A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for April 13, 2020
Association Updates
Gov. DeWine wears blue at Wednesday news briefing
Gov. Mike DeWine highlighted PCSAO’s annual Wear Blue social media event April 8 at his daily news conference, raising awareness of child abuse prevention and saluting the work of children services caseworkers. ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall also gave a shout-out to Wear Blue during the conference and in a separate video released that morning. Other state and local officials posted photos along with our members across the state, and the LeVeque Tower in downtown Columbus lit up blue that evening. Check out all of the photos and videos on Facebook , and mark your calendar for next year’s Wear Blue event, April 14, 2021.

Governor continues efforts to combat virus
With the new stay-at-home order taking effect last Monday, Gov. DeWine and his administration continued efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus and to prepare Ohio's support systems for it. Highlights include:
  • Since the stay-at-home order began on March 22, Ohio has seen a 50 percent drop in child abuse and neglect reports because those who typically report abuse and neglect -- such as teachers, coaches, child care providers, and school counselors and nurses -- aren’t seeing children every day. Gov. DeWine urged everyone to report any suspected abuse or neglect by calling 855-OH-CHILD. 
  • The state is easing restrictions on Medicaid benefits, including bypassing prior authorizations for new prescriptions, waiving prescription copays, authorizing 90-day prescriptions, and reimbursing pharmacists for dispensing emergency refills without a prescription.
  • Many Ohio companies are stepping up to manufacture personal protective equipment, from hand sanitizer to face masks.
  • Ohio expanded reporting to reflect the new CDC guidelines. Reports will include cases in which a person has been diagnosed with COVID-19 without a test, and cases where it was listed as the cause of death. Ohio will report both the new, expanded numbers and the numbers of people actually tested.
  • Ohio has developed a plan to expand healthcare services at alternative sites in addition to the traditional medical care facilities in order to double its healthcare capacity if needed.
For more information on all of the state's orders, visit the executive orders page .

PCSAO, along with the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association (OJFSDA), the Ohio Child Support Enforcement Agencies Directors’ Association (OCDA) and the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO), continues to follow the situation closely and interact with state officials to ensure that county agencies are well represented and receive clear information. The best place to find information is coronavirus.ohio.gov . The Ohio Department of Health hotline, 1-833-4ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634), is open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. The governor holds press conferences at 2 p.m. on www.ohiochannel.org

Conference Planning Committee meets
The PCSAO Conference Planning Committee met April 10 to review plans for the conference, which is still scheduled for Sept. 16-18. The committee discussed arrangements as well as contingency plans should the conference need to be rescheduled or shifted to a virtual format. 

Call for presenters open for 2020 PCSAO Conference
We need your knowledge and expertise! The call for presenters is now open for our 35th Annual PCSAO Conference, scheduled for Sept. 16-18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Worthington/Columbus. The conference theme is “Partners in Progress” to reflect the transformation taking place in the child protection system. The audience consists of children services professionals: directors, administrators, caseworkers, supervisors, attorneys, students and advocates. Submissions are due May 1 by 5 p.m. Submit your proposal here . Note that you can download a preview of the entire application at the bottom of the submission link. You can check the PCSAO Conference webpage for updates.

Rules update
Pre-Clearance: The following rules from Chapter 5101:2-5, Child Services Agency Licensing, are in pre-clearance until April 30:
Clearance: The following rule is in clearance until April 21:
The following rules are under five-year review until April 17:
  • Rule 5101:2-33-28 - Joint planning and sharing information among the PCSA and CDJFS.
  • Rule 5101:2-38-20 - Public Children Services Agencies Assessment Requirements for Child Abuse and Neglect Reports in Alternative Response.
The following rules are in clearance under five-year review until April 22:
Filed with JCARR: The following rule was final-filed on April 7:
Announcements and Resources

NCWWI offers webinar on workforce wellbeing April 14 or 17
The National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) and Alia Innovations are offering a webinar titled "Supporting the Virtual Workforce: Well-being" on April 14 and April 17 from 3-4:15 p.m. With the unprecedented global crisis, the national child welfare workforce and leaders find themselves facing new challenges and stressors as everything that was normal is changing. Dr. Amelia Franck Meyer will provide hopeful perspectives, concrete action steps and tools, and words of comfort and support for the workforce to help them manage through this crisis. Register here .

