A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for August 10, 2020
Association Updates

State updates
The following are state updates for this week:
  • Gov. DeWine announced that all K-12 students must wear masks at school with limited exceptions. He took the advice of the American Academy of Pediatrics Ohio Chapter and the Ohio Children's Hospital Association.
  • Gov. DeWine announced that Ohio will enter into a multi-state purchasing agreement with five other states to purchase rapid point-of-care tests, with the goal of helping detect outbreaks sooner and managing congregate living facilities.
For the latest information from the state, visit the coronavirus.ohio.gov page.

Federal children services updates from NACHSA
The National Association of County Human Services Administrators, of which PCSAO is a member, provides federal updates on human services issues. Relevant children services updates:
  • No movement on COVID bill: The path remains uncertain for agreement on a fifth COVID-19 response bill. Key negotiators met Aug. 6 but made very little progress. The Senate and House are in recess for August but will come back to vote if a compromise is reached. Renewal of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits, reinstatement of a federal moratorium on certain evictions, proposed state and local fiscal relief, and the Senate-proposed liability protections continue to be sticking points. The National Association of Counties (NACo) has extensive federal information here.
  • House introduces bipartisan child welfare bill: Last week the Supporting Foster Youth and Families through the Pandemic Act (H.R. 7947) was introduced in the House. The bill is sponsored by House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Worker & Family Support Chairman Danny Davis (D-IL) and Ranking Member Jackie Walorski (R-IN). It boosts funding for a variety of programs supporting foster youth. Some provisions may be included in a forthcoming COVID response measure. Both NACHSA and NACo support the bill. You can read more here. A sign-on letter of support can be found here. State and local organizations are welcome to sign.
  • NACHSA joins NACo to urge continued SNAP flexibility: NACHSA and NACo sent a letter to House Nutrition Subcommittee Chair Marcia Fudge (D-OH) supporting her bill to continue providing states and counties with flexibility in administering the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program during the pandemic. The USDA has begun laying the groundwork for denying future waiver extensions. You can read the letter here.
Workgroup examines professionalization of treatment foster caregivers
As work on building a new tiered treatment foster care system for Ohio continues, a workgroup met Aug. 3 to discuss professionalizing resource families (a term gaining momentum to replace foster families) who provide treatment-level care to children. The challenge for network providers of obtaining liability insurance in an increasingly high-risk industry was a hot topic, as was the practice in some states of employing treatment families. Still, the group began to identify characteristics of the resource parents themselves and practices by agencies that contribute to treating these families as the professionals they are. The workgroup will meet again later in the month.

JFS HRA holds Q&A session
As vacation season continues, day care centers evaluate their capacity, and school districts cancel in-person classes, agencies are struggling with unprecedented staffing challenges. The Job and Family Services Human Resources Association met Aug. 4 with attorney Jonathan Downes to wade through the complexity of HR managers’ questions. Thanks to both for invaluable guidance during these monthly web meetings.

Board of Trustees meets
The PCSAO Board of Trustees met virtually Aug. 5 and approved minutes from June and July meetings and financial reports from May and June. Becky Sorrell, director of Preble County JFS, officially joined the board, replacing Kathi Spirk, who retired at the end of July. David Haverfield, director of Tuscarawas County JFS, was elected to replace Spirk as president. Stacy Cox, director of Champaign County JFS, will serve as vice president. The board received updates on PCSAO’s audit, the Ohio START budget for SFY21, an approved amicus brief, proactive legislative issues, and district discussions. Kara Wente, ODJFS assistant director, and Kristi Burre, Office of Children Services Transformation director, joined the board to provide updates on workforce stabilization, foster parent recruitment, and the COVID shelter care emergency rules expiration. The board will meet next on Sept. 2.

Community Education Committee talks substances
At its monthly web meeting Aug. 7, the Community Education Committee was pleased to have Ohio START Director Fawn Gadel share tips for communicating about families with substance-use disorders, including examples of people-first language and the impact of having family peer mentors attached to START cases. The group discussed foster recruitment strategies for faith-based and LGBT communities, shared planning tips for holiday gift donations, and reflected on the drop in hot line referrals early in the pandemic. The committee next meets Oct. 2. 

County Leader magazine features PCSAO column
The County Commissioners Association of Ohio’s County Leader magazine features a column from PCSAO Executive Director Angela Sausser focusing on the importance of maintaining robust funding for children services. You can read it, and other county news, here.
PCSAO Conference 2020

Become a sponsor!
The PCSAO annual conference, Partners in Progress, will be a polished virtual event produced by Mills James Productions. Our conference offers the opportunity to reach more than 500 children services professionals across the state. Our audience includes child protection caseworkers, supervisors, administrators, attorneys, directors, students and advocates. United Healthcare is our 40th Anniversary Sponsor. Visit our sponsorship page for more information.
Rules Updates

Pre-Clearance: The following rules are open for comments until Aug. 27:
  • Rule 5101:5-1-01 - Regional prevention councils operation and regional prevention council member duties.
  • Rule 5101:5-1-02 - Regional prevention coordinator duties and selection process (to be rescinded).
  • Rule 5101:5-1-03 - Boards of county commissioners appointing of regional prevention council members.
  • Rule 5101:5-1-04 - Regional prevention council designations (to be rescinded).
Clearance: A package of rules in 5101:2-5, Children Services Licensing Rules, is open for comments until Aug. 10. A summary of the proposed changes can be found at the following links:
The following rule regarding form changes to Title IV-E Single Cost Report Form and instructions is open for comments until Aug. 18:
  • Rule 5101:2-47-26.1 - Title IV-E cost report filing requirements, record retention requirements and related party disclosure requirements for Title IV-E agencies, private child placing agencies (PCPA), private noncustodial agencies (PNA), residential care facilities, substance use disorder (SUD) facilities and a qualified residential treatment program (QRTP).
Filed with JCARR: The following rules were filed with JCARR:
Announcements and Resources

Ohio START Summit Wednesday
Ohio START will hold its annual summit this week on Wednesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The summit offers sessions on family healing, building systems that work with generations, the impact of trauma, fostering hope and healing, the neurobiology of addiction and more. Find more information here.

