A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for April 1, 2019
Association Updates

New PCSAO Factbook demonstrates need for system investment
PCSAO released the 14th edition of its biennial Factbook March 29 as the House Finance Committee considers Governor Mike DeWine’s proposal to nearly double the state’s children services investment. The Factbook’s trend data reflect a system in serious crisis due in large part to Ohio’s drug epidemic. The Factbook also includes a breakdown of state and county statistics. Read more here , and review the Factbook online .

Anti-human trafficking update
Governor Mike DeWine and the Office of Criminal Justice Services announced the results of a human trafficking prevalence study completed by the University of Cincinnati that analyzed the extent to which youth and adults are exploited in Ohio. The study identified 1,032 juvenile human trafficking victims and 4,209 at-risk youth between 2014 and 2016. This report can be found on the website of the Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force .
PCSAO and grant partners presented about human trafficking at the 39th annual conference of the Ohio Association of Child and Youth Care Professionals on March 21. PCSAO and grant partners also provided an all-day training to children services, juvenile justice, and allied professionals in Montgomery County on March 28. If your agency would like training on human trafficking, reach out to PCSAO’s anti-human trafficking coordinator, Bhumika Patel, bhumika@pcsao.org .

PCSAO seeks AmeriCorps*VISTA
Do you have a passion for improving the lives of kids and their families struggling with substance use disorders? Help keep kids safe and families together. Join the Ohio Sobriety, Treatment and Reducing Trauma (START) pilot program! With support from the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities Foundation is working with PCSAO, local ADAMH Boards and other partner organizations to develop a statewide VISTA project designed to impact the opioid epidemic in Ohio. Through this project, VISTA members will serve with community organizations throughout Ohio.

The Ohio START VISTA will work in conjunction with the Director of Ohio START and other team members to provide support and management of the Ohio START Pilot Program in Ohio. The VISTA will engage and support family peer mentors and Ohio START caseworkers in peer-to-peer learning activities; provide support for current funding sources and research potential funding sources in support of sustaining Ohio START; research and write educational materials and papers related to the opioid epidemic and child welfare; and serve as Ohio START pilot liaison to county hubs to combat opiate addiction. The Ohio START VISTA will be an integral part of the START team providing support and leadership for the PCSAs implementing the program and creating a sustainability plan to allow the program to continue and grow.  For more information about the Ohio START VISTA position, click here

PCSAO Conference Call for Presenters
The 2019 PCSAO Conference Planning Committee is calling for presenters for the 34th annual PCSAO Conference. The theme of this year's conference is "Champions for Children and Families." The committee will be looking for presenters who have dynamic and engaging presentations that are relevant to child welfare evidence-based practices, who will benefit attendees, and who are creative. The conference draws around 500 people each year and is a valuable opportunity to educate child welfare advocates across the state. The 2019 conference will be Sept. 25-27 at the DoubleTree in Worthington. Workshop proposal information and application can be found here and should be submitted to pcsao@pcsao.org   by May 1. Any questions can be directed to the conference coordinator, Nitina Francis, at pcsao@pcsao.org or 614-224-5802.

Wear Blue April 10
No foolin': Today is the first day of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month! Join PCSAO and county agencies for the annual Wear Blue Day next Wednesday, April 10. Resources are available on the website. Anyone interested in supporting the prevention of child abuse and neglect is encouraged to wear blue that day – to work, to school, to a volunteer event, or even at home – and capture a photo. Pictures can be shared on personal social media and posted to county agency Facebook pages or to the statewide Facebook page . #OhioWearsBlue

FFPSA Leadership Committee
The ODJFS FFPSA Leadership Committee met via webinar on Mar. 28. Carla Carpenter, ODJFS OFC Deputy Director and Chair of the Leadership Committee provided federal updates related to the progress of the prevention services clearinghouse. ODJFS staff that co-chair the FFPSA Subcommittees provided updates related to QRTP, Prevention Services, Kinship/Adoption Navigator program, Family-Based Care, and Communications. The FFPSA Leadership Committee will meet in person next on Apr. 18. To follow the work of the Leadership Committee and the various Subcommittees, click here .

