May 28, 2019

Judy Eschmann, Director of Job & Family Services, is retiring

Judy Eschmann

BATAVIA, Ohio (May 28, 2019) โ€“ Judy Eschmann, the Director of the Clermont County Department of Job & Family Services, is retiring on May 31 after five-and-a-half years at the helm of the agency here, and a career of 33 years in social work.

That can be a tough and challenging profession, but for Eschmann, itโ€™s been a rewarding one. The Batavia native went to the University of Cincinnati intending to become a school teacher or social worker. After college, she took the civil service test required to work for what was then known as the county welfare department.

โ€œHamilton County hired me (a very young and green version of me) and I set out to โ€˜save the worldโ€™ and the next 33 ยฝ years just flew by,โ€ she says.

As a lobby receptionist for Hamilton County, she was the first face that hundreds of people saw each day as they came in for assistance. โ€œI worked my way up a career ladder and had an opportunity to work in many positions including case worker, supervisor, trainer, and policy coordinator,โ€ Judy said. โ€œIn 2010, I became the director of Clinton County DJFS which is structured very similar to Clermont DJFS, but on a much smaller scale. It was a great place to learn about all the connections among agency programs including funding, shared services, program mandates and overlaps and most importantly our shared customers.

โ€œIn 2013, I became director of Clermont County DJFS and have loved every minute of it,โ€ she says.

As director in Clermont County, Judy said she is most proud of the summer youth employment program that DJFS manages and that enlists local employers to hire youth from low-income families for summer jobs. Those jobs, which pay $10 an hour, can make a big difference to the kids โ€“ and their families.

โ€œI remember only having a few months to pull that program together,โ€ she says.โ€ Our entire agency assisted with identifying eligible youth as well as reaching out and recruiting employers to serve as worksites. That team effort was the foundation for a program that has grown each year and served hundreds of youth.โ€

Eschmann says that itโ€™s easy to misunderstand exactly what DJFS does โ€“ because it encompasses so many divisions.

โ€œThe name of Job and Family Services is vague and does not describe who we are, and most people donโ€™t realize what we do,โ€ she says. โ€œWe are a social service agency with a team of dedicated, talented, compassionate staff. In our Public Assistance Division, we assist families with temporary and long-term benefits (food, cash and Medicaid). In our OhioMeansJobs Center, we provide services to job seekers and employment training. In our Child Support Division, we establish paternity and enforce child support orders. In our Childrenโ€™s Protective Services Division, we work with families to overcome barriers to keep children safe.โ€

As she starts a new chapter, Eschmann says, โ€œIโ€™m so glad I had the opportunity to end my JFS career in the county I call home. I believe the programs we administer help assist individuals and families with self-sufficiency, assist with supporting a healthy community and assist with keeping children safe. I am fortunate to work with a talented team and all our accomplishments were possible because of my team.โ€

After relaxing with her family a bit at home, Eschmann says sheโ€™s ready for a new career. โ€œWhile Iโ€™m not as young or as green as I once was, I still have a fair amount of โ€˜save the worldโ€™ left in me.โ€