New Social Services Web Site Is ‘211 Supercharged’

October 16, 2009
Springfield News-Sun

SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — The old adage “do more with less” has taken on a literal meaning for social service officials in Clark County as the need for services grows and dollars to provide those services shrink.

But administrators hope that the unveiling of a new Web site, Network of Care for Families and Children, can provide another resource for clients in need, Job and Family Services Director Bob Suver said Thursday, Oct. 15.

At the very least, officials say the site offers a proactive way clients can research assistance in the area on their own — instead of waiting for someone to pick up the phone at agencies that are laying off workers.

The Network of Care Web site was unveiled at the annual Social Services 101 workshop Thursday and was described by presenters as the “United Way 211, supercharged” and “211, beefed up.”

The portal’s information was derived from United Way’s Clark and Champaign County 211 directory, which is a compilation of resources for emergency assistance, including food pantry and shelter information.

“It does not replace 211,” said Cathy Appel, deputy director of JFS Family and Children Services Division.

Network of Care ( is a central online location for not only 211’s information, but links for assistive devices, legislative articles on bills relating to children and family services, insurance information and more in a “one-stop shop on the Web, “ Appel said. The site can also be updated in real time.

“I know that lately calling our office has been a little difficult,” Appel added. “So this is one way that you can get service immediately and accurate information in a timely manner.”

Another aspect of the Network of Care Web site is that there is a secure link where users can store — and share if they wish — information regarding health issues, medical records and other personal information.

Winkie Mitchell, a nurse at Rocking Horse Center, said the site, especially the health records option, could benefit the community as a whole.

“This is quick access to information that we would have to follow up on,” she said. “I would make our clients aware of it.”

To access the site, log on to http://clark.oh.networkofcare.org/family/home/index.cfm or visit www.clarkdjfs.org.