Court Programs

The Court utilizes various programs to ensure public safety, consequences for inappropriate behavior, rehabilitation, and structure to the lives of youth and families served by the Court. Goals of the Court include reducing recidivism, providing assistance to victims of crime, and responding to antisocial behaviors and needs of youth and families in our community.

The Belmont County Juvenile Court has a purpose to serve not only delinquent and unruly youth but also the needs of both dependent and neglected children in providing for their care, protection, mental and physical development and well-being.  The Court, in addition, hears cases of child support, custody and parentage.

Utilizing various funding sources, the Court has worked hard to ensure not only success of the court programs but also sustainability. Through contracts and grants with the Ohio Department of Youth Services, the Department of Job and Family Services, the Federal Government and others the court receives over $500,000.00 annually to support the programs of  the Belmont County Juvenile Court.

Probation Department / Probation Department Programs

The Probation Department of the Juvenile Division of the Common Pleas Court is an active department, consisting of a Chief Probation Officer, three Probation Officers, five CCAP Probation Officers, and 3 Drug Court Probation Officers. All probation officers have caseloads assigned to them according to program and type of probation.  Probation Officers go through firearm certification and various trainings. It is not unusual for the Probation Officer to be involved with cases or questions on weekends, holidays and in the early morning hours.

Additionally, all officers have the following required duties:

1. Filing violations of law/probation through the Prosecutor's Office
2. Testifying in Court hearings.
3. Serving as Court Bailiff
4. Completing assessments on youth/writing case plans
5. Writing and filing reports/case note documentation
6. Public Speaking
7. Monitoring those under Court supervision through unannounced visits and drug screens
8. Utilizing arrest authority when appropriate

Probation Officers work closely and regularly with the Prosecutor's Office, schools, police, and various support agencies in the County. Attempts are made to have personal "face to face" contact with not only youth on probation, but all agencies with which this department has a business relationship.

As a Probation Department in the Juvenile Division, not only parents and custodians are dealt with on a regular basis but also adults who have been convicted of contributing to the delinquency or unruliness of a child for contributing. The department supervises adults on probation for these types of charges.

It is the Probation Department's belief that in order to be an effective, knowledgeable operation, it is mandatory to be out in the schools, police departments and community as much as possible in order to properly supervise those on probation. It is also of utmost importance that the Probation Officers know the respective environments of those they supervise and to know the issues that the clients must face on a daily basis. An ongoing, ever escalating abuse of alcohol and drugs, deterioration in parental supervision and lack of a home environment conducive to values are the primary reasons for youth becoming involved in the criminal justice system.

It is also paramount to the Court's position that rehabilitation of the juvenile offender is our objective through accountability, responsibility, treatment and supervision. However, the public safety and welfare must be of primary concern when deciding the appropriate action to be taken by a Probation Officer.

Truancy Program:

The Truancy Program implemented in 2010 by the Belmont County Juvenile Court works in cooperation with Belmont County Student Services and is funded through the River Schools Initiative Grant. This program serves all schools in Belmont County. The Truancy Program is designed to prevent and eliminate truancy or unexcused absences among students.  The Truant Officers work directly with the schools for early intervention with students who have attendance problems and will also work with the students and their families to help resolve any issues/obstacles that can lead to truancy. Parent Intervention Meetings are held with truant youth and their parents as a diversion tool in an attempt to avoid the filing of charges.  Students and parents not following the school’s attendance policies may face sanctions and discipline through the Belmont County Juvenile Court as described in the Ohio Revised Code regarding truancy.

The Internship Program:

The Internship Program works with college students from various local academic institutions assigning students as interns to the Court.  Internships are not only a learning experience for students but also an asset to the Court as they are able to provide assistance to Court staff through their hands on training in the everyday workings of the Judicial System.  Interns are permitted to travel with Probation Officers and court staff as they meet with probationers, parents, school officials, police departments and other professionals involved with youth. Clerks have them assist in office procedures and they observe court hearings while assisting in bailiff duties.  Interns must submit a written request to the court for permission to intern and a background check is completed for those accepted.

