Hamilton County promises JFS reforms - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Hamilton County promises JFS reforms

Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann, Prosecutor Joe Deters and JFS Director Moira Weir announce reforms to the embattled agency Friday. (FOX19 NOW/Gordon Graham) Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann, Prosecutor Joe Deters and JFS Director Moira Weir announce reforms to the embattled agency Friday. (FOX19 NOW/Gordon Graham)
CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Hamilton County leaders unveiled reforms to the county's embattled Job and Family Services Department Friday in light of two tragic children's deaths.

Increased staffing to better handle the 17,000 kids in the system, improved training for case workers and reduced wait list to address new cases are some of the improvements unveiled in a 10:30 a.m. press conference at the county prosecutor's office.

"We have got to change how we hire people...how we hire caseworkers," said Hamilton County Commissioner Greg Hartmann.

JFS saw a 40 percent turnover in caseworkers last year.

Officials said they also plan to advertise differently for the positions.

Agency policies were not followed by two case workers in charge of the Bates family, according to an internal examination. Andrea Bradley and Glen Bates are accused of torturing their child to death. Bradley had a lengthy, troubling history with JFS and the agency director admitted the case was mishandled.

Another child under JFS supervision was placed with her aunt after a court motion stated the child could be in danger under her mother's care.

The aunt who received custody of 3-month-old Jayniah Watkins allowed mother Deasia Watkins to move in with her. Watkins is accused of beheading and stabbing the child.

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