Screening your calls
Richland County Children Services receives and investigates child abuse and neglect allegations. Child safety is the agency's main focus.
Screening / Receiving Child Abuse & Neglect Reports
Richland County Children Services screeners receive calls regarding child abuse and neglect concerns. Concerns may be called in to the agency 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 419-774-4100.
According to the Ohio Administrative Code, Richland County Children Services and other public children protective service agencies shall attempt to obtain, at a minimum, the following information from the reporter in order to arrive at a screening decision:
- The name(s) and address(es) of the child and his parent, guardian, or custodian
- The child's age
- The type, extent, frequency, and duration of the abuse, neglect or dependency, if applicable
- Alleged perpetrator access to the child, if applicable
- The child's current condition
- The child's current location
- Circumstances regarding the abuse, neglect, or dependency or the circumstances indicating a need for services
- Information regarding any evidence of previous injuries, abuse, or neglect
- Any other information that might be helpful in establishing the cause of the known or suspected injury, abuse, or neglect or the known or suspected threat of injury, abuse, or neglect or the case circumstances that support the family is in need of services
Within twenty-four hours from receipt of the information, the PCSA shall make a determination as to what category the information received applies and assign the information to one of the following four intake categories:
- Child abuse and/or neglect report
- Dependency report
- Family in need of services (FINS)
- Information and/or referral
Intake Investigation Teams
Caseworkers assess the abuse or neglect concern by interviewing and observing interactions of the child and family.
A specialized unit investigates sexual abuse and severe physical abuse concerns by collaborating with law enforcement officers. This cooperation reduces the risk that a child will be burdened with multiple interviews about their abuse and ensures that victim interviews will be effective in criminal proceedings.
In accordance with Ohio Administrative Code, an attempt to make face-to-face contact with the alleged child victim and at least one caregiver will be made in order to complete the safety assessment to determine safety and risk of harm within the family through child, caregiver, and alleged perpetrator interviews.
The family assessment and disposition will be completed within 45 days from the date of the receipt of the report. Richland County Children Services may extend the timeframe by 15 days when information needed to determine the report disposition cannot be obtained within 45 days and the reasons are documented in the case record.