Job & Family Services Partners for Ohio's Families


                                            PARTNERS FOR OHIO'S FAMILIES

 What is Partners for Ohio's Families (PFOF)?                           

Partners for Ohio’s Families (PFOF) is the outgrowth of a three-and-a-half-year, competitively selected federal grant to identify how the Office of Families and Children could most effectively support the public and private agencies that serve Ohio’s children and families.  Since its start in 2010, PFOF has evolved from a grant-funded initiative to an ongoing commitment to sustaining innovations linked to successful outcomes for children and families. 

PFOF is founded in the science of implementation, integrating the principles of stakeholder engagement and continuous assessment.  A constellation of activities supports each component of the PFOF Five Strategies.  These include the following:

1.  Building a team approach.
2.  Building institutional behavior.
Establishing structured communication.
Building a knowledge base.
Supporting agencies to self-assess.

Click here to learn more about Ohio’s federally funded grant through the Midwest Child Welfare Implementation Center and to read about the results of various evaluation activities.  

                                                                PFOF_ Full_Color_Copy

What is STEP?                                                                           

The Solutions through Empowerment and Partnership (STEP) team is internal to the Office of Families and Children.  Members represent a cross section of the office’s program areas and are charged with doing the following:  

1.  Implementing a model for technical assistance to county agencies.
Addressing issues of organizational culture and climate that impact the office’s ability to sustain innovation and adhere to its vision, mission and principles.

The team is governed by a Charter.  Members meet monthly and through various workgroups.

What is the Partners for Ohio's Family Advisory Board?           

The Partners for Ohio’s Families Advisory Board  is a standing workgroup established to guide this effort.  The board identifies challenges, opportunities and solutions related to child welfare service delivery and public policy.  It is a clearinghouse of information and a venue for collaboration and discussion. The board does not have independent policy-setting authority; it is governed by a charter and meets four times a year.  

The board has three co-chairs representing the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio’s public children services agencies, and Ohio’s private children services agencies.  Members volunteer their time and expertise to the important work of improving outcomes for Ohio’s children and families. 

Do you have topics that you would like the board to consider?  Email them here.

Office of Families and Children's Vision, Mission and Principles


       1.  Vision
       2.  Mission
       3.  Principles

What are the Six Principles of Partnership?                               

To create a consistent philosophy and language of partnership among staff and stakeholders, the Office of Families and Children has established the Six Principles of Partnership as the foundation for how our team works together and with our partners.

Principle 1: Everyone Desires Respect
All people have value and a right to have some control over their lives. True partnership is impossible without mutual respect.
Principle 2: Everyone Needs to be Heard
When others are speaking, we should set aside our needs and agenda and listen with a sincere desire to truly understand others’ perspectives before communicating our own views.
Principle 3: Everyone has Strengths
All people have personal resources that, if recognized and utilized, can provide the raw material for solutions and future success.
Principle 4: Judgments Can Wait
We should become aware of the assumptions we make about others and their situations and do our best to reserve judgment.
Principle 5: Partners Share Power
Differences in power create obstacles to real partnership.  Whoever has more power in a relationship has the responsibility to balance the difference in power.
Principle 6: Partnership is a Process
Each of the six principles is a part of a greater whole. Each principle supports and strengthens the others.  We must put all principles into practice.

To view a short video about the Six Principles of Partnership, click here.


We believe that open and ongoing communication is an important element of partnership. Here are some ways that the Office of Families and Children communicates internally and with stakeholders. Do you have ideas about how we could improve? We’d love to hear from you.

First Friday
The Office of Families and Children distributes an electronic update the first Friday of each month. Each issue focuses on one of the office’s guiding principles and highlights a few activities that exemplify the principle.

Click here to view past issues of First Friday.
Click here to be added to the First Friday mailing list.

Event Calendar
Want to find out about upcoming meetings and opportunities? Check out the Office of Families and Children’s Event Calendar.

Rule Review Website
This website allows anyone to comment on the Ohio Administrative Code rules that govern programs for Ohio’s families and children, including child and adult protection, substitute care, adoption, and related funding and administrative functions. Whether you’re a professional whose daily tasks are guided by the rules, someone who has had experience with Ohio’s child welfare system, or simply an individual who cares about how Ohio’s programs for families and children are administered, you have knowledge and insight to offer. 

What are Regional Technical Assistance Team?                         

The Office of Families and Children’s regional technical assistance teams are made up of staff from many different program areas working together to provide more coordinated assistance to county partners.  Each team consists of a SACWIS specialist, policy and fiscal staff, and field office staff, including technical assistance supervisors and licensing specialists.  Together, they strive to do the following:  

  • Be partner-centered and acknowledge, respect and build, on partners’ culture and strengths.
  • Focus on solutions.
  • Be accountable to team members, partners and the Office of Families and Children.
  • Promote the principles of teamwork through cooperation and collaboration.
  • Generate knowledge across program areas.
  • Improve communication.
  • Encourage innovation through the ongoing sharing of ideas.
  • Empower decision-making at the lowest appropriate denominator.
  • Generate support through group decision-making.
  • Move staff toward shared goals and values.
  • Work from a strength-based perspective.
  • Support a holistic approach.
  • Encourage relationships without relying on a single individual.

From an external perspective, regional technical assistance teams do not significantly affect current communication processes.  Public and private agencies still reach out to field office staff and other established contacts with questions, call or email concerns.  Constituents still call or email the Office of Families and Children Help Desk. 

Click here to view the Office of Families and Children’s regional team map.