Children/Adult Services

Through our Social Services programs, the Jackson County Department of Job and Family Services works to assure the well-being and safety of Jackson County’s most vulnerable citizens: children and older adults.

We investigate reports of abuse, neglect, dependency and exploitation, and in partnership with other local agencies, we find solutions to ensure children and the elderly safe, supportive living environments.

We strive to strengthen families and keep them together, linking them to the services they need to ensure a safe environment for their children. But when this is not possible our caseworkers help to establish alternative living arrangements—with other family members, foster families or adoptive parents. Our ultimate goal is to provide children with a stable, loving, supportive home. 

Please report concerns of child abuse and or neglect to Jackson County Children Services at (740) 286-4181. To report a case of suspected abuse or neglect of an older adult, please call Adult Protective Services at (740) 286-4181.

The line is staffed during normal business hours. Call 911 or law enforecement after normal business hours or when you believe a child or senior is in immediate danger.

Adult Protective Services

Adult Protective Services (APS) addresses the safety and well-being of older adults, age 60 and over, in Jackson County. We investigate reports of suspected abuse, neglect and exploitation and coordinate services to protect those who have been identified as being victimized.

Warning Signs of Elder Abuse
• Bruises, black eyes, welts, lacerations, rope marks, fractures
• Untreated injuries in various stages of healing
• An elder's report of being hit, slapped, kicked, raped or mistreated
• An elder's sudden change in behavior, including being emotionally upset, agitated or extremely withdrawn
• A caregiver's refusal to allow visitors to see an elder alone
• Torn, stained or bloody underclothing
• Dehydration, malnutrition, untreated bed sores or poor hygiene
• Hazardous or unsafe living conditions (such as improper wiring, no heat, no running water, extreme clutter, hoarding, trash, animals)
• Bills unpaid despite adequate resources
• Improper or inadequate clothing, lack of necessary medical aids, such as eyeglasses, hearing aids, dentures, walker, wheelchair, etc.
• The desertion of an elder at a public location such as a mall or senior citizen center

Signs of Exploitation
• Sudden changes in bank account practices, including unexplained withdrawals of large amounts by a person accompanying an elder
• Abrupt changes in a will or other legal or financial documents
• Unexplained disappearance of funds or other valuable resources or possessions
• Discovery of an elder's signature being forged for financial purposes or for the transfer of titles, etc.
• Unexplained sudden transfers of assets to a family member or someone outside the family


Child Abuse

Following is a brief review of what is considered child abuse, neglect and dependency:

Physical Abuse: Non-accidental injury to a child or death inflicted other than by accidental means. This may include severe corporal punishment that results in serious harm.
Sexual Abuse: Act of sexual nature upon or with a child, such as molestation, prostitution, and pornography.  The act may be for the gratification of abuser or a third party.  
Emotional Abuse: Chronic, consistent attitude or act that interferes with a child’s psychological and social development.

Physical Neglect:  Willful failure to provide for a child; refusing to perform parental duties; abandonment.  Some examples include:
• Lack of supervision
• Educational neglect
• Medical/dental neglect
• Unsafe shelter
• Failure to protect (domestic violence, child endangering, driving intoxicated, etc.)
Emotional Neglect: Failure to provide the support or affection necessary to a child’s psychological and social development. Some examples include:
• Failure to thrive diagnosis
• Psychological neglect (for instance, parent does not take child for assessment when he or she threatens or attempts suicide)
Dependency: When a child is deprived of physical or emotional support due to a mental or physical condition of the child’s parents, guardian or custodian. This also pertains to a child who is at risk due to living in a household where abuse, neglect or dependency has already been substantiated in court regarding another child.
Who Are The Victims of Child Abuse?
• Any child (birth-18 years)
• Any child under 21 who has handicaps
• Children across all class, cultural and educational groups