A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for April 8, 2019
Association Updates

Fostering Pathways conference offers youth Independence City experience, chat with governor
Governor Mike DeWine opened the 11 th annual Fostering Pathways to Success conference, which drew hundreds of foster and emancipated youth and their adult supporters to the Columbus Convention Center April 3. Instead of making remarks, the Governor gave the young adults a chance to share their dreams and challenges with him. In addition to workshops on topics ranging from education to getting a job, participants spent the afternoon in an interactive “game of life” called Independence City. They had to maneuver through scenarios involving child care, housing, employment, life skills, and even a “temptation alley,” learning how to manage money, navigate social services, and avoid pitfalls. Thanks to Ohio Reach and ODJFS for sponsoring another stellar conference for young adults!

Board of Trustees meets
The PCSAO Board of Trustees met April 3 and approved the March 7 meeting minutes and the February 2019 financial report. The board approved revising the dues formula and discussed when to convene the PCSAO Dues Committee; reviewed the children services investments in the proposed SFY20-21 budget; and learned about several initiatives including the release of the 14 th edition of the Factbook and the Pathways to Success conference. The board received updates pertaining to pending legislation and rules and also approved supporting SB 69, Ohio College Opportunity Grant. The board meets next on May 1.

Anti-human trafficking update
PCSAO and Lauren Sabo, the OSU Moritz College of Law Greif Fellow in Juvenile Human Trafficking, presented about “Identifying and Responding to Trafficked Youth in Ohio” at the Fostering Pathways to Success Conference April 3. If your agency is seeking free training on human trafficking, please reach out to PCSAO Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator Bhumika Patel at bhumika@pcsao.org .
 
The Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance Center is hosting a webinar on “Human Trafficking Screening Processes and Best Practices” on April 16 at 2 p.m. Learn more and register here .

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.

Helping Ohio Parent Effectively (HOPE) update
March was Social Work Month, and HOPE would like to express appreciation to the social workers who, as one of our birth parents acknowledged, “choose to do this hard work and they don’t have to.” This article offers a foster parent perspective.

Wear Blue April 10
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

Rules update
Rules in Pre-Clearance: Find current rules in pre-clearance.
 
Rules in Clearance: As of April 5, no rules were in clearance.
 
Rules that have been filed:
  • Chapter 5101:2-40-06: Kinship child care program rules were original-filed on April 4 and retain a public hearing date of May 6. 
  • Chapter 5101:2-49-03: Special needs criteria for adoption assistance rules were revised April 4 and retain a public hearing April 8.
In addition, the following rules were final-filed on April 2 and will be effective on May 2:
  • 5101:2-47-11: Reimbursement for foster care maintenance costs for children's residential centers, group homes, maternity homes, residential parenting facilities, and purchased foster care homes
  • 5101:2-47-12: Foster care maintenance: Initial determination of program eligibility and reimbursability
  • 5101:2-47-16: Foster care maintenance program reimbursability: Reimbursable placement settings
  • 5101:2-47-23: Beginning date of reimbursability for foster care maintenance
  • 5101:2-47-24: Title IV-E agency contract and contract monitoring requirements for placement of children with a parent in a substance use disorder (SUD) residential facility
  • 5101:2-47-26: Title IV-E agencies, private child placing agencies (PCPA), private noncustodial agencies (PNA): penalties for failure to comply with fiscal accountability procedures
  • 5101:2-47-26.1: Public children services agencies (PCSA), private child placing agencies (PCPA), private noncustodial agencies (PNA): Title IV-E cost report filing requirements, record retention requirements and related party disclosure requirements
  • 5101:2-47-26.2: Cost report "Agreed Upon Procedures" engagement
Announcements and Resources
New Ohio public-facing child welfare data dashboard available
The new Ohio Department of Job and Family Services data dashboard was made available to the public April 1. The data dashboard was created to deliver the most recent and relevant data about the child protection system maintained by ODJFS. You can access the new data dashboard here.
 
A webinar is posted on the SACWIS Knowledge Base that provides more in-depth information regarding the data, construction and functionality of each dashboard. The webinar may be accessed here .
 
Online human trafficking courses
The OCWTP offers online human trafficking courses for child welfare staff and caregivers. The staff course fulfills the training mandate for new employees. It provides an overview of definitions, dynamics, and laws; identifies factors that increase risk; provides a rapid screening tool; outlines strategies for early intervention; and includes instructions for when a child goes AWOL from placement. To access Human Trafficking: An Online Overview for Child Welfare Professionals , go the OCWTP Distance Learning page and scroll down to find the course. You have an option to take the course with or without credit.

What Caregivers Need to Know About Human Trafficking includes an online course along with a web page full of resources that help caregivers know the scope of human trafficking; understand the dynamics of human trafficking; know factors that increase youth's vulnerability to human trafficking; recognize indicators that a child has been trafficked; and know strategies to help prevent youth from being trafficked.

