The Steps Toward
Employment and Permanent Self-sufficiency Unit (STEPS)
is at the forefront of the Agency's mission as defined by
recent welfare reforms. Staff members of this Unit emphasize
training, education and supportive services to help clients
become employed and self-sufficient. Through comprehensive
assessment and evaluation of each person's skills, schooling,
aptitude and abilities, the STEPS Unit identifies barriers
that block one's access to opportunities. Once these barriers
are determined, counselors work with clients to overcome these
obstacles. Great care is taken to motivate individuals to
successfully seek employment and to ultimately attain self-sufficiency.
STEPS counselors help people with the greatest needs become
contributing citizens of our community.
Workforce Development: As the County's
Workforce Development agency, the Allen County Department
of Job and Family Services is responsible for the provision
of services to youth, adults and dislocated workers mandated
by the Workforce Investment Act. Core and intensive services
are provided to job seekers to assist them in obtaining employment,
or a better job through assistance with job search, resume
writing and short-term, skills-based training. Longer-term
training is also available on a limited basis.
Workforce Development activities in the
county are guided by the Allen County Workforce Policy Board
(WPB). Appointed by the Allen County Commissioners, the majority
of the board consists of representatives of the business community.
Labor, education, the City of Lima and other customer representatives
make up the balance of the Board. The Board has worked diligently
since its inception, in early 2000, to develop a comprehensive
workforce development system which meets the needs of both
business and job seekers.
Income Maintenance: It is the task
of the Income Maintenance (IM) Division to provide assistance
to needy Allen County residents through Public Assistance
Programs such as Food Stamps*, Medicaid, Ohio Works First
(OWF) cash assistance and Disability Assistance (DA). IM provides
a temporary safety net for those families in immediate crisis.
The primary focus of the IM Division is to establish eligibility
for the above programs and to support Agency efforts to assist
clients in achieving self-sufficiency.
Social Services: The Social Service
Division provides direct services such as Day Care for children,
Learnfare, Preventative Health Care, Information and Referral,
Chore and Homemaker services for the disabled and elderly,
and Adult Protective Services. Title XX (Social Services)
and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) monies
are further utilized to contract with various agencies to
provide additional services for the community including Child
Protective Services, Adult Day Care, and transportation. These
services strengthen the Lima/Allen County community by providing
opportunities for self-sufficiency.
Prevention, Retention and Contingency (PRC):
One of the cornerstones of Ohio's Welfare Reform program was
the creation of the Prevention, Retention and Contingency
(PRC) program. The PRC program provides services to low-income
individuals (usually up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Level)
to prevent them from having to receive OWF cash assistance
and to help low-income individuals retain employment. Services
ranging from soft skills training to car repairs and transportation
have enabled many county residents to obtain and retain employment.
PRC funds are also used in conjunction with WIA funds to expand
workforce development programs within the county.
Fraud/Investigations: It is the responsibility
of the Fraud/Investigation Unit to investigate all allegations
of fraud. The Unit may pursue collection of overpayments,
criminal or civil court action, administrative penalties such
as disqualification, reduction of benefits, or suspension
from participation in Public Assistance programs.
Through the efforts of the Fraud/Investigation
Unit, the Allen County Department of Job and Family Services
is able to minimize the waste of tax dollars and return monies
to the government treasury so that those who are truly needy
Allen County Department
of Job and Family Services
1501 South Dixie Highway, P.O. Box 4506
Lima, Ohio, 45804
FAX: (419) 227-2448
Offering Opportunities for Independence
*The U.S. Department
of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination all
its programs and activities on the basis of color, national
religion, age, disability or political beliefs. To file a
discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights,
326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW,
D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA
is an equal
opportunity provider and employer.
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