(COLUMBUS, Ohio) – Attorney General Mike DeWine today filed a complaint against House of Hope Central Ohio in Crooksville. The organization serves children in difficult circumstances, but it is not properly licensed according to the complaint and, in 2011, a resident of the facility was charged with gross sexual battery and gross sexual imposition against a former resident.
“Places like House of Hope do important work in trying to assist troubled children,” said Attorney General DeWine. “But these facilities must be properly licensed and we need to ensure that these children are properly cared for and safe.”
The complaint, filed on behalf of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), seeks injunctive relief ordering House of Hope to cease activities that require state certification, including accepting new children for placement. It also asks that current residents be released in a way that protects their welfare. ODJFS also asks for an expedited hearing to present evidence in support of its complaint.
ODJFS learned in September 2011 that House of Hope was not properly licensed after a resident’s parent filed a complaint against the facility. An on-site inspection followed and last December, ODJFS sent a letter to House of Hope directing it to cease operating until it was properly certified. The owners/operators of the facility responded that they would not stop operating or seek licensing. Additional requests to obtain certification were made to House of Hope prior to filing the complaint.
House of Hope, located in Morgan County but incorporated in Franklin County, accepts youth ages 13-17. Residents are home schooled while completing the facility’s program that usually lasts from nine to 18 months. The program includes a 30-day orientation period during which no leave is allowed, followed by five phases. Residents are scheduled to return home in the fifth phase of the program.
Motion for Expedited Hearing (PDF)
Dan Tierney -- 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti -- 614-466-3840