Questions about Abuse, Dependency, & Neglect

Henry County Family Court

Are there laws to protect children from abuse?

Yes, Ohio laws protect children from child abuse, neglect, and dependency (parental inability to care for their children).

What is abuse?

Ohio Revised Codes defines an abused child as: a child who exhibits evidence of physical or mental injury other than by accident. Ohio Revised Code § 2151.031

What is neglect?

Ohio Revised Code defines a neglected child as: a child who is abandoned by the child’s parents or who lacks adequate care because of the parents’ failure to provide care. Ohio Revised Code § 2151.03

What is dependency?

Ohio Revised Code defines dependency as: a child is without adequate parental care such as to warrant the state assuming the child’s guardianship for the child’s protection. Ohio Revised Code § 2151.04

Are there different types of abuse and neglect?

There are many different types of child abuse and neglect, and agency responses vary depending on the type of abuse and the policies and practices of the local Children Services Agency.

Who do I contact if I suspect child abuse or neglect?

If it is an emergency situation call 911.

Every county has a Public Children Services Agency (PCSA or “Children Services”) that is responsible for enforcing Ohio’s child welfare laws, investigating reports of child abuse, neglect, or dependency, and providing supportive services and counseling to families at risk of child abuse, neglect, or dependency. Henry County Children Services can be reached at 419-592-4210

What does a Children Services agency do?

In some cases, the Children Services agency files a complaint in the Family Court alleging abuse, neglect, or dependency, but the agency must make “reasonable efforts” to preserve or reunify the family before taking any action to permanently remove the children from their parents’ care or to terminate parental rights. Some Children Services agencies are taking a more family-friendly, supportive approach to troubled families instead of the more aggressive and law enforcement-oriented traditional approach

What can I do when a social work agency is not complying with a court order to return my child(ren)?

You may consult an attorney or call the Public Defender’s Office or Legal Aid of Western Ohio.

How do I transfer a case from one state to another state?

If your case is an agency custody case the individual would be referred to the state issuing the order. Transfers on Agency Custody Cases are either transferred through the Interstate Compact or directly from one court to another court depending on the procedure of that particular court.