Intake Program Overview

Intake/Diversion Officers work with families, social workers, hospitals, and attorneys to screen cases on a daily basis. Intake/Diversion Officers provide a screening process for cases of abuse, neglect or dependency that family members or in some instances professionals who have direct knowledge of abuse, neglect or dependency of children must complete before formal court intervention is initiated. Through Family Assessment, families have access to the Court to have their cases reviewed by filing a motion. Pre-dispositional motions can be filed through Family Assessment by anyone who has an interest in the case. Post-dispositional motions can only be filed through Family Assessment by parent(s) and/or custodians and only if there are current orders to Franklin County Children Services. Intake/Diversion Officers are also responsible for processing certifications from other counties or other courts, adult criminal cases involving adults and children, consent to marry cases and judicial "by-pass" cases. Intake/Diversion Officers make referrals to community resources if Court intervention is not warranted.

Diversion Program Overview

In collaboration with the Franklin County Juvenile Prosecutor’s office, first-time misdemeanor offenders are referred to the Family Assessment Intake/Diversion Unit by the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office and Juvenile Magistrates. Youth referred to Family Assessment are scheduled to appear, with their parent or guardian, before an Intake/Diversion Officer. Once assessed, the diverted youth may be referred to a number of community based programs including Directions for Youth, Franklin County Children Services or a variety of other programs that are based in the Franklin County area. Additionally, youth diverted from traditional court can be referred to Court managed programs such as Teen Court, Juvenile Restorative Justice Circles, Community Service and Mediation. Successful completion of the diversion process can result in the youth not having a formal court record. Failure to successfully complete diversion results in youth being charged formally.

Who can Participate in Diversion?

  • Youth referred by a Juvenile Court Magistrate or by the Juvenile Prosecutor’s Intake Department.
  • Youth charged with misdemeanor offenses, who are first-time offenders.
  • Youth between the ages of 11 and 17 at the time of the offense.
  • Youth who acknowledge/admit their involvement in the offense.
  • Youth who have parental or guardian consent.

What Sentencing Outcomes are Available with Diversion?

Sentences may involve any combination of the following:

  • An apology to a victim or parent.
  • Community service hours.
  • An essay on a topic determined by the Intake/Diversion Counselor.
  • A research paper regarding the law that was broken.
  • Maryhaven Drug and Alcohol Program.
  • Multiple on-line programs such as the YES program, 3rd Millennium Stoplifting, 3rd Millennium Alcohol-wise and 3rd Millennium Marijuana-101.
  • Juvenile Restorative Justice Circles
  • Teen Court
  • Mediation

What About Parent Involvement?

Parents or guardians must accompany their teen for the following:

  • The teen’s initial appearance with the Hearing Officer or meeting with the Diversion Counselor/Family Assessment Officer

Unruly/Incorrigible Youth Program Overview

Parents who are having difficulty with their teenage son or daughter may come to the Family Assessment Department to meet with an Intake worker, once other resources have been exhausted. The parent and child will meet with the staff member in an attempt to resolve home conflicts or unruly or incorrigible behaviors. An assessment tool will be used to determine if any mental health or behavioral issues exist and the child will be referred to either Franklin County Children Services or Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Additionally, the intake worker will assist the parent with a formal unruly/incorrigible complaint which will be filed in the Juvenile Court and scheduled for preliminary hearing. Should services be successfully implemented the formal filing will be dismissed at the preliminary hearing. If services are not successfully implemented the Juvenile Court may issue a temporary order of custody of the child to Franklin County Children Services.

When can you File Unruly?

Once other resources have been exhausted, i.e. attempts at counseling, assessments, etc.

What is the Age Group?

The Unruly program is for youth that are between the ages of 11-17. If the youth is under age 11 please contact St. Vincent (614.252.0731) or United Methodist Children’s Home (UMCH 614.885.5020) for further assistance. If you need respite care, please contact Huckleberry House (614.294.5553 or 614.294.8097).

Who can File Unruly?

The parent, guardian, or legal custodians are the only people that can file unruly on a youth.

I Want to File Unruly, but my Child has a Pending Court Date?

No unruly filing is needed. At the upcoming court date concerns may be addressed and orders can be made by the Magistrate.

What if the Child is on Probation?

If the youth is on Probation, you must contact the youth’s probation officer and he/she can address the issues that you are experiencing.

What Outcomes are Available with this Filing?

An Unruly/Incorrigible filing will result in either a referral to FCCS for placement outside of the home or services to Youth and Family. Youth cannot be held in the Detention Facility, placed on probation, or placed on an Electronic Monitoring Device.

What About FCCS Involvement?

A referral to FCCS accompanies every informal or formal filing. Their involvement is strictly for services purposes only.

What Other Services Does the Court Offer?

Referrals are made to either BHJJ or FCCS and the youth will be linked through those agency’s contacts. Parents/guardians are expected to fully cooperate with interventions by Nationwide Children’s Hospital Behavioral Heath, Franklin County Children’s Services and the Franklin County Juvenile Court.

Does the Child Need to be Present at the Time of Filing?

We prefer the youth be present at the time of filing.

What is the Difference Between Informal vs. Formal Unruly Filing?

Informal: no formal filing which means no court date.

Formal: filing and court date is scheduled.

Family Assessment Intake/Diversion Staff

Julie O’Reilly Troth, Programs Supervisor 
(614) 525-3249
Rich Blascak, Intake/Diversion Counselor
(614) 525-7623
Jessica Cleavenger, Intake/Diversion Counselor
(614) 525-6361
Larry Dannals, Intake/Diversion Counselor
(614) 525-6130
Leon Randle, Intake/Diversion Counselor
(614) 525-3542
Amy Romine, Intake/Diversion Counselor
(614) 525-5869

Where is the Unruly Program Located?

Franklin County Juvenile Court
Family Assessment Department
373 South High Street, 4th Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215

Hours of Operation:

8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Monday thru Friday