Family Services Department | Placement Services Department

Mahoning County Children Services is the public agency responsible for helping abused, neglected and dependent children in Mahoning County. Our staff is committed to providing a healthy, secure environment for each child under our care.


Family Services Department

Intake/Abuse Units

The Intake and Abuse Units’ provides emergency social services for families whose children are at risk of child abuse or neglect.

The Intake Unit assesses calls which involve situations such as lack of supervision, medical neglect and inappropriate home conditions. The staff in the intake and abuse unit works closely with law enforcement, medical professions, mental health professions, the prosecutor's office and many other social service agencies to ensure the safety of children.

The Abuse Unit assesses calls which involve either the physical or sexual abuse of children. The Abuse Unit partnerships with the County Child Advocacy Center, a facility where children are examined by Akron Children’s Hospital staff and video interviews are conducted to reduce the trauma of repeated interviews.

For information regarding the reporting of child abuse and neglect, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.



Ongoing Unit


The Ongoing Units’ provide assistance to at-risk families in order to keep their children safe from abuse and neglect in their own homes. The family, agency, and community come together to identify the family's strengths and concerns, goals and services, and develop a "plan of action" which will empower and support the family in addressing identified problems. If the child for whatever reason is unable to remain in the family's care and custody, a relative or non-relative may be considered for placement. If a relative or non-relative placement is not possible, then foster care placement may be provided. In those rare occasions when parents are unable to reunify their families, permanent custody of the child may be obtained and adoption services engaged.

The Family Services Department provides an array of supportive services to families: transportation, home management, emergency assistance, therapeutic services, parent education, home studies, and enhanced visitation.


Placement Services Department

Foster/Adoption Unit


The Foster/Adoption Unit is responsible for the agency's foster care and adoption programs. Foster care provides a temporary home with a substitute family for a child who cannot remain with his birth family. While the child is with the substitute family, the agency works with the birth family to reunite the child with them at some future time. While most of the children in foster care return home to their birth family, the agency provides adoption services to children for whom reunification is not an option. The Placement Services Department also includes pre-service education and home study services to families who desire to be licensed foster and/or approved adoptive parents.


Residential Unit


The agency operates two group homes, which provides placement for up to 20 children.  The staff is devoted to caring for the children and is supervised by two group home coordinators.  The children are able to maintain connections with family and continue schooling locally.  The youth receive an array of services including: counseling, independent living training services, and coordinated recreational activities.

The Residential Unit also facilitates the agency’s Independent Living Program, which provides a variety of services to youth in custody who are 16 years and older.  Independent Living services develop a range of daily living skills such as, cooking, cleaning, laundry, budgeting, checking and shopping.  The program also assists youth in transition to adulthood by providing vocational and educational support.


Community Education


A Community Education Specialist is available to make presentations to groups and organizations on child abuse awareness and prevention. There are programs for both children and adults. The Community Education Specialist also provides professional training to community personnel mandated to report child abuse and neglect.

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