30 Days to Family holds statewide learning community
30 Days to Family® Ohio held its virtual statewide learning community April 7. Marion and Williams counties were invited to join as Ohio's 15th and 16th counties. Counties shared updates related to their work with 30 Days and enjoyed a presentation on creative ways to approach remote work. Counties also celebrated their successes in finding ways to stay innovative during this time. Counties are finding ways to keep children connected with their kin, using intense strategies on cases to provide family search and engagement (FSE) for every child in custody, and experiencing FSE-focused culture shift. These efforts are in keeping with the philosophy of relentlessness and urgency at the core of 30 Days. Agencies are seeing children who have been in care since 2010 being supported through unique model approaches. For more information about 30 Days to Family® Ohio, read the 30 Days Progress Report.

Learn more about Youth-Centered Permanency Roundtables on upcoming webinar
Kinnect is offering webinars to PCSA staff interested in adopting the Youth-Centered Permanency Roundtables model. The model has been shown in 10 counties to help move children 12 and older toward permanency by putting the youth in charge of her/his permanency plan. It also helps shift agency culture and philosophy toward permanency across all divisions. Kinnect plans to bring 10 new counties onboard in 2020. Sign into one of these sessions:
New distance learning website from OCWTP
The Ohio Child Welfare Training Program has created a user-friendly distance-learning website with a variety of opportunities for caseworkers, supervisors, assessors, foster parents, adoptive parents and trainers. The sessions have been well received, and many trainings can be taken for credit.

JFS HRA continues weekly calls
Expert employment advice, interpretation of federal laws and guidance, and helpful Q&A are available every week through the JFS Human Resources Association. Many thanks to HRA President Valarie Nash (Summit County Children Services) and attorney Jonathan Downes of Zashin & Rich for this invaluable resource. The April 7 call explored additional guidance from the Department of Labor on the Families First Coronavirus Response Act and addressed scenarios around the extended Family Medical Leave and Paid Sick Leave provisions. Calls have been scheduled every Tuesday at 1 p.m.
Child Protection in the News

Child welfare advocates across the United States have expressed concern about the safety of children during a time when millions of people are being forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If you or your child are in danger, call Allen County Children Services at 419-227-8590 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays or the Allen County Sheriff’s Office at 419-227-3535. If you are having an emergency, call 911.
Ohio officials are urging Ohioans to be especially vigilant to signs of child abuse and neglect while residents are under a stay-at-home order, according to a news release from the Ohio Department of Public Safety.
The density of medical cannabis dispensaries is not independently associated with elevated rates of child abuse or neglect, according to data published in the Journal of Interpersonal Violence.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. This month and throughout the year, Adams County Children Services encourages all individuals and organizations to play a role in making Adams County, Ohio a better place for families. By ensuring that parents have the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to care for their children, we can help prevent child abuse and neglect by strengthening families and communities.

Butler County Children Services leaders say they are working to monitor cases and stay in contact with families during a time when those who most often report issues are not physically near children in schools, medical facilities and other offices.
As businesses and organizations continue to make adjustments through Ohio's stay-at-home order, Northeast Ohio Adoption Services is working remotely with kids waiting for homes. NOAS is an organization that helps find homes for children waiting to be fostered or adopted. "We train the families, so we recruit families who are interested in kind of helping these children who came into care through no fault of their own," said Cheryl Tarantino, executive director of NOAS.

With families forced to stay home and schools closed, the message of Wear Blue Day and child abuse prevention might be more important than ever. Wednesday was Wear Blue Day, a time to bring awareness to child abuse. It seems that COVID-19 has affected every aspect of our lives, and Wear Blue Day is no exception.

April 6 - Children Services active in pandemic - Times Leader
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the Belmont County Department of Job and Family Services continues to provide children's services despite the ongoing pandemic of the novel coronavirus.

April 6 - Agency vigilant during child abuse epidemic - Youngstown Vindicator
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and the Mahoning Valley is determined to protect children even during this coronavirus crisis.
Youngstown Vindicator - 4/6/2020Reporter Staff Report
Educators and child advocates across the Dayton region and state of Ohio are concerned school shutdowns due to coronavirus mean many vulnerable children have lost their safe haven at the same time family stresses have increased.

Thankfully, the coronavirus doesn’t seem to be especially lethal in children. But it’s still managing to threaten the systems that keep kids safe.
Upcoming Events

April 20 | Legislative Committee Meeting
May 6 | Board of Trustees Meeting

Note: Most if not all meetings will be held via web meeting or teleconference.

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 .
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org