Lancaster, Ohio (February 12, 2024): In a move to modernize its approach to child welfare, Fairfield County Job and Family Services – Protective Services has joined a new statewide initiative called Practice in Action Together (PACT). This innovative model aims to strengthen relationships between families and caseworkers, ultimately leading to better outcomes for children.
Fairfield County was one of eight counties selected to participate in PACT, which was identified as a key component for modernizing Ohio’s child services agencies. Following a kickoff meeting with the Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO) last week, on-site training for local staff is scheduled for February.
“The purpose of PACT is to elevate healing and build relationships,” said Sarah Fortner, Deputy Director of Protective Services. “Moving forward with this practice will strengthen our collaborative decision making with families and our shared hope for success.”
Unlike traditional models, PACT focuses on family-centered values and positive interactions between workers and families. Both families and workers are actively involved in the process, providing feedback that helps refine and improve the model.
For Fairfield County, participation in PACT aligns with its commitment to continuously improve services and support for families in need. “Our overall goal is to provide the best services, support, and outcomes for the families and children we serve,” explained Fortner. “My hope is that implementing this behavior-driven approach to practice will ultimately lead to equity for our families, workers and community.”