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Mission Statement

The Children Services Division is dedicated to protecting children from abuse and neglect, preserving families when possible, reuniting children with their parents when the problems that caused abuse or neglect are resolved, and permanency for those children who cannot be reunified.


The Lake County Department of Job and Family Services has the responsibility and authority to provide protective services to children residing in Lake County.  The Ohio Revised Code dictates the services which must be afforded to all minor children.

The Division receives referrals of abuse, neglect or dependency which must be investigated or assessed.  The assessment process includes interviewing with the family and coordinating with various service providers in the community. Whenever referrals prove concerning, the Division files a complaint in Juvenile Court on behalf of the alleged child victim.  In some cases, the Juvenile Court awards custody of the child victim to the department.

When this occurs, the Division immediately initiates the provision of case management services to the family and the child.  Services provided are intended to eliminate or alleviate the factors that contributed to the abuse, neglect or dependency of the child victim.

Additionally, the Children Services Division recruits and certifies foster care homes, and provides adoption services for the children in our custody. There is a great need for foster homes in Lake County. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a foster parent or adopting a child please contact the agency at (440) 350-4218 or (440) 918-4218 or click on the Foster Care/Adoption Information link below to learn more information.

Report Suspected Child or Elder Abuse or Neglect

24-Hour Child and Elder Abuse Hotline

(440) 350-4000 or (440) 918-4000
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Community Santa Program

Each year the Children Services Division seeks volunteers from the community to help make the Christmas season a little brighter for children in custody and needy families we are serving.  Throughout the year we have typically 100 children in custody who have been removed from the care of their families and are living in alternate living arrangements: foster homes and residential placements.

Lake County organizations, businesses, clubs and individuals have offered to become Santas for these children and families.  If you are interested, contact 440-350-4337 or 440-350-4322. You may help at whatever level is comfortable for you and your group.  You may “adopt” a child in custody or a family unit. We will provide you with a child or family and some gift suggestions.  To protect the confidentiality of our clients you will only receive first names and ages of each person.

We do not accept monetary donations however gift cards for grocery stores, gas stations or appropriate teen related stores are appreciated.  Unfortunately, the Lake County Department of Job and Family Services is not a charitable organization so although your gifts are very appreciated and much needed, they are not tax deductible.  If you wish to make a tax deductible donation, it may be made to the Lake County Foster Parent Association who provides year round events for children in foster care.

Emma Caley Receiving Home

Emma Caley Receiving Home is administered by the Children Services Division.  The Emma Caley Home has been in operation since 1948, and has provided care to many children throughout the years.  The home is licensed to provide temporary care to children between the ages of 7 to 18.  The home offers a trauma informed structured behavior modification program.

Emma Caley Receiving Home Community Engagement Plan for Residential Facilities

OAC 5101:2-9-38

The public may contact the Emma Caley Receiving Home with any requests, concerns, or other pertinent information by phoning (440) 350-4450 or (440) 350-4390 or emailing at [email protected] The Director of Lake County Department of Job and Family Services or designee will return any phone calls within three (3) business days. Non-emergent concerns will be addressed within 30 days. Caley Home staff are trained to handle emergency situations involving the residents of the Caley Home. If an emergency arises, emergency procedures will be followed.

The Intake Department

The intake department receives calls on the hotline for Child and Adult Protective Services. When the concerns meet the state criteria for assignment, an Intake Social Worker will investigate the concerns and assess child or adult safety. If safety issues cannot be resolved within 60 days, the case is transferred to the ongoing department.

The Ongoing Department

The ongoing department works with families when safety concerns are identified. The ongoing Social Worker monitors children and families while the family works to alleviate factors contributing to child safety. This involves guidance, support, services coordination and visitation when necessary.

April is Child Abuse Prevention Month

The Bonnie Finney Story

The blue ribbon has been widely recognized as a national symbol of child abuse awareness.  The movement began in the spring of 1989, when a concerned grandmother, Bonnie Finney of Norfolk, Virgina took a stand against child abuse after experiencing the death of her grandson.  She tied a symbolic blue ribbon to her van as a signal for the community of her personal commitment to involve everyone in the battle to stop child abuse.

Bonnie’s grandson, Michael Wayne Dickenson, was a young victim and his tragic death gave her the strength to encourage others to help in the fight against child abuse and neglect.  The spirit of the blue ribbon grew and it inspired a community based effort to join forces in this tragic battle.  Wearing a blue ribbon pin or wristband during the month of April acknowledges that many children are victims of abuse and neglect and that prevention is the key to reducing violence in these families.

Pinwheels for Prevention

The Pinwheels for Prevention campaign was originally created in Georgia and has been successful there for many years.”Pinwheels for Prevention” is a month long  campaign, designed to enhance community awareness about child abuse and neglect, and encourage support for prevention.

Speaking Engagements

The Children Services Division provides Mandatory Reporter Training and other training for various groups such as educators, day care centers, and mental health agencies.  If you are interested in receiving educational services regarding child abuse and neglect reporting and recognition, please contact Alison Tomaselli 440-350-4291.