SCJFS, Morton recognized with state, national awards


PORTSMOUTH- Scioto County Job and Family Services has received the statewide award for successes in the last year.

The statewide award is for “most improved in the area of All-Family Work Participation Rates, and that is directly linked to our cash assistance program,” said Scioto County Job and Family Services Director Tammy Morton.

The agency worked to transition operations during the pandemic to ease requirements aimed at able-bodies recipients required by law to work. Penalties were stopped for the duration of the pandemic.

“We couldn’t really expect someone to put themselves or their families at risk,” said Heidi Riepenhoff, SCJFS public assistance administrator.

Staff refocused during the pandemic and as the agency moved to a post-public health emergency status. They are making assignments, tracking information, and going forward with penalties. The department has a staff of 27, three supervisors, and an administrator.

“We’re still focusing hard on those that have these work activity requirements,” Riepenhoff said. “We’re getting back to that, and it shows with the award.”

It’s been good for the folks around the office, and Morton herself has been recognized at the state and national level for the work at SCJFS. In February she was honored with an Ohio Labor Relations Association Pacesetter Award, then was recognized again at the national in April.

“The credit is not for me, it is for the agency. Since February, this agency has been recognized three different times now for what we’re doing,” Morton said. “We’re not perfect, for sure, but we’re trying very hard to make sure the quality of work we do is shared with the community and they see our efforts are very worthy.

“We could not do it without our community partners. Without them we would have a tough row to hoe in helping our community and our residents.”

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