Foster care placement trends topic of new report
The Annie E. Casey Foundation examined how placements for young people in foster care have changed from 2007 to 2017 in a data snapshot . Data from all 50 states were gathered, and Casey found that child welfare systems are doing a better job of placing kids in families. However, racial disparities persist for kids of all ages, and progress eludes teens in care. Learn more in the April 3 news article below.

OCF issues Request for Grant Applications
The Ohio Commission on Fatherhood (OCF) posted a new Request for Grant Applications (RFGA) and seeks to award applicants that will develop and implement regional approaches to promoting responsible fatherhood by helping fathers in diverse communities throughout Ohio to succeed as parents, partners and providers. OCF seeks to award at least five organizations $130,000 each per year for two years starting on July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2021. Applicants must provide comprehensive fatherhood services to a minimum of 200 fathers per year in at least two Ohio counties. Applications are due May 17 by 3 p.m. You can l earn more and apply here.  

Ohio Family Care Association 43rd Annual Conference
Join the Ohio Family Care Association (OFCA) for the 43rd annual resource family conference! Attended by over 200 resource families and leaders in Ohio’s child welfare and juvenile justice agencies, the conference is designed to connect, educate and build meaningful collaborations between people who share similar experiences. The conference will take place June 7-8 at the Embassy Suites Hilton, Columbus Airport. Visit the OFCA Conference website for more information and registration.
 
Impact of public perceptions on child welfare workers
The National Child Welfare Workforce Institute (NCWWI) published a one-page research summary that examines societal perceptions of child welfare work and how it relates to workers' job satisfaction and intent to leave. The summary illustrates that multiple factors influence workers' sense of commitment, job satisfaction, and intent to stay. In order to retain workers and strengthen the workforce, agencies should acknowledge the strong influence public perceptions have on the workforce.
Child Protection in the News

The RISE Program through Akron Municipal Court is giving help and hope to human trafficking victims. "Ohio has the fourth largest population of sex trafficking victims in the United States," Cable said. "I think it's safe to say that there are thousands of victims in this state alone."
 
Allen County Children Services Caseworker (ACCS) Shelby Lutterbein appears in a video released statewide this week that includes professionals from around the state encouraging others to be a superhero to children to prevent child abuse. The video began playing on child welfare social media pages as well as pages for other groups April 1, as part of Child Abuse Prevention Month held each April in the United States.
 
More progress is needed in Ohio to increase family placements for children in the foster-care system, a new report reveals. According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation, 85% of Ohio kids who need to be separated from their parents are staying with a foster family or relative, a slight increase from 10 years ago. However, the report shows 40% of Ohio teens in the foster-care system are placed in a group setting, compared with 31% in 2007.
 
Driving across the Miami Valley, blue pinwheels can be seen blowing in the wind and shining in the sun, but their purpose is more than just decoration.
 
"My dad is a Baptist preacher," Myers says. "When I came out (as lesbian), my family rejected me, and they've maintained that for 30-plus years. I envisioned the rejection a child must feel when they're in the foster care system, and I just didn't want kids to feel like that. Foster kids face a lot of rejection and abandonment issues. I could relate to the trauma."
 
For one Ohio trafficking victim, the opening of the accredited rape crisis center at the YWCA Dayton last year proved crucial to quelling her inner demons, which lingered long after the physical pain subsided. For years, her abuser raped and beat her daily. She must never tell anyone, he threatened, because it would "open Pandora's box." Discussing her ordeal in counseling made her feel like it would open that box of monsters and shadows.
 
April 1 - Pinwheels to prompt public awareness about child abuse prevention - New Philadelphia Times Reporter
To help get a message to the public, it takes many hands to place the silver pinwheels with blue sticks on the courthouse steps. Friday afternoon was no exception, when 15 volunteers placed 1,000 pinwheels on the steps in honor of the 15th Annual Pinwheels for Prevention program. April is designated as Child Abuse Prevention Month to create public awareness. The pinwheels will remain on the steps until May 2.
 
A spike in the number of children in foster care - many with more complex needs - along with inadequate funding and overburdened caseworkers, underscores the need for increased spending and reforms, according to a report released Friday by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio.
 
Two months into her internship at the Sandusky County Department of Jobs and Family Services, Hailie Prater did not expect to take a call that a mother ran out of gas on the Ohio Turnpike with a day-old infant in the back seat. That call is one of many JFS workers take on a routine basis as they are often forced to get involved with families at their lowest point.
Upcoming Events

April 12 | Conference Planning Committee Meeting
April 15 | Legislative Committee Meeting
April 18 | Northwest District 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
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org
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