C-CAP (Concentrated Conduct Adjustment Program)

Mission Statement

We believe that all juveniles involved in the C-CAP Program are capable of learning the skills necessary to attain their place in our society as proactive, honest, and practicing citizens of this County, State and Country. Instructors provide examples and instructions to improve self-esteem, and individual counseling, and overall discipline of the program instills a strong work ethic, consistency of behavior, and develops the ability to handle all consequences for their actions. We believe that the C-CAP experience helps juveniles to live happier and more abundant lives, showing respect for themselves and others.

The C-CAP Program was developed in June of 1995. Before C-CAP, there was no other service available through the Court to help youth build self-esteem, break bonds of dysfunction and challenge them to find internal physical and emotional strength to make effective change in their lives. The C-CAP program provides intensive supervision and an opportunity for youth and probation officers to work together with youth reporting on Saturday during the school year and four days a week during summer break.  Team building exercises, academic work, life skills, community service and counseling are required by youth throughout this program.

I.

Court Ordered Youth

These youth have charges filed against them and appear in Court. The Judge then sentences/orders placement into the C-CAP Program. These youth must remain in the program until completing levels and graduation is recommended by the assigned probation officer. Youth may be required to participate in C-CAP from six months to one year or longer.

Goals:

To change the manner in which a juvenile behaves in school, at home and in public.
To develop self-esteem, discipline, self-confidence and leadership skills.
To enhance coping skills, anger management skills and acceptance of consequences for behavior.

If a youth is Court Ordered into the program, the parent(s) are Court Ordered to attend parenting classes

II.

C-CAP Diversion Program: (Schools or Court send youth)

Youth are referred to the program through their local School Districts or the Court. They are required to be in the program for no more than six (6) weeks.

Goals:

To aid schools in controlling truancy problems.
To aid schools in handling "unruly" behavior.
To give schools an alternative to out-of-school suspension.
To deter students from future behaviors that could involve court proceedings.


III.

C-CAP Alternative School (Belmont County Learning Center):

This program is designed to further augment the schools' Assertive Discipline Plan. It is designed not only to replace out-of-school short term suspensions but also to provide a GED classroom and opportunities for youth long term out of the traditional school setting as approved by each school district.

Goals:

The Alternative School provides an alternative for out-of-school suspensions.
To help students obtain a better understanding of their school problems and to assist with academic performance and negative behaviors.
To provide an alternative to the traditional school setting.

School Guidelines:


1.

Students suspended from school will be required to attend the C-CAP Alternative School for the period of their suspension.

2.

If a student is suspended three (3) times, the school will file a charge on the student resulting in court involvement.

3.

The student’s home school will send the student’s assignments to be completed with the assistance of the Alternative School teacher. The student must return the work completed to the home school.

4.

Students must appear dressed appropriately according to school guidelines and will work quietly and respectfully throughout the day. 

5.

Various counseling agencies occasionally hold group discussions with youth during the school day.

6.

Students take part in a physical activity daily.

Alternative School Virtual Learning Program (VLP)

The Virtual Learning Program (VLP) was started in January of 2011 out of a need to assist students opting out of their home school environments to participate in virtual learning (web based classes) from their home environment.  Often times these students are not disciplined enough to accept the academic and independent challenges of these types of programs. Students enrolled in virtual learning programs may attend the Alternative school per court orders, school agreements, and/or program acceptance to ensure school assignments are being completed. 

The Alternative school has a complete computer lab allowing students to gain access to the web. Students are provided with assistance by staff as needed and their academic work is monitored. This non-traditional classroom environment provides students the opportunity to associate within a small classroom with students participating in the same type of education. This has been a beneficial tool for students who are struggling to work independently in their home environments through various home school alternatives and offers supervision of the youth’s academic performance.

Carteens

The Court in conjunction with The Ohio State University Extension Office began Carteens in 2000. The Carteens supervisor, an employee of the OSU Extension office, enlists the help of teen leaders to teach and supervise the program. Troopers from the highway patrol and other law enforcement agencies assist in the operation of the program.

