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Mission Statement

The mission of the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services is to provide public assistance, child and adult protective services, child support enforcement and employment and training programs to the citizens of Lake County in a manner that recognizes and preserves individual rights, responsibilities and dignity so that families, children and adults are able to restore, maintain or improve their capabilities for self support and family life.

Lake County Department of Job and Family Services assists families with a variety of needs via Public Assistance Programs, Children & Adult Protective Services, Public Employment & Training Services and Child Support Enforcement Programs. 

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Job and Family Services Resources

NameJob TitlePhoneEmail
Agency, Fax440-350-4399
Baibak, CherylChild Support Administrator440-350-4306[email protected]
Caley, Fax440-350-4030
Child / Elder Abuse, Hotline(24-Hour) [Press#1] 440-918-4000 or440-350-4000
Child / Elder, Abuse Screening440-350-4332
Child Care, Provider Hotline440-350-4428
Cleveland IM, Fax440-918-4485
Cleveland, Fax440-918-4399
CSED, Fax440-350-4401
CWS, Fax440-350-4010
How long does a homestudy take?

The home study process begins with 36 hours of Preservice training, which is held periodically through the year.  During the training, paperwork is distributed to gather background information.  Once the paperwork is completed and returned to the agency a Social Worker will begin the interviewing process.  The amount of time it takes will depend a lot on your availability.  Home studies should be completed within 3-6 months.

Can I foster and adopt?

There are three options open to families- Foster Care, Adoption, and Foster to Adopt.  The foster to adopt program allows families to foster a variety of children while, at the same time, have an approved adoption homestudy.  If a child in care becomes available for adoption, foster parents would be advised of their option to adopt.  Your adoption homestudy is valid for any other county in Ohio or any other state.

Do foster parents get paid?

Foster parents are volunteers and are not considered employees of the agency.  They are reimbursed a per diem rate to assist with the care of the foster children placed into their home.  This rate is set by the county commissioners yearly.  All children in the custody of the agency are covered under Ohio Medicaid.

What if I work full time?

Many foster families consist of two working parents.  Alternative care arrangements may be made with an in-home provider or a licensed daycare center.  The agency will assist with the arrangements and either reimburse the foster family or pay the daycare directly.


Do I have to be married?

Foster and adoptive parents may be single or married.  Couples who are co-habitating will have their foster home certification in one person’s name.  Adoption homestudies are also done under one person’s name.  Life partners are listed as other adults residing in the home.

How much space do I need for a child?

Foster children do not need their own room.  They may share a room with your children depending upon the age and gender of the children.  No more than four children may share a room.  Children of the opposite sex may share a room if both children are under the age of 5.  Infants may share a room with an adult until the age of 1.

Can I home school?

Foster children would be required to attend the public school system in which the foster family lives.  The child’s social worker would be responsible for withdrawing the child from their home district and enrolling the child in your school district.

Can I pick the child I want?

Social workers will assist you during the homestudy process to determine the age, gender and characteristics of the children you could best parent.  After you are licensed you have the ability to accept or deny any child presented to you by the agency for potential placement.

Can I have pets?

Pets are permitted as long as they are kept in a safe and sanitary manner and are up-to-date on their vaccinations.  Indoor cats must also have their vaccinations up to date.

How much does an adoption cost?

The Lake County Department of Job & Family Services is a public agency.  Adoption homestudies are done for Lake County residents and the agency does not charge a fee for conducting the homestudy.  There may be minimal costs associated with completion of some of the paperwork requirements such as your co-pay for physical examinations and there is a charge to process the criminal record check.

What are the benefits of establishing paternity?

Paternity establishment can provide basic emotional, social and economic ties between a father and his child. Once paternity is established legally, a child gains legal rights and privileges. Among these may be rights to inheritance, rights to the father’s medical and life insurance benefits, social security and possibly veteran’s benefits. The child also has a chance to develop a relationship with the father, and to develop a sense of identity and connection to the “other half” of his or her family.


What will the case manager need to know to try to establish paternity?

The case manager needs as much information as you can give about the alleged father and the facts about your relationship with him, your pregnancy, and the birth of your child. Some of these questions may be personal. States must keep the information that you give confidential.

What if he denies he is the father, or he’s not sure?

Paternity can be determined by the evidence presented in court, including highly accurate tests conducted on the man, mother and child. Genetic test results indicate a probability of paternity and can establish a legal determination of paternity. These tests can exclude a wrongly accused man and can also indicate the likelihood of paternity if he is not excluded. All parties in a contested paternity case must submit to genetic tests at the request of either party.

What happens if I am not sure who the father is?

When more than one man could be the father of a baby, each may be required to take a genetic test. These tests are highly accurate, and it is almost always possible to determine who fathered a baby and to rule out anyone who did not.

I know the address of my children’s father in another state, and my case manager sent a petition to establish my support order there. That was three months ago, and still no support payments. What’s wrong?

It may be any number of things: enforcement officials may not be able to serve notice on the non-custodial parent due to inadequate address information; if a hearing is necessary, it may take a while to get a court date.  Continue to keep in touch with your case manager to resolve any delay or to provide any new information you may have.

As soon as the children’s father is notified about enforcement, he moves. How will I ever be able to collect my support?

It can be difficult to enforce child support payments when the non-custodial parent intentionally moves to avoid paying. Try to be an active participant in your own case. Whenever you learn that the non-custodial parent has moved or has a new job, you should tell your caseworker as soon as possible.


I think the children’s father is still in the area. What information will the enforcement office need to find him?

Most important is the social security number and current employer’s name and address; also helpful are the names, addresses and phone numbers of any relatives, friends, or past employers who might know where he works or lives. Unions, local clubs or organizations, including professional organizations, might also have information. Finally, information about local creditors, such as banks or utility companies, might yield an address.

What will happen when the caseworker has the current address of the non-custodial parent?

The child support worker will verify the home and work addresses, then may ask the parent to come to the CSED for an interview, or notify him/her that legal action may be taken.

Location NameAddressCityZipcodeWebsitePhone
Job and Family Services177 Main StreetPainesville, OH 44077440-350-4000
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