court hearings and actions on your case, if the court is involved.
  • Be served without discrimination on the basis of age, race, national origin, religion, gender, sexual orientation, lifestyle, or physical, mental, or developmental disability.
  • State any concerns you have and file a complaint.

Do you have concerns about our services?

For parents, relatives, legal guardians, foster and adoptive parents, children and other consumers involved with Children’s Services, we are here to help you understand what is happening, while assisting you in resolving any concerns.

Parents, custodians, legal guardians, foster caregivers, kinship caretakers, applicants or providers of approved adult-supervised living arrangements, and children who have interacted with the agency for the provision of services have the right to voice concern regarding that interaction.

The Office of Client Rights in collaboration with the Hamilton County Job & Family Services Customer Service Office is here to help and listen. The Office of Client Rights works with the Customer Service Office to receive complaints and/or inquiries from the community at large and consumers of agency services, to improve upon the services offered by our agency.

Inquiries and/or complaints are made directly with the Customer Service Office. In addition to the functions designated below, the Office of Client Rights acts as a separate and distinct office, responsible for the oversight of information gathered by the Customer Service Office to improve upon services offered through necessary training and/or staff development.

We are here to answer your questions, and to help facilitate the resolution of complaints in a professional and fair manner.

Your feedback and/or complaints help to make Hamilton County Job & Family Services better.

When should you contact the customer service office?

  • If you are involved with Children’s Services and have questions or concerns about services, the agency is or should be providing
  • If you have concerns about how your case is being handled
  • If you are confused about the rules, laws, policies or information communicated to you

 The customer service office can help you by: 

  • Answering your questions/inquiries
  • Giving you information about your rights and responsibilities
  • Assisting with a concern or communication issue between you and Children’s Services staff, or another agency under contract with Hamilton County Job & Family Services
  • Acting as a complaint facilitator to get your issues resolved

The role of the office of client rights

  • Works in collaboration with the Customer Service Office to ensure that citizens, clients, and community partners, are obtaining efficient and quality services from the agency
  • Works to ensure that client rights are upheld
  • Helps to facilitate the resolution of complaints that are unable to be resolved through the Customer Service Office
  • Shares your concerns with Hamilton County Job & Family Services leadership and other agencies to improve services
  • Provides training and development to agency staff based on community feedback received and data produced by the Customer Service Office
  • Provides access to the agency’s appeal process if you were accused of child abuse and/or neglect and do not agree with the Intake/Investigation finding
  • Reviews cases for Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) & Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI) assessments

 When should you contact the office of client rights?

  • If you are unable to reach a resolution of your complaint through the Customer Service Office
  • If you are a community partner who would like to schedule a meeting or a member of the community who would like to schedule a community session to provide feedback on your agency experiences
  • If you have an indicated or substantiated finding of child abuse and/or neglect during an agency intake/investigation, and you do not agree with the finding, and would like to schedule an appeal hearing:

An appeal can be filed by the individual the agency found to be a substantiated or indicated perpetrator of abuse or neglect of a child after an assessment/investigation. Only the alleged perpetrator (appellant) may file an appeal of the report disposition. If you are an alleged perpetrator and you disagree with the case disposition regarding a substantiated or indicated report of abuse or neglect, you have the right to an appeal. When the investigation is completed, you will receive a letter explaining the caseworker’s disposition. If you want to appeal the disposition, you must request a hearing within 30 calendar days from the date the disposition letter was mailed by either submitting an online request, calling 513-946-1313 or writing to:

Attention: Children’s Services Hearing Scheduler, Office of Client Rights

Hamilton County Job and Family Services

222 East Central Parkway

Cincinnati, OH 45202

Upon receipt of a request for a hearing, a hearing scheduler will contact the appellant to set up an appointment to present their case to the hearing officer and will provide the appellant with a notification letter of the date, time and place of the hearing. A copy of the Children’s Services Policy on Appeals to Case Dispositions will be included along with the notice.

Appeal hearings are scheduled for two hours and will be audio recorded. All parties who will be testifying will be sworn in. The hearing officer will submit a written report following the appeal hearing. The decision of the hearing officer is the final remedy within Hamilton County Children Services.

  • If you have a complaint of a possible violation of MEPA & Title VI by either submitting an online request, calling 513-946-1313 or writing to:

Attention: Children’s Services MEPA Monitor, Office of Client Rights

Hamilton County Job and Family Services

222 East Central Parkway

Cincinnati, OH 45202

Understand that the office of client rights & the customer service office cannot

  • Challenge or attempt to influence a court decision in your case
  • Conduct our own investigation of an active child protective case

If the Office of Client Rights cannot help you directly, we will direct you to people who can help. 

Contact Us

There are several ways to contact us with your questions or concerns. Contact may be made by phone, mail or online submission:

Phone

Contact us with questions or concerns about services via phone at 513-946-2466, Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Contact us to request a feedback session, an appeal to an agency finding of child abuse and/or neglect or to make a complaint of possible MEPA or Title VI violation at 513-946-1313, Monday – Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Mail

Hamilton County Job & Family Services, Customer Service Office,

222 E. Central Parkway,

Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.

 

Hamilton County Job & Family Services, Office of Client Rights,

222 E. Central Parkway,

Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.

Online Submission

Please click here to submit an online inquiry, complaint, request for appeal of an agency finding or possible MEPA or Title VI violation. You will be directed to a list of services. Please choose the appropriate service and then click on the green button to submit your concern online.