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Seneca County DJFS announces Tiered Treatment Foster Homes program

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Jenni Zaika will lead the new program in Sandusky, Seneca, and Wyandot counties. (Photo Submitted)

Tiffin, Ohio — Sandusky, Seneca and Wyandot Job and Family Services announced Friday the arrival of the Tiered Treatment Foster Homes program.

The tri-county program builds on collaborative efforts with the Mental Health and Recovery Services Board of Seneca, Ottawa, Sandusky, and Wyandot Counties.

Youth requiring out-of-home care while remaining in or near their community in a more specialized setting is the goal of the Treatment Foster Care Program. This new program will be led by Jenni Zaika, the Treatment Foster Care Program Lead for all three counties.

Zaika will work with currently licensed family foster homes to determine their interest. She will begin the process of upgrading interested homes to therapeutic homes and to recruit new treatment homes. Zaika will work closely with those families and the children in order to bring about local therapeutic care for children who are often placed out of county, and sometimes out of state.

Treatment foster homes require additional specialized training to work with youth that have significant needs. Anyone interested in more information about what treatment foster care is or how to become licensed may reach out to Jenni at: Jenni.Zaika2@jfs.ohio.gov.

While the counties are the first to embark on this type of collaborative effort in Ohio, Sandusky County Director Melanie Allen and Wyandot County Supervisor Megan Rowe also serve on the policy workgroup to help develop a tiered treatment foster care program statewide.

In Seneca County there are 12 licensed foster homes. There are 30 children in the custody of the county and 19 of those children are placed out of county due to having a higher level of need.

Seneca County Job and Family Services Director Kathy Oliver is confident that “some of these children would thrive in a therapeutic foster home.”

“We are seeking caregivers with the dedication and skill set needed to give these kids that opportunity,” Oliver said.

Recruitment efforts are currently underway. Be on the lookout for informational events taking place in your area.


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