Rules updates
Rules in Pre-Clearance: As of March 29, no children services-related rules were in pre-clearance.
Rules in Clearance: Make comments here:
  • A procedure letter clarifying OAC 5101:2-42-05, “Selection of a Placement Setting,” is in Clearance until April 1. The letter clarifies the procedure when a PCSA or PCPA finds a non-custodial parent to be an appropriate placement for a child. 
  • A new rule, 5101:9-9-26, “Safeguarding federal tax information (FTI),” has been placed back into clearance until April 9. This rule is intended to ensure compliance with IRS Publication 1075, Tax Information Security Guidelines for Federal, State and Local Agencies: Safeguards for Protecting Federal and Tax Information. This rule was originally posted in Clearance in January and received many questions and comments.   As a result, ODJFS has made revisions and re-posted in Clearance.  
Filed with JCARR: As of March 29, no additional children services-related rules have been filed.

Announcements and Resources
Governor kicks off Child Abuse Prevention Month
Governor Mike DeWine reiterated his support for increased children services investments at the Ohio Children’s Trust Fund’s kickoff event for Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month March 25. Sen. Stephanie Kunze, who chairs OCTF; past chair Rep. Sarah LaTourette; and Executive Director Lindsay Williams announced award winners of the #EverydayOhioHeroes awards, including several from the children services system, and winners of the annual youth art contest. Events and commemorations will continue throughout April. Learn more about the Trust Fund .

Mental Health Awareness Day and Resiliency Ring event
Support Mental Health Awareness Day on May 9 by attending the 14 th annual Resiliency Ring event. Stand with advocates using their voice to support suicide prevention, school-based services, and mental wellness for all children, youth and young adults in Ohio hosted by Parent Advocacy Connection, Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation and YouthMOVE Ohio. The Resiliency Ring symbolizes the strength and solidarity of youth and their families to focus on resiliency and triumph above all else. The event will take place May 9 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on the Ohio Statehouse West Lawn. The event is open to the public and will include free t-shirts and lunch for those who RSVP by April 26 to Angela Lariviere at angela.yepdirector@gmail.com or Sasha Bowers at Sasha@ohioyouthmove.org
Child Protection in the News

Judge rules that Disability Rights Ohio has authority to investigate Buckeye Ranch .... Disability Rights Ohiofiled a lawsuit against the Grove City nonprofit ... from county children services agencies before interviewing foster youth.
The two-year budget proposed by Gov. Mike DeWine is encouraging in the priority it gives to Ohio's future - the millions of children who need help to grow up safe, healthy and prepared for good jobs. Giving $74 million more each year to county children services agencies could and should go to help ease the crushing caseloads that leave child welfare caseworkers and investigators, especially in Ohio's poorest counties, overwhelmed to the point of PTSD.

Scott Britton, the assistant director of the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, said that there are three elements for a successful children’s services agency no matter what the government structure: strong leadership, a well-trained casework staff, and community support.
OCJS reports that the study identified 1,032 juvenile human trafficking victims between 2014 and 2016, and researchers identified 4,209 youth who were at-risk for trafficking victimization.

Richland County Children Services has several events planned during April for National Child Abuse Prevention Month

Gov. Mike DeWine has proposed doubling the state’s investment in Ohio’s children services and foster care system in the next state budget. This is unprecedented in state history and will literally help save children’s lives.
Upcoming Events

April 3 | Fostering Pathways to Success Conference
April 3 | Board of Trustees Meeting
April 4 | Rules Review Committee Meeting

Employment Opportunities

Looking for a career in child protection? Or a new position to challenge yourself? Check out the latest job openings in child protection .

UPP graduates seeking employment at a PCSA are listed on our website.
Quote of the Week

"Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success."
- Shiv Khera  
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org