Northwest Ohio entities partner to pay student workers

Allen County Children Services is partnering with Wood County to recruit and retain future workers.

The organization has begun a new program in Northwest Ohio to pay student workers to be a part of children’s services in several different counties. The hope is to garner future workers in the field.

Ten counties in Northwest Ohio have agreed to participate. Colleges including Bowling Green State University, Findlay, Tiffin and Ohio State University-Lima have agreed to partner as well.

Students studying sociology, criminal justice psychology and similar majors are welcome to apply.

The program will allow 100 hours of paid training over one or two semesters.

Allen County Commissioners approved a grant agreement between the Wood County Department of Job and Family Services and the Child Welfare Fellowship Project Consortium at Tuesday’s meeting.

Funding will be funneled through Wood County to pay students for their work in the field.

Child Protective Services Executive Director Sarah Newland weighed in.

“We are one of 10 counties entering into this agreement with them,” Newland said. “We are trying to recruit and retain more children’s services workers at the college level. They have created a fellowship program. It is working in partnership with our Ohio Means Jobs.”

The fellowship will allow college students to fulfill job training requirements and receive experience.

“Basically, student workers are being recruited at the college level working hand in hand with our staff,” Newland said. “They will be paid. All the funding will come straight from the state through Wood County.”

It is set to start in January. One student from Ohio Northern University was selected to kick off the program.

“We appreciate working with Job and Family Services and in Wood County,” said Allen County Commissioner Brian Winegardner.