A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for August 31, 2020
Association Updates

State updates
The following are state updates for this week:
  • ODJFS released details on a new childcare option to support families with school-age children as the school year opens.  You can find a FAQ on the new Temporary Pandemic School-Aged Child Care Centers here.
  • Gov. Mike DeWine announced that the Ohio Department of Health will be issuing an order that requires K-12 schools to establish a mechanism for parents and guardians to report confirmed cases of COVID-19 among their children. Schools should notify parents/guardians in writing about each case and include as much information as possible without disclosing protected health information. Schools should also make non-identifying information about positive COVID-19 cases publicly available. 
  • The order will also direct all K-12 schools to report confirmed cases to their local health department, which will then report new cases and cumulative case data for students and teachers to the Ohio Department of Health. This aggregate data will be published at coronavirus.ohio.gov each Wednesday.
  • Gov. DeWine announced an order that limits the maximum number of spectators gathered at an outdoor sports venue to the lesser of 1,500 individuals or 15 percent of fixed, seated capacity. The maximum for indoor sports venues is the lesser of 300 individuals or 15 percent of fixed, seated capacity.
  • It is the responsibility of the school/venue to monitor and enforce the social distancing requirement, prohibition on congregating among spectators, and the other provisions outlined in the sports order. 
  • Federal coronavirus aid (CARES) in the amount of $175 million is headed to Ohio's local governments following approval from the Controlling Board. Local governments and the state had been waiting for additional flexibility from the federal government so the money could potentially be used to address wider issues caused by a loss of tax revenue. However, the funds will be distributed with the same restrictions as previous Controlling Board installments.  
PCSAO releases report on treatment caregiver supports
In conjunction with ODJFS Office of Children Services Transformation with support from Casey Family Programs, PCSAO released a report this week on additional supports and training that will be needed to expand the number and quality of treatment foster homes by the time the Family First Act goes live in October 2021. Recruitment and retention efforts will be critical as well. 
A diverse workgroup of stakeholders met to develop the recommendations, including representatives from public and private foster care agencies, foster and birth families, behavioral health providers, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, and other child protection leaders. Read the report here.

Centers of Excellence offer promise for Family First implementation
With Ohio's focus on best practice and evidence-based programs accelerating in the run-up to implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act, PCSAO commissioned a study of Centers of Excellence (COEs) as a leading approach to curating such important knowledge for child- and family-serving systems. Read more.

Webinar showcases new family-finding technology
Connect Our Kids was featured in a webinar Aug. 28, the second in a series PCSAO is offering during the pandemic to member agencies. Connect Our Kids features three powerful tools to help caseworkers and others identify kin for kids being served by children services agencies. The tools include People Search (a simple finder tool), Engagement Templates (for reaching out to potential kin), and Family Connections (a visual tree builder and outreach software).
PCSAO Conference 2020

Registration is open!
PCSAO is pleased to offer an exciting schedule of workshops for our "Partners in Progress" Virtual Conference Sept. 16-17. Thanks to support from our generous sponsors, including our 40th Anniversary Sponsor, UnitedHealthcare, our conference is open to all at a modest daily registration fee, with special discounts for PCSAO members and University Partnership Program affiliates. Continuing education training credit is available to licensed social workers, attorneys, and E-Track users. The two-day conference is structured with a welcome and keynote each morning (no credit) followed by a 15-minute break and then a series of concurrent workshops throughout each day. Visit our 2020 Conference Registration page for more information, or download our schedule at a glance.

Become a sponsor!
The PCSAO annual conference, "Partners in Progress," will be a polished virtual event produced by Mills James Productions. Sponsorship opportunities are still available! Visit our sponsorship page for more information.
Rules Updates

Pre-Clearance: The following rules are in pre-clearance for 14 days to prepare for five-year review. They are open for comments until Sept. 10:
  • Rule 5101:2-5-11 - Complaint handling.
  • Rule 5101:2-33-03 - Procedure for complaints of alleged discriminatory acts, policies or practices in the foster care or adoption process that involve race, color, or national origin.
  • Rule 5101:2-33-11 - Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) agency administrative requirements.
  • Rule 5101:2-33-13 - Administrative procedures for falsification in adoption.
  • Rule 5101:2-33-70 - Statewide automated child welfare information system (SACWIS) access.
Clearance: As of Aug. 28, there are no children services-related rules in Clearance.
Filed with JCARR: As of Aug. 28, no children services-related rules have been filed with JCARR.
Announcements and Resources

