Job & Family Services Office of Families and Children
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General Requirements and Information

The following functions require certification from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS):

  • To operate a children's residential center(s). 
  • To operate a group home(s). 
  • To operate a residential parenting facility(ies). 
  • To operate or provide independent living arrangements. 
  • To act as a representative of ODJFS in recommending family foster homes for certification. 
  • To act as a representative of ODJFS in recommending treatment foster homes for certification. 
  • To act as a representative of ODJFS in recommending medically fragile foster homes for certification. 
  • To act as a representative of ODJFS in recommending pre-adoptive infant foster homes for certification. 
  • To accept temporary, permanent or legal custody of children. 
  • To place children for foster care or adoption. 
  • To participate in the placement of children in foster homes. 
  • To participate in the placement of children for adoption. 
  • To operate a children’s crisis care facility(ies). 

If your organization plans to engage in any of the functions listed above, please review the applicable requirements in the Ohio Administrative Code (OAC) and the Ohio Revised Code (ORC). The chart below shows which parts of the OAC and ORC relate to the functions listed on the left. 

FUNCTIONS

RULE/LAW CHAPTERS (OAC/ORC) 

All organizations subject to certification by ODJFS

OAC Chapter 5101:2‑5, “Child Services Agency Licensing Rules.” 

The operation of foster care programs 

OAC Chapter 5101:2-5 and OAC Chapter 5101:2‑7, “Foster Care.”

The operation of residential facilities (children's residential centers, group homes, residential parenting facilities and children’s crisis care facilities)

OAC Chapter 5101:2‑9, “Children's Residential Centers, Group Homes, Residential Parenting Facilities.”

The operation of adoption programs 

OAC Chapter 5101:2‑48, “Adoption.”

Definitions pertinent to all organizations subject to certification by ODJFS

OAC rule 5101:2-1-01, “Children Services Definition of Terms” 

Other applicable chapters of OAC for reference 

OAC 5101:2-33, 5101:2‑39, 5101:2‑42, 5101:2-44, 5101:2‑47, 5101:2‑49 and 5101:2‑52 may be applicable. 

Applicable ORC laws 

ORC Chapters 5103, “Placement of Children,” and 3107, “Adoption”

Application Process:
ODJFS requires the applicant to submit the following information:

1. Name and credentials of the person who will be the agency’s administrator.    

2. The name and address of the agency. 

3. The proposed purpose and function of the agency.  

4. Program type program and anticipated size.  

5. The specific services to be provided. 

6. The proposed staffing plan. 

7. Sources of funding and plan for ongoing funding. 

8. Anticipated sources from which children will be referred.  

9. If the agency is incorporated, a copy of the current Articles of Incorporation. 

10. If the agency is NOT incorporated, a copy of its proposed Articles  Incorporation and three letters of reference for each incorporator verifying that the person(s) is "reputable and respectable" pursuant to ORC rule 5103.04, as well as a check to cover the filing fee required by the Secretary of State. 

This information can be submitted electronically here. After ODJFS reviews the submitted material and determines the application packet to be complete and accurate, a certification specialist will contact the applicant to set up an onsite inspection. For an application packet, additional information, or to be connected with a certification specialist in the field office nearest your agency, contact the ODJFS Office of Families and Children Help Desk at (866) 886-3537, option 4.

Helpful Links:

http://emanuals.odjfs.state.oh.us/emanuals/ -  eManuals  

  • To access applicable rules, select Families and Children > Family, Children and Adult Services Rule Index or Licensing Rules
  • A Help Guide containing updates, including static links to individual eManuals, is available.
  • A tutorial is available to help you navigate, search and print from the eManuals site.  

http://codes.ohio.gov/oac/  - OAC Rules 

  • For information related to the application process for all organizations subject to certification by ODJFS, see OAC 5101:2‑5, “Child Care Agencies.” For policy requirements, see OAC 5101:2-5-13.   
  • For definitions related to all organizations subject to licensure by ODJFS, see OAC 5101:2-1-01, “Children Services Definition of Terms.” 
  • For information related to the operation of foster care programs, see OAC 5101:2-5, “Child Care Agencies,” and OAC 5101:2‑7, “Foster Care.” 
  • For information related to the operation of residential facilities, including requirements for the operation of children's crisis care facilities and residential parenting facilities, see OAC 5101:2‑9, “Children's Residential Centers, Group Homes, Residential Parenting Facilities.” 
  • For information related to the operation of adoption programs, see OAC 5101:2‑48, “Adoption.”   
  • Depending on the services the agency is applying to offer, OAC 5101:2-5-03 may require compliance with OAC 5101:2‑39, 5101:2‑42 and 5101:2‑47. In addition, select rules in Chapter 5101:2-33 may be applicable. 

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/ - ORC Laws 

  • Applicants also are responsible for reviewing ORC 5103, “Placement of Children,” and ORC 3107, “Adoption.” 

http://www.sos.state.oh.us/  - Information about Articles of Incorporation. 


http://www.state.oh.us/  - General information regarding the state of Ohio. 


http://www.jfs.ohio.gov/  - Information about ODJFS 

http://www.jfs.ohio.gov/ocf - Information about the ODJFS Office of Families and Children.