Carteens is offered to a first-time traffic offender as a diversion program rather than a court appearance. Alcohol related offenses and aggravated offenses are not eligible for Carteens. The program lasts approximately 3 hours and a parent is required to attend with their child. Eligible participants will receive a letter in the mail advising of the date and time of the program after receiving a traffic citation. Carteens is designed to increase teen driver awareness of traffic laws, responsibility and safety and is operated pursuant to local rule 10.

Drug and Alcohol Programs

Through graduated sanctions, the court utilizes an array of drug and alcohol programs and sentencing options.  Experimentation with drugs and alcohol during teen years is common but unfortunately youth do not always understand the severity of consequences and the addictions that may occur. The impact of ongoing usage and the effects on families and children of drug and alcohol addicted parents is also of grave concern to the Court. Understanding the needs to early detection and prevention measures in treating individuals involved with drug and or alcohol related issues, the staff work diligently to educate youth and families, to provide connections for treatment services and to monitor and establish goals and boundaries for such individuals to become productive members of our communities. 

Substance Abuse Intervention Docket

The Substance Abuse Intervention Docket (SAID) is an approximate ninety (90) day program designed to provide education and increase awareness of alcohol and other drug prevention treatment.   The goal of this early, effective intervention measure is to reduce drug and alcohol use, general discipline problems, criminal activity, absenteeism, and truancy while enabling the offender to become a productive member of the community.   

Only juveniles with a first offense that is considered a misdemeanor by the standards of the Ohio Revised Code are eligible to participate in the Belmont County Juvenile Court Substance Abuse Intervention Docket.  In order to participate in the program, they must admit the charges stated in the complaint are substantially true and the minor and their parent(s) must be willing to cooperate and abide by the terms and conditions of an Agreed Order.  

If the minor and family choose to participate in the Substance Abuse Intervention Docket and abide by the terms and conditions of the Agreed Order, then the respective case will not be filed in the Belmont County Juvenile Court, nor will it result in a juvenile record. 

Involvement in the intervention is approximately ninety (90) days; however, that time may be extended if necessary.  That is dependent on a child’s progress and compliance with the specific directives outlined in the relevant Agreed Order.

If during the time of court supervision, the juvenile or parent(s) fail to abide by the terms and conditions of the Agreed Order, or the juvenile is charged with an additional unruly or delinquent offense, or fails or refuses drug and alcohol testing, shows no or minimal effort to succeed in the program, or voluntarily withdraws, then the case will be filed in the Belmont County Juvenile Court.

Intense Substance Probation (ISP)

The Intense Substance Probation (ISP) program was created in 2010 as an extension of the probation department enabling drug court staff/probation officers to monitor closely youth on probation with drug and alcohol related issues.  These probation officers are trained to deal with youth and families facing drug and alcohol addiction issues. Traditional terms of probation apply in addition to more intense monitoring of drug and alcohol usage through various types of drug screens and referrals to drug and alcohol counseling and assessments.  The goal is to provide early intervention, education, and determent from continued usage in order to prevent addiction leading to life long problems and challenges.

Juvenile Drug Court

The Court began its Drug Court Program in 1999 with funding from the U.S. Department of Justice. A Drug Court is a special court given responsibility to handle cases involving less serious drug using offenders through intensive supervision and treatment. Drug Courts ensure consistency in judicial decision making, coordination of agencies and resources, and are a cost effective method to deal with youth having substance abuse problems. Drug Court emphasizes through positive reinforcement compliant behavior. Drug Court also relies on sanctions including terms of incarceration, increased drug testing, house arrest with GPS monitoring and intensive supervision. A juvenile that is "sentenced" to the Drug Court Program will be in the program for approximately one year. The juvenile will go through four phases. The first, the most intensive, requires the juvenile to attend Drug and Alcohol twice a week and appear in court bi-weekly. The case manager will visit the juvenile at home and school, grades will be monitored, random drug screens performed and a strict curfew abided by. Parents will be required to attend a parenting group.

