Moving Ohioans Up and Out of Poverty

The human services network is experiencing unprecedented change as Ohio moves to better coordinate services across all public assistance programs, foster person-centered case management, and better helps individuals find employment, succeed at work and stay out of poverty.

A job is the best anti-poverty program. However, to ensure that low-income Ohioans have a clear path to employment, traditional family assistance programs have to more broadly address the wider range of obstacles that often prevent families from gaining economic self-sufficiency. This means in addition to providing traditional benefits, we must address factors such as education, mental health, substance abuse and housing, which represent major barriers to employment for many poor Ohioans. The good news is that strong programs in all these areas already exist, both on the state and local levels. Our challenge is to better connect people to the right resources for their situation, regardless of what agency provides those services.

A unique opportunity is before us. We are fundamentally changing how we deliver human services to help more Ohioans move up and out of poverty. There is much work to be done. We invite you to join the conversation.

Doug Lumpkin
Director, Office of Human Services Innovation

Additional Resources 
Read Director Dungey’s testimony on welfare reform
Read the announcement from ODJFS Director Cynthia C. Dungey.
Office of Human Services Innovation fact sheet
Overview of the Office of Human Services Innovation
Inventory of state resources and reforms in human services
Principles to guide Human Services Innovation