Weekly Update: December 14
Association News
JFS HRA takes on leave, vaccines
At its Dec. 8 monthly meeting, the Job and Family Services Human Resources Association examined leave policies under emergency FMLA and sick leave. The committee also looked at how the new COVID vaccines could be made available or mandated for agency staff. JFS HRA officers are developing plans for 2021 meetings.

OCWTP state contract in transition
PCSAO wishes to acknowledge Judy Rycus, Ron Hughes, and the entire staff of the Institute for Human Services, which helped launch and managed the state contract for the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program for its first three and a half decades. Their commitment to supporting county agency staff and caregivers with training, coaching and other learning supports is sincerely appreciated. IHS helped build a strong infrastructure that made Ohio a national and international leader in child protection training. A collaborative including the University of Cincinnati, University of Akron and Ohio University won the state contract last month and is managing the program as of today. The regional training centers remain unchanged by this transition. Congratulations to the new OCWTP contract managers, which include Sally Fitch, Stacey Saunders-Adams, and Steven Howe.

PRT Advisory Council meets
The Youth-Centered Permanency Roundtables (YCPRT) Advisory Council met Dec. 11 for its quarterly meeting. Members celebrated the program's recognition by the governor in his Children Services Transformation Report, previewed the new website, reviewed evaluation plans being led by Kaye Implementation & Evaluation, examined program data submitted by participating counties, and debriefed the first YCPRT Symposium last month. Managed by Kinnect, the YCPRT program is recruiting new counties to adopt the model in 2021. For more information, contact Angela Wilson.
State Updates
  • Gov. Mike DeWine was joined last week by 12 medical experts who unveiled the new Stay Safe Ohio Protocol. The protocol was developed in partnership with medical professionals across the state to inform Ohioans how to safely live with the virus.
  • The Ohio Department of Health will be extending the 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. statewide curfew until Jan. 2.
  • Ohio is one step closer to receiving COVID-19 vaccinations. The U.S. FDA Vaccines & Related Biological Products Advisory Committee voted in favor of endorsing emergency use authorization for the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The governor talked this week about the phased approach in Ohio’s vaccination program. 
  • The state also released a COVID-19 vaccine myth vs. fact sheet
  • Gov. DeWine shared a map of school district attendance, showing that 245 districts are fully in-person, 177 are using a hybrid model of in-person and remote learning and 185 are fully remote.
  • Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff explained the revised CDC quarantine recommendations after exposure to someone who has COVID. While 14 days is the safest length of quarantine, the following are also acceptable:
  • 10-day quarantine that does not require testing, provided there are no symptoms
  • 7-day quarantine if test results are negative, provided there are no symptoms
Rules Updates
Pre-Clearance: The following rules are open for comment until Jan. 2:

The following rules are open for comment until Jan. 3:
  • Rule 5101:2-5-02 - Application for an agency to perform specific functions; amended applications.
  • Rule 5101:2-5-03 - 5101:2-5-03 Certification of an agency to perform specific functions.
Clearance: The following rules are open for comment until Dec. 16:
  • Rule 5101:2-1-01 - Children Services Definitions of Terms.
  • Rule 5101:2-36-10 - PCSA Requirements for Responding to Family in Need of Services Reports.
  • Rule 5101:2-40-02 - Supportive Services for Prevention of Placement, Reunification and Life Skills.
  • Rule 5101:2-40-05 - PCSA Requirements for Providing Family First Prevention Services.
The following rule is open for comment until Dec. 23:

Filed with JCARR: The following rules were original-filed on Nov. 30 with a hearing date of Jan. 5. These rules are proposed for amendment as a result of the five-year review, the passage of the Family First Prevention Services Act, and to keep alignment with foster care requirements.

The following rules were original-filed on Dec. 2 with a hearing date of Jan. 5.
  • 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.
Ohio START applications due Jan. 8
Ohio START will add 14 more counties to the program in early 2021. Applications are due Jan. 8, and counties will be notified of results by Jan. 15. Find the application here.
Resources and Clips
Announcements and Resources
Ohio Virtual Recovery Series continues Dec. 15
The 2020 Ohio Virtual Recovery Series, hosted by the Ohio Association of County Behavioral Health Authorities with support from the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Cardinal Health Foundation, will continue Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. with a presentation from Ryan Gottfredson, PhD. Dr. Gottfredson is the author of Success Mindsets: The Key to Unlocking Greater Success in Your Life, Work, & Leadership, a Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestseller. He will be joined by an Ohioan in recovery who will share his/her recovery story. Register here.

OhioRISE stakeholder webinar offered Dec. 18
The Ohio Department of Medicaid, in partnership with the Governor’s Children’s Initiative and Ohios Family and Children First Cabinet Council, will host a webinar on Dec. 18 at 10 a.m. to provide an overview of the stakeholder engagement process that will be used to educate and promote the OhioRISE program and services. Ohio Medicaid members and their families, caregivers, advocates, providers, local public agencies, association leaders, and any other interested parties are invited to attend. Click here to register.

New report on young people's mental health in 2020
Mental Health America (MHA) released a new report, Young People’s Mental Health in 2020: Hope, Advocacy, and Action for the Future. The report shares the perspectives of nearly 2,000 14- to 24-year-olds who completed MHA’s Young People’s Mental Health Survey through its online screening program. Highlights include:
  • Access to mental health professionals and mental health breaks as part of work or school were the top resources young people requested to support their mental health.
  • Only 24% think training adults would help them with their mental health challenges, versus 47% who want to learn more about how to help their own mental health.
  • 45% of 14- to 18-year-olds are not hopeful about the future, and more than half of LGBTQ+ teens are not hopeful about the future.
  • Only 1 in 4 young people think they can make a change in mental health in their communities.
  • The top ways young people want support to make a difference include support for their own mental health, opportunities to learn about mental health, connection to a mental health advocacy community, and training to support their peers’ mental health.
Child Protection in the News
On a Tuesday morning, volunteers scurry about the Dearborn Clearinghouse food pantry in Aurora, Indiana. The youngest is Jaydan Combs, who fills a grocery cart with canned and dry goods, fresh fruit and vegetables, and other items for people waiting outside.

U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded a $253,124 grant to the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority through its Family Unification Program (FUP). The funding will go toward the unification and preservation of child welfare-involved families that lack adequate housing, and the prevention and ending of homelessness among youth with a current or prior history of child welfare involvement.

With the holiday season upon us, many Americans tend to find themselves in a giving spirit. One group that could use some extra love and support this year is children in the foster care system. President and CEO of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption, Rita Soronen, said there are currently around 3,000 children in foster care in Ohio, and now more than ever, is the perfect time to consider helping.

Dec. 8 - Kourtney Hill Gives Her Local Picks - AboutStark.com
Kourtney Hill didn’t get the job she initially applied for at Stark County Job & Family Services. But she must have made a good impression because the agency called her to see if she would be interested in another position in the agency’s adoption division.

One of Gov. Mike DeWine’s stated objectives on taking office was addressing problems in Ohio’s children’s services, particularly as it relates to foster care. Nevertheless, local foster parents are still greatly needed.

It is February 12. Ebony Clancy's tight townhome in Dayton, Ohio, is crowded with a film crew, "This Is Life" host Lisa Ling and myself, all there to understand the damage the opioid crisis has inflicted upon American families.
Calendar and Job Postings
Jan. 6 | Board of Trustees Meeting
Jan. 7 | Rules Review Committee Meeting
Jan. 8 | Community Education Committee Meeting

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

Looking for a career in child protection? Or a new position to challenge yourself?