The juvenile will also attend AA/NA meetings as a program requirement. Individual counseling is used in later program phases. An intensive outpatient program model is used by the treatment provider.

At the bi-weekly court sessions each case is discussed with the juvenile, the parents, case manager and treatment provider. The Judge comments on good behavior and levies sanctions for program non-compliance. However, as indicated previously, positive reinforcement is stressed. Rewards are given for appropriate conduct and mementos for phase advancement. It is common to have the entire courtroom applaud when a good report is given. Since the bi-weekly court sessions are conducted in front of all Drug Court participants, parents and guests, positive peer and group pressure are utilized.

To graduate from Drug Court the youth must be drug and alcohol free, comply with the program criteria and receive a recommendation from the treatment provider. Graduation ceremonies are open to the public and are well attended by local civic leaders. The purpose of public graduation is to continue the philosophy of positive recognition for a youth by not only the Juvenile Court, but also the community in general. Graduation results in the original juvenile case being dismissed.

Family Dependency Treatment Court

Family Drug Courts attempt to break the cycle of substance abuse in families by treating drug and alcohol addicted families who face the loss or restriction of their parental rights with the ultimate goal of maintaining family unity.

Belmont County Family Drug Court is a 9-12 month program aimed at returning children to their parents by intervening in drug and alcohol usage through intense supervision and participation in recovery services. When a family comes before the Juvenile Court, a referral of the family will be made by the Children Services Case Manager to the Drug Court Coordinator. If evaluation of the case indicates that this family would benefit from the Drug Court Program, then a referral for an assessment is made to North Point Counseling Services. A recommendation will then be sent to the Court. If a family accepts the Drug Court program, this demonstrates their willingness to accept all help in reuniting their family.

This program lasts 9 to 12 months on average. Depending on a family's progress the child may be returned during that time with a disposition of Protective Supervision to the Department of Job and Family Services. The speed at which this occurs varies depending on a family's progress in treatment and compliance with Family Dependency Treatment Court rules and regulations.

The Belmont County Family Dependency Treatment Court began in 2005 through collaboration between the Court and the Department of Job and Family Services. Currently, the program has a target of five to ten families to serve with the capacity to grow as needed. Initially, families in the Drug Court Program are required to appear before the judge every other week at which time the judge reviews the progress or lack of progress of the family. Intensive counseling with North Point and monitoring by the case manager will occur. At the end of the program, and if the family has successfully fulfilled the terms of the program, he/she will receive a graduation certificate and a graduation ceremony will take place.

Court Custody (Title IV-E)

The Belmont County Juvenile Court may take custody of a youth in delinquent and unruly cases for out of home placement for children in need of residential treatment, foster care or group home placements due to the inability of parents to effectively parent a child or ongoing behavioral and/or mental health problems of the child. The Court often takes into consideration not only court employees recommendations for a child but also the recommendations of counselors, schools, the local Cluster Board, Children Services, and families when placing a child.

When a child is placed into the custody of the court, a case manager is assigned either from the Court or the Department of Job and Family Services to monitor the case. A case plan is implemented and approved by the Court to ensure the interests of the child are being served. Case Managers work closely with the youth, their families, and the placement to ensure all of the child’s needs are met. Periodic reviews of the case and court hearings are held to monitor the case as required under the statute.

The Belmont County Juvenile Court is a Title IV-E court allowing the court to receive federal financial participation funding to assist with the placement of youth for those families income eligible. The Court also receives assistance for payment of placements through the local Cluster Board, the Department of Job and Family Services, Developmental Disabilities Board and child support. Children are placed into licensed foster homes, residential treatment centers, and group homes.

