Abuse, Neglect & Dependency
The Geauga County Prosecutor’s Office is responsible for representing the Geauga County Department of Job and Family Services (GCJFS) in all child abuse, dependency, and neglect cases. These cases typically begin when the GCJFS receives a report that particular child is being abused, neglected, or is dependent. The GCJFC is duty-bound to investigate these reports and the results of the investigation are then forwarded to the Prosecutor’s Office for evaluation.
If the investigation of GCJFS confirms that a child is in need of protective services, a complaint will be filed by the Prosecutor’s Office in the Geauga County Juvenile Court alleging that the child is abused, neglected and/or dependent. The case will then be adjudicated and GCJFS will offer services to the family through a Case Plan to help reduce the risk of future abuse, neglect, and/or dependency.
In most child protective cases the GCJFS provides its services to the child and family while the child remains in the home. However, there are instances when the child cannot remain safely in the home and it becomes imperative for the GCJFS to petition the Court to remove the child from its current environment. If the child is placed outside of the home, the GCJFS must develop a Case Plan that details the goals that need to be achieved by the family to ensure that the child is able to return to a safe home. If these goals are not or cannot be met, the GCJFS will identify an alternative safe and stable, permanent living arrangement that supports the child's health, growth, and development.
All child protective cases are handled in the Geauga County Juvenile Court and are closed to the public due to the sensitivity of the issues involved. If you have reason to believe that a particular child is being abused, neglected, or is dependent, please call the COPELINE at 440-285-5665 or 1-888-285-5665 (toll free).