To improve the well-being of Ohio’s workforce and families by promoting economic self-sufficiency and ensuring the safety of Richland County’s most vulnerable citizens.
To ensure that all individuals and families are provided encouragement and offered opportunity for personal responsibility, self-sufficiency, and realization of their fullest potential.
In 1946, the Ohio General Assembly passed legislation permitting Boards of County Commissioners to create County Departments of Public Welfare to provide assistance to needy individuals and families in the county. This legislation established a state-supervised, county-administered public welfare system in the State of Ohio. Although the name was changed to Department of Human Services in the 1980s, and numerous state and federal programs were added over the years, the agency's primary responsibility of providing financial assistance to the county's most needy residents changed very little until 1996. In that year, the Ohio General Assembly passed its first comprehensive welfare reform legislation, H.B. 167. This was followed by federal welfare reform legislation in the form of HR 3734, the "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996" which eliminated the Aid for Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) entitlement program and replaced it with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). In July 1997, the Ohio General Assembly again passed sweeping welfare reform legislation (H.B. 408), which built upon the earlier H.B. 167 changes, and took advantage of the enhanced flexibility given to states by the federal legislation. As a result of this innovative enactment, cash assistance is no longer an indefinite entitlement and participants are expected to achieve self-sufficiency within a three-year time frame. Ohio Works First presents an opportunity to bring community resources together in a new way to guide welfare recipients into the mainstream.
In 1999, the Ohio General Assembly, in response to federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) legislation, passed sweeping changes in the provision of workforce development services. This legislation merged two state-level agencies, the Ohio Department of Human Services and the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services, into the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. Locally, the Richland County Department of Human Services became the Richland County Job & Family Services (RCJFS) effective 07/01/00. The Richland County Job & Family Services has been designated the county's workforce development agency for the administration of Workforce Investment Act programs.