Restitution and Community Service

The Restitution and Community Service program accepts both delinquent and unruly youth who have been ordered to pay restitution and/or perform community service hours. The restitution portion of the program works to hold juveniles accountable who have committed crimes involving property damages or personal injury against victims. The court restitution and community service coordinator works with victims and the Prosecutor’s Office in order to establish a specific dollar amount to be approved by the court for repayment to the victim. The juvenile is then responsible for making payment of this amount to the Court. Once the restitution is paid in full, the victim is repaid and the juvenile is released from the program. The Court makes every attempt possible to collect restitution in full.

The court works with several local agencies, churches, schools, and government entities to maintain work sites for juveniles to perform community service. Work sites are arranged by the Community Service Coordinator, although direct supervision is left to the work site staff. Progress reports are sent to the Community Service Coordinator by the work site staff notifying the Court of compliance or non-compliance. Juveniles referred to this program have performed various community service activities such as clean-ups of city parks including mowing of grass and painting of playground equipment.

For further information about the Restitution and Community Service program please call (740)695-2121 ext. 1067.

Intake and Diversion Program

In January 2000, the Belmont County Juvenile Court created the Intake and Diversion Program after discovering the Court procedure in effect at the time delayed an initial appearance of a juvenile for many week or months from the actual time of the offense.

The Intake & Diversion Program is the informal process of diverting youths from further involvement into the juvenile system to an alternative, non-judicial method of dealing with the youth and the offense. Only those youth who have no prior official or unofficial records (first-time offenders) who are alleged to have committed a misdemeanor offense are eligible to participate in the Intake & Diversion Program. The Intake and Diversion Program fee is $75.00 per case and is required to be paid at the initial meeting.

The goals of the Intake & Diversion Program are:

To quickly and efficiently deal with first-time offenders and swiftly administer justice;
To allow the youth to acknowledge responsibility for his or her actions with appropriate consequences;
To provide the youth and family with needed resources; and
To prevent further involvement with the juvenile justice system.

Upon receiving the complaint, the Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator will notify the youth and his/her parents in writing of the date and time of the scheduled Intake and Diversion conference. This conference will be scheduled within ten (10) days of the Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator’s receipt of the complaint. In order to participate in the Intake and Diversion Program, the youth must admit the charges stated in the complaint are substantially true. If the youth denies or disputes the charges stated in the complaint, the scheduled conference will be cancelled and the complaint will then be filed in the Belmont County Juvenile Court for the youth to respond to the charge(s) in Court.

The youth and his/her parent(s) are required to attend the Intake and Diversion conference at which time the following will occur:
The Intake & Diversion Program Coordinator introduces herself and gets acquainted with the youth and parents. The youth and parents are also asked to provide information concerning the youth, the family and the alleged offense. The Intake & Diversion Coordinator reads the complaint or police report to the youth and parents. At this time, in order to participate in the Intake and Diversion Program the youth must admit the charges stated in the complaint are substantially true. If the youth admits to the offense, the conference will continue, and the Intake & Diversion Program Coordinator will assess the youth and family for concerns. This is done in an effort to link the youth and his/her family to appropriate community resources. If the youth denies the offense or chooses not to participate in the Belmont County Juvenile Court Intake and Diversion Program, the conference will end, and the complaint will be filed in the Belmont County Juvenile Court for the youth to respond to the charge(s) in Court. The final stage of the conference involves the youth accepting responsibility for the offense by signing an Agreed Order wherein he/she commits to abide by certain terms and conditions. The youth’s parent(s) or guardian(s) also signs this Order.

The terms and conditions of the Intake and Diversion Program Agreed Order are highly variable and depend upon the offense, the youth and the family needs. The typical time frame of involvement in the Intake & Diversion Program is ninety (90) days; however, this time may be extended if necessary. The Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator works extensively with school officials, law enforcement agencies and various agencies providing mental health and drug/alcohol counseling. While participating in the Intake and Diversion Program, the youth may expect the Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator to contact school officials regarding the youth’s attendance and compliance with school rules and regulations; request the youth to submit to random drug and alcohol testing; perform random curfew checks to ensure compliance; and request status reports from agencies providing mental health or drug/alcohol counseling to Intake and Diversion Program participants.

