MOUNT VERNON — There are no significant changes in operations at the local Job & Family Services operation, Director Matthew Kurtz told Knox County Commissioners on Monday, but he did report that local operations may help improve the state operation.
Kurtz said the local agency recently had a meeting with performance auditors from the state who are interested in aspects of the Collabora8 call center operations. The auditors, he said, wanted to go over possible recommendations for improved efficiency they may make to the Ohio Department of Job & Family Services, based on aspects of Collabor8’s system.
The multi-county JFS system makes it the fourth largest in the state, but its efficiency ratings are very high, meaning applicants get their approval or rejection quickly.
Kurtz also said one of the things he would like to see from the state is the creation of an electronic data collection system that would tie into information via the Internet so that approval or rejection of claims could be known by the end of the call. He said the system is in use in a couple of states, and it would take some work by the state to arrange with the companies and agencies that hold the data, for the data to be available. It would be a tremendous improvement in the speed of handling claims.
Kurtz said they are also closely watching developments in the federal budget situation. When Congress and the administration made a deal to extend the governments credit status, they agreed that a set of budget cuts would go into effect in December if no permanent budget was adopted. At this point, Kurtz said, they, are most concerned about the possible cuts to work training and Adult Protective Services. Title XX, which funds Adult Protective Service, is on the block, but JFS has to fund the program, Kurtz said, and will need to find the money. Meanwhile, barring any settlement that restores funding, the local JFS has to prepare for whatever they turn out to be.
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