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Frequently Asked Questions

What if I don’t have custody of my relative, but I feel that I need to establish that?

You and your family can make an arrangement that best benefits the children involved without the intervention of Athens County Children Services. If you need help doing this or have questions, please call the Athens County Juvenile Court for assistance in doing this. Here is a helpful link to other Athens County government agencies:

For further questions about legal services and possible legal assistance, please visit the Southeastern Ohio Legal Services web page at:

Are there any monetary supports available to me to help with the costs of raising my relative?

You may be eligible for Ohio’s Kinship Permanency Incentive Program. Following the link here for more information:

If you think that you may be eligible or have questions about this program, please call the kinship case worker. Athens County Children Services is responsible for the administration of this program, so you will need to call ACCS to receive these benefits. This process requires the case worker to come to your home and visit with you, as well as gathering the necessary documentation for the program.

If I decide to work with Athens County Children Services, is my information confidential?

Yes. The kinship case worker must get releases of information in order to talk to other service providers. For example, if you need help navigating Job and Family Services, the case worker would have you sign a release allowing the case work to talk to Job and Family Services on your behalf. These releases can be revoked by you at any time. Your involvement with ACCS is completely voluntary.

What kinds of services are available to families seeking kinship support through ACCS?

The kinship case worker can help you navigate a number of different services. If you are not receiving benefits from the Department of Job and Family Services, the kinship case worker at Athens County Children Services can help you to get these services in place. We can also help you navigate other services such as mental health, linkage to childcare, etc.

I have legal custody of my relative. Can I receive support through Athens County Children Services?

Yes, you can receive support through Athens County Children Services without having an open case. The kinship case worker can assist you with getting linked to other services that may be of help to you.

What Can I Offer As A Foster Parent?

Your family makeup, interests and hobbies, along with the kind of training you receive, may make you a better match for some children than others. No two foster families are alike. What is most important is your ability to accept the child’s circumstances that brought him into care and give him the stability and individual attention he needs. You must also be able to accept the temporary nature of foster care and help a child move back to his family or move on to a permanent home.

Binti is a new foster parent licensing module that will help guide prospective foster parents through the inquiry process, provide basic information, and help introduce the individuals to the foster parent recruiter so the recruiter can provide more in-depth information and guidance as the individual(s) navigate the foster parent licensing process.

Families can access Athens County Children Services Binti by using the following link:

Are Foster Homes Licensed?

All foster homes are licensed by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in cooperation with Athens County Children Services and are recertified every two years. Prospective foster parents must complete training and have a completed home study. Persons applying to become foster parents must agree to a criminal background check with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

What is adoption?

Adoption is the permanent, legal transfer of all parental rights and responsibilities from one family to another family. Adoptive parents have the same rights and responsibilities as parents whose children are born to them. Adoption is the first step to a lifelong commitment of sharing your life with a child who has had an abusive or neglectful past. If you are interested in adopting a child with Athens County Children Services, please call us at (740) 592-3061.

What is foster care?

Children Services is the agency mandated by law to protect children from mistreatment. The Agency also provides supportive services to keep families together. However, when a child cannot safely live with their own family, he or she may be placed with a foster care family. Youngsters are typically placed with foster families because of abuse, neglect, or unstable family situations. The job of fostering has some very specific requirements. Foster parents provide temporary care for children whose families are experiencing a crisis. Most often the goal of foster care is to reunify children with their birth families and the foster parents will be expected to work jointly with the agency to achieve this goal.

If a referral is made about a child currently at school, will you come to the school to start the investigation?

Not necessarily. Children Services cannot interview children without the consent of their parents unless:

  • There is credible information indicating the child is in immediate danger of serious harm
  • The child will be in immediate danger of serious harm upon returning home from school
  • There is credible information indicating the child may be intimidated by discussing the allegations at home
  • The child requests to be interviewed at school due to one of the circumstances listed above