The following Local Rules of Procedure are hereby established by the Belmont County Court of Common Pleas, Juvenile Division:

1.1

Intake Procedure. Chief Deputy Clerk and Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator will review delinquency complaints. Complaints which are (1) a first offense (2) not a felony (3) the juvenile is not incarcerated (4) not an aggravated offense and (5) no objection is rendered by the prosecutor's office will be referred to the Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator

1.2

The Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator will receive directly from the prosecutor's office any unruly complaints that are also first offenses in which the juvenile is not incarcerated.

1.3

The Court may in the Court's sole discretion and with the approval of the prosecuting attorney refer cases to the Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator to further the interest of justice.

1.4

Upon the referral of a complaint to the Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator, the Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator shall immediately send a letter to the juvenile and the legal parent(s), custodian(s) or guardian(s) advising said persons of the intake procedure. A meeting will be scheduled with the juvenile and the parent(s), custodian(s) or guardian(s) at a time to be chosen by the Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator. A fee of Seventy-five Dollars ($75.00) will be charged for the services rendered on behalf of the Juvenile Court by the Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator. Said fee shall be payable by money order at the time of the initial conference.

1.5

The Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator will discuss with the juvenile and parent(s), custodian(s) or guardian(s) a resolution of the complaint in an attempt to avoid formal court intervention. Should the juvenile voluntarily terminate the program, appear to make no or minimal efforts with the recommendations of the Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator or receive a second offense during the intake procedure then the original complaint will be formally filed with the Court and referred to the judge.

1.6

The Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator is hereby authorized to develop an Intake Form, which is to be completed by the juvenile and the juvenile's parent(s), custodian(s) or guardian(s) and delivered to the Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator at the first meeting.

1.7

All cases referred to the Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator will receive an intake case number but will not receive a formal case number from the Clerk of the Juvenile Court. The Intake and Diversion Program Coordinator will keep a database of all juveniles referred for the intake procedure and the outcome of the intake process.


Dispositions

Disposition can be any one or more of the following:

Dismissal

Restitution

Referral to a Court Program

Intake and Diversion Program

License Suspension

Placement with Children Services

GPS Monitoring

Referrals to outside agency services

Fine and Court Costs

Community Service

Probation

Detention

Placement out-of-home


Legal Definitions

Delinquent Child
(Section 2151.02 Ohio Revised Code)
A person under the age of eighteen years:


(A)

Who violates any law of this state, the United States, or any ordinance or regulation of a political subdivision of the state, which would be a crime if committed by an adult.

(B)

Who violates any lawful order of the Juvenile Court.

Juvenile Traffic Offender (Section 2151.02.2 Ohio Revised Code)
A person under the age of eighteen years who violates any traffic law, traffic ordinance, or any traffic regulation of this state, the United States, or any political subdivision of this state.

Unruly Child
(Section 2151.02.2 Ohio Revised Code)
A person under the age of eighteen years:

(A)

Who does not subject him/herself to the reasonable control of his/her parents, teachers, guardians, or custodian, by reason of being wayward or habitually disobedient

(B)

Who is a habitual truant from home or school

(C)

Who so deports him/herself as to injure or endanger the health or morals of others.

(D)

Who attempts to enter the marriage relation in any state without the consent of his/her parents, custodian, legal guardian, or other legal authority.

(E)

Who is found in a disreputable place, visits or patronizes a place prohibited by law or associates with vagrant, vicious, criminal, notorious or immoral person.

(F)

Who engages in an occupation prohibited by law, or is in a situation dangerous to life or limb or injurious to the health or morals of him/herself or others.

(G)

Who has violated a law applicable only to a child.

Neglected Child (Section 2151.03 Ohio Revised Code)
A person under the age of eighteen years:

(1)

Who is abandoned by his parents, guardian or custodian

(2)

Who lacks proper parental care because of the faults or habits of his parents, guardian, or custodian

(3)

Whose parents, guardian, or custodian neglects or refuses to provide him/her with proper or necessary subsistence, education, medical or surgical care or treatment, or other care necessary for his health, morals, or well being.

