More Ohioans Now Legally Required to Report Suspected Elder Abuse

News from the Ohio Department of Aging and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services: 


Starting on Sept. 29, Ohio law greatly expands the number of individuals required to report suspicions of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation. Mandatory reporters now include many more individuals in the financial services, legal and medical professions – for example, pharmacists, dialysis technicians, firefighters, first responders, building inspectors, CPAs, real estate agents, bank employees, financial planners and notary publics.

“This expansion of mandatory reporters will help us in our goal of protecting our vulnerable family members, friends and neighbors from harm,” said Cynthia Dungey, director of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), which supervises Ohio’s Adult Protective Services (APS) program. “Older adults make up the fastest-growing segment of Ohio’s population so all of us need to be vigilant. If you suspect that elder abuse, neglect or exploitation might be occurring, please report it.”

“We work with state and local partners to ensure that our elders are able to live independently, and with dignity and respect, in their homes and communities for as long as possible,” added Beverley Laubert, director of the Ohio Department of Aging. “Each of us must feel empowered to speak up when we suspect that a neighbor, friend or loved one might be the subject of abuse, neglect or exploitation. Likewise, we deserve to know that people who serve our elders daily will take action when they spot warning signs.”

The law changes also require ODJFS to develop and make available educational materials for mandatory reporters. As a result, the agency developed guidebooks for financial services professionals, legal and law enforcement professionals, medical professionals and the public.

Anyone in Ohio can report possible elder abuse 24/7 by calling 1-855-OHIO-APS or by contacting the nearest county department of job and family services (JFS). To find the nearest county JFS, visit jfs.ohio.gov/county. Physical proof or other evidence is not required. Reports can be made anonymously.

If mandatory reporters fail to report possible abuse, they could face criminal charges and fines of up to $500. Ohio law allows no exceptions for professional relationships – for example, doctor/patient relationships or attorney/client relationships.

Elder abuse can include physical, sexual or psychological abuse, as well as neglect, abandonment or financial exploitation. In addition to physical injuries, the following are just a few of the possible indicators: being isolated, missing appointments, appearing frightened or avoiding specific people, suddenly withdrawing from usual activities or interactions, changes in mood or temperament, changes in personal hygiene, or being resistant to touching.

For more information, see the publication “A Guide to Protecting Ohio’s Elders” (JFS 08025), which is available at www.odjfs.state.oh.us/forms/pubs/. Industry-specific guides for financial services professionals, legal and law enforcement professionals, and medical professionals will be available soon.

Learn more about elder abuse, including how to recognize warning signs and who to call is you suspect abuse, neglect or exploitation, visit the Ohio Department of Aging’s Elder Abuse webpage at www.aging.ohio.gov/elderabuse.

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The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services manages vital programs that strengthen Ohio families. These include job training and employment services, unemployment insurance, cash and food assistance, child care, child and adult protective services, adoption, and child support services.

The Ohio Department of Aging serves and advocates for the needs of Ohioans age 60 and older, as well as their families, caregivers and communities. Programs include home and community based long-term supports and services, as well as initiatives to promote health and wellness throughout the lifespan.

Laura Roesch Elected to CCUSA Board of Trustees

Laura Roesch, chief executive officer of Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley, has been elected to serve a three-year term on the Catholic Charities USA Board of Trustees. Her election was approved by a unanimous vote.

Catholic Charities USA is the national office for one of the nation’s largest social service networks. Member agencies and institutions nationwide provide vital social services to almost nine million people in need, regardless of their religious, social or economic backgrounds. CCUSA’s mission is to advocate for justice in social structures and to call the entire church and other people of good will to do the same.

The organization has 167 member agencies nationwide, including Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley, which has offices at three locations in Dayton and one location in Sidney. Roesch is one of seven CCUSA member agency directors currently serving on the CCUSA Board of Trustees.

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve on the CCUSA Board of Trustees,” said Roesch. “It is deeply gratifying to see Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley’s hard work and successes recognized by this outstanding national organization. I am excited to be able to bring our local concerns and ideas to the national group, as well as to learn from my peers from across the country.”

A Social Policy Committee that provides insights and recommendations to the CCUSA Board of Trustees includes affiliate (non-voting) members from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Veterans Administration Catholic Conference, St. Vincent de Paul National Council of the United States, the Catholic Health Association, and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).

Elements of the Catholic Charities USA ministry that are most closely related to the local initiatives of Catholic Social Services of the Miami Valley include foundational services such as pregnancy/parenting services and senior care, refugee services, emergency assistance for the poor, behavioral health and nutrition.

CSSMV Night at 5/3 Field

Dayton DragonsCatholic Social Services Night at Fifth Third Field on Wednesday, June 27 was a great success! The $10 promotional tickets included a stadium seat ticket and a Dragons hat, and $5 from each ticket is coming to CSSMV as a fundraiser. We sold 331 tickets, raising a total of $1,655!

Our thanks to all who came out to show their support. We hope you enjoyed the beautiful weather and the 11-1 win over the Great Lakes Loons!

If you’d like to see video of our CEO, Laura Roesch, throwing out the first pitch, visit our Facebook page.