Webinar centers on destigmatizing substance abuse disorder during pregnancy
Washington State Department of Children, Youth and Families is partnering with other entities to offer training on destigmatizing substance abuse disorder (SUD) during pregnancy on Aug. 12 from 1- 2:30 p.m. This webinar will describe the sources and impact of stigma associated with pregnant women who have an SUD and discuss other states’ approaches to managing their care. The target audience is physicians, medical assistants, social workers, and other clinical and behavioral health providers who serve pregnant or parenting individuals with opioid use disorder. Register here.

Groundwork calls for federal funding for childcare
Groundwork, a nonprofit that champions high-quality early learning and healthy development strategies from the prenatal period to age five, is calling for federal funding for childcare with a #savechildcare campaign. An estimated 45% of child care facilities are at risk of closing. Learn more about the campaign here.

PCSAO, DYS, Human Trafficking Task Force offer webinar series
The Ohio Department of Youth Services, Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and PCSAO are partnering to present the Human Trafficking Awareness & Identification Online Training Series. The following sessions are available:
  • Justice System-Based Interventions for Survivors of Human Trafficking: Vanessa Perkins and Emily Dunlap will look at interventions available through the adult and juvenile justice systems to support survivors of human trafficking Aug. 18 from 2-3:30 p.m. Many adult and minor survivors are forced to engage in criminal activity as part of their trafficking situations. As a result, they need trauma-informed supports through the adult and juvenile justice systems. This webinar will provide information about how Ohio’s Safe Harbor Law can be used to support juveniles and how specialized court programming like CATCH Court can be used to support adults.
  • Dynamics of Exploitation in Human Trafficking: Hollie Daniels, Rebekkah O'Bryan and Bhumika Patel will provide participants with a foundational understanding of how traffickers exploit victims Aug. 25 from 1-2:30 p.m. They will explore how this exploitation may render survivors dependent on their traffickers and wary of supportive systems, and how service providers can work to empower survivors toward recovery.
Connect Our Kids offers free family-finding tools
Connect Our Kids, a nonprofit dedicated to streamlining the family-finding and engagement processes for children in foster care, has developed free technology tools that are available to child welfare professionals. People Search and Family Connections can help to:
  • Find permanent families for children in need;
  • Build support networks around at-risk youth;
  • Engage extended family members;
  • Create support networks for grandparents who are raising their grandchildren due to the opioid epidemic;
  • Establish strong mentorship communications for foster and at-risk youth;
  • Identify contact information for extended family members; and
  • Build and engage support networks for those exposed to human trafficking.
Ohio Reach website returns
With its first-ever state budget appropriation in the Department of Higher Education, Ohio Reach has transitioned to its new home at the Ohio Children's Alliance (OCA). The Ohio Reach website is back up and running, and a new program manager, Tina Jacob, has been hired. The website's resource page is growing. It includes a form that foster care alumni can fill out for emergency funds. If you have content to contribute, email Tina

OCA offers conference opportunities
OCA is offering two conference opportunities. The Virtual Systems of Care Keynote and Workshops will be Aug. 31-Sept. 1. Click here for more details. The OCA 44th Annual Virtual Conference Keynote and Workshops will be Oct. 6-8. Click here for more information.

AETNA, CareSource support children's mental health initiatives
AETNA Better Health of Ohio contributed $100,000 to an initiative with OCA to establish same-day centers at a network of community mental health agencies located in every region of Ohio. The goal is to reduce wait times and improve access to mental health services for children and families. Read more here. CareSource also donated $100,000 to the Child and Family Health Collaborative of Ohio (part of OCA) toward a partnership focused on keeping children and their caregivers engaged in behavioral health services during the pandemic to prevent unnecessary out-of-home placement such as hospitalization, and to prompt aftercare when children return home from hospitalization. Read more here.
Child Protection in the News

Aug. 5 - SCCS plans to review background checks again - Portsmouth Daily Times 
During its Monday meeting, the Scioto County Children Services Board fielded questions and comments from the public who have grown frustrated with its failures to protect those in its care.

After two deaths in the care of Scioto County Children Services within the past 17 months, many are calling for a safer community for children. At Thursday’s Scioto County Commissioners meeting, the commissioners felt this need could be met by having more foster care parents.
Profiles of Hope and Courage:
Children Services in the Era of COVID-19

Stacia: 'The reason I am in this job is that I get to see the successful ending'

Stacia joined Montgomery County Children Services after graduating from Wright State with a social work degree. She began her career over 25 years ago in the ongoing unit, working on open cases. Since she enjoyed working with teenagers, her supervisor began giving her more of those cases, and it led to a rewarding career for her.

PCSAO is collecting stories from the front lines of child protection to raise awareness of the challenges our children services professionals, and the families they serve, are facing during this pandemic.
Upcoming Events

Aug. 12 | Ohio START Summit
Aug. 14 | Conference Planning Committee Meeting

Note: Meetings will be held via web meeting for the foreseeable future.

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.

Also, check out recent graduates of the University Partnership Program who are trained and ready to be hired by public agencies.
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org