(4)

Whose parents, guardian, or custodian neglects or refuses to provide him/her with the special care made necessary by his mental condition

(5)

Whose parents, legal guardian, or custodian have placed or attempted to place him in violation of sections 5103.06 and 5103.17 of the Revised Code.

(6)

Who, because of the omission of his parents, guardian, or custodian, suffers physical or mental injury that harms or threatens to harm the child's health or welfare.

Abused Child (Section 2151.03.1 Ohio Revised Code)
A person under the age of eighteen years:

(A)

Who is a victim of "sexual activity" as defined under chapter 2907.01 of the Ohio Revised Code, where such activity would constitute an offense under that chapter, except that the Court need not find that any person has been convicted of the offense in order to find that the child is an abused child.

(B)

Who is endangered as defined in the section 2919.22 of the Ohio Revised Code, except that the Court need not find that any person has been convicted under that section in order to find that the child is an abused child.

(C)

Who exhibits evidence of any physical or mental injury or death, inflicted other than by accidental means, or an injury or death which is at variance with the history given of it. Except as provided in division (D) of this section, a child exhibiting evidence of corporal punishment or other physical disciplinary measure by parent, guardian, custodian, person having custody or control, or person in loco parentis of a child is not an abused child under this division if the measure is not prohibited under section 2919.22 of the Ohio Revised Code.

(D)

Because of the acts of his/her parents, guardians, suffers physical or mental injury that harms or threatens to harm the child's health or welfare.

(E)

Is subjected to out-of-home care child abuse.

Dependent Child (Section 2151.04 Ohio Revised Code)
A person under the age of eighteen years:

(A)

Who is homeless or destitute or without proper care of support, through no fault of his/her parents, guardian, or custodian.

(B)

Who lacks proper care of support by reason of the mental or physical condition of his/her parents, guardian, or custodian.

(C)

Whose condition or environment is such as to warrant the state, in the interests of the child, assuming his/her guardianship

(D)

To whom both the following apply:

 

(1)

He/she is residing in a household in which a parent, guardian, custodian, or other members of the household has abused or neglected a sibling of the child.

(2)

Because of the circumstances surrounding the abuse or neglect of the siblings and the other conditions in the household of the child, the child is in danger of being abused or neglected by that parent, guardian, custodian, or member of the household.


Guardian Ad Litem Program

The Belmont County Juvenile Court utilizes Guardian Ad Litems (G.A.L.’s) to advocate for young people who are involved in the juvenile justice system. G.A.L.’s are court appointed volunteers who do not act as an attorney, but serve as an advisor to the court regarding the child’s best interests. G.A.L.’s speak with the child and other interested parties relevant to the case and prepare a written report for the court. The responsibility of the G.A.L. continues until completion of the case. A G.A.L. may be appointed for any youth involved with the juvenile court who are delinquent, dependant, neglected, or abused children. Training programs are required annually for court appointed G.A.L.’s.

The Mock Trial Program

Educating children as to the workings of the judiciary, the role the Juvenile Court plays in the lives of Belmont County’s youth, promoting abstinence from drug and alcohol usage and working closely with schools is important to the operation and function of the Belmont County Juvenile Court. The Mock Trial Program offers an opportunity for middle school aged youth to learn more about the judicial branch and procedures. The program also provides an opportunity for the Court to educate youth as to the consequences they may face for poor decisions they may make in the future. 

The Belmont County Juvenile Court travels throughout the county presenting “mock” proceedings in cooperation with all public and private schools.  The mock hearings are often times a dramatization of actual court cases previously heard by the Court.  Juvenile Drug Court participants and probationers agree to participate in the mock trials and provide valuable insight from their experiences in an open discussion forum following the mock presentation.  The juveniles are able to tell their “stories” and make a connection to the youth throughout the county. This program involves several court staff and participants, including 10 to 12 court employees along with the juvenile prosecutor and public defender at times. The Judge discusses cases, his actions, and presents the case the same as he would in the courtroom setting.