Virtual Fatherhood Summit Sept. 2-3
Registration is open for the Ohio Fatherhood Commission’s first “State Virtual Fatherhood Summit” Sept. 2-3 with a special follow-up "Breakfast with Dad" event on Sept. 5 to celebrate fathers.
  • Sept. 2: Ohio Practitioners Network for Fathers and Families Practitioner Training, 9 a.m.- 12 noonRegister here. Fatherhood Grant Writing Training from 1-5 p.m. Register here.
  • Sept. 3: Virtual Fatherhood Summit with guest speakers Alan-Michael Graves from Jerry and Jessica Seinfeld's Good Plus Foundation, Christopher Brown from the National Fatherhood Initiative, and Kenneth Braswell from Fathers Incorporated and the National Fatherhood Clearinghouse. Click here to register.
  • Sept. 5: Virtual Breakfast with Dad Event featuring guest speakers William Green, formerly with the Cleveland Browns, and Elbert "Ickey" Woods, formerly with the Cincinnati Bengals. Ohio fathers, please ask your children to join you with their favorite breakfast food to celebrate. Click here to register.
Attorney General’s Office offers Linking Systems of Care series in September
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office is offering a Linking Systems of Care for Ohio’s Youth Virtual Research Series throughout September. Each week will showcase two of the symposium presentations, highlighting innovative work across Ohio that bridges the gap between research and practice. Presentations will last 45 minutes, followed by 15 minutes for Q&A with the presenters. Sessions include:
  • Sept. 1, 1-2 p.m.: Who Experiences Violent Victimizations and Who Accesses Services? Findings from NCVS for Expanding Our Reach
  • Sept. 3, 1-2 p.m.: Joining Forces for Children: Using a Collective Impact Approach to Address Adverse Childhood Experiences
  • Sept. 10, Noon-1 p.m.: Leveraging Linked Data to Maximize Healthcare Delivery for Foster Youth
  • Sept. 15, 1-2 p.m.: The Needs Portal: A Resource Referral and Management Information System
  • Sept. 22, 1-2 p.m.: Promoting Racial Equity in Child Welfare CQI and Evaluation
  • Sept. 24, 1-2 p.m.: Public-Private Collaboration to Transform Child Welfare Systems for LGBTQ+ Youth
  • Sept. 29, 1-2 p.m.: Focusing on Services, Gaps and Needs for Ohio’s Traumatized Youth and Crime Victims

NCWWI and Children’s Bureau to offer worker recognition event
The National Child Welfare Workforce Institute and the Children’s Bureau will offer a one-hour virtual recognition event Sept. 15 at 3 p.m. designed to get people inspired and refocused on "the heart work." Hear from child welfare leaders and service recipients expressing their appreciation for how children services systems have adjusted their practice to serve families and children under unprecedented and challenging conditions. 

National Adoption Month webinar
The Child Welfare Information Gateway and AdoptUSKids are holding a National Adoption Month webinar on “Engage Youth: Listen and Learn” Sept. 30 from 2-3:30 p.m. Register here. During the webinar, professionals and young people who have experienced foster care will: 
  • Share insights on how to successfully engage and partner with youth.
  • Take youth engagement from abstract to concrete and describe how to incorporate youth voice into practice. 
  • Discuss how to authentically listen to and engage young people.
  • Provide information about resources and materials available from Child Welfare Information Gateway, AdoptUSKids, and Children’s Bureau grantees.  
Casey Family Programs hosts Ohio town hall
Casey Family Programs coordinated a town hall for Black and Brown staff from six of Ohio’s metro agencies on July 23. Read the summary. A similar town hall was offered Aug. 27 for allied partners. The town hall meetings have helped agency staff express their fears and hopes in a safe environment and look at ways to address systemic racism and racial disproportionality. 

Children’s Trust Fund offers grants for human trafficking efforts
The Ohio Children's Trust Fund re-released a Request for Grant Applications for its Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Training Services Initiative. The grants are for organizations in central, southeast, and southwest Ohio to serve minor victims of human trafficking, train child-serving professionals, and implement prevention activities.

OCALI offers training on responding to trauma, building resilience
The Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) is offering a new online learning module on “Responding to Trauma and Supporting Resilience.” The training is geared toward early childcare and education professionals who play a role in recognizing signs of trauma and identifying practical strategies to build resilience and connect families with resources and supports. You can find the training here. It is part of a suite of resources for early childhood professionals that can be accessed here.
Child Protection in the News

U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia announced a $20 million grant to help fight the opioid epidemic in Ohio Wednesday morning during a visit to Piketon. The pilot program aims to address the health and economic impacts of widespread substance and opioid misuse, addiction and overdose by providing retraining and other services to workers in communities significantly impacted by the opioid crisis.

Educating students during a pandemic can be challenging, but it's an even greater challenge for students who may not have the guidance and resources to take part in remote learning. Upward Bound provides support for low income students in our area to help them pursue higher education. The program is also available for students with disabilities, in foster care or aging out and those who may be homeless.

"Our primary strategy for emancipation since I became the director of Children Services six years ago has been to have as few kids as possible emancipate from foster care," Morrison said. "We don't want the last parent a child has to be us, we want it be somebody in the community." Known as "Bridges," a new law passed in 2017 extends the foster care emancipation age to 21, and provides housing and support to those who would otherwise be on their own at age 18.

Terra State Community College received a Short-Term Certificate Foster Youth Grant that will be used to help improve the success rates of youth as they transition from the foster care system into college.

Aug. 24 - Adoption delays not due to courts - Hillsboro Times Gazette
At last week’s Highland County Board of Commissioners meeting, local Job and Family Services Director Katie Smith said that 190 children were now in foster care, along with 37 who were in agency custody awaiting permanent adoption.

Aug 22. - Mayor says it's time to talk about sex abuse - The Findlay Courier
Findlay Mayor Christina Muryn issued a statement following the arrest of the Rev. Michael Zacharias saying that the Findlay Police Department will cooperate fully with the investigation. “I am distraught by the news of the arrest of Father Michael Zacharias. These allegations are not taken lightly, and the Findlay Police Department and our community at large will support the full and thorough investigation by the FBI. Such abuse of power, and perversion of sexuality is unacceptable and cannot be tolerated by any organization, individual, or society," said Muryn.

The Allen County Children’s Services board of directors — without comment save for a written statement issued after the fact — on Friday terminated the employment of Executive Director Cynthia Scanland, effective immediately.
Upcoming Events

Sept. 2 | Board of Trustees Meeting
Sept. 3 | Rules Review Committee Meeting
Sept. 16-17 | PCSAO "Partners in Progress" Annual Conference

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