A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for December 16, 2019
Association Updates

OCWTP, UPP finish year with focus on transformation
At its final meeting of 2019 on Dec. 11, the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program State Steering Committee hosted staff from the ODJFS Office of Children Services Transformation to learn more about the office's activities; improved its evaluation efforts with new classroom learning survey questions; and examined capacity for its non-classroom training options such as coaching. University Partnership Program campus coordinators also met last week to examine UPP evaluation design for the coming year and to identify ways to make UPP graduates available statewide.

Ohio START provides training on hiring, on-boarding family peer mentors
Children and Family Futures (CFF) and Ohio START offered three training sessions last week regarding the hiring and on-boarding of family peer mentors. The sessions took place in Akron (Dec. 10), Lima (Dec. 11), and Columbus (Dec. 12), with over 70 attendees among the three sessions. The next Ohio START Foundations training sessions will cover START case management and will take place January 14-16. Training will be offered in Lima and Akron for Cohort 3 counties, while a refresher training will be offered in Columbus for Cohort 1 and 2 counties. Learn more and register .

Rules updates
Rules in Pre-Clearance: The following rules remain in pre-clearance through Dec. 22. You can view and comment here:
  • 5101:2-42-18 PCSA and PCPA approval of placements with relative and nonrelative caregivers. Posted for revisions related to the Family First Prevention Services Act.
  • Chapter 5101:2-48 Adoption: 20 rules are posted. Some are due for five-year review; others are posted for revisions related to the Family First Prevention Services Act. 
Rules in Clearance: Fiscal Administrative Procedure Letter (FAPL) 8372, Children Services Best Practices Allocation, is in Clearance until Dec. 14. The FAPL aligns with revised new rule 5101:9-6-23, Children Services Best Practices (CBSP) Funding, which has already been through Clearance. ODJFS has structured this funding to be flexible and as free of administrative burden as possible, so that PCSAs can invest in key priority areas. You can review and comment on the FAPL here .

Filed with JCARR: As of Dec. 13, no additional children services-related rules have been filed with JCARR.  
Announcements and Resources

Joint letter outlines future of licensed facilities under Family First
The Governor's Office of Children's Initiatives and multiple cabinet-level agencies released guidance Dec. 6 that includes a timeline regarding licensing for congregate care facilities as Ohio implements the Family First Prevention Services Act. As determined by the Executive Committee for the Family First Leadership Advisory Council, this new timeline specifies that beginning in October 2020, new facilities must meet Qualified Residential Treatment Provider (QRTP) standards in order to become licensed, and that by October 2024, all facilities must meet QRTP standards. According to the Office of Children Services Transformation, the joint guidance issued not only by ODJFS but also by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Ohio Department of Medicaid (among four other departments) demonstrates that Family First Act implementation is a statewide responsibility that must not fall solely on the children services system.

National workforce video features Ohio
The Quality Improvement Center on Workforce Development (QIC-WD) has identified three keys to implementation in its work with eight jurisdictions across the country, including several counties in Ohio: slow down, gain buy-in, and build a strong implementation team. A new video captures feedback on the early experiences of QIC-WD sites as they implemented strategies to strengthen their workforce. The video features Scott Boone of Knox County JFS. 

Ohio surpasses federal target for monthly visits
In its December report to the Administration for Children and Families, the Office of Families and Children announced that federal fiscal year 2019 monthly caseworker visit data demonstrated that Ohio achieved 96.17% compliance, surpassing the 95% federal target goal. Congratulations to all caseworkers, to county agency leaders, and to ODJFS for exceeding this vital federal measure!

Mark your calendar: Eastern Ohio Leadership Conference
Attention PCSA and JFS directors, managers, and supervisors across Ohio: The East Central and Southeast Ohio Regional Training Centers will be presenting the 26th Annual Eastern Ohio Leadership Conference March 25- 27 at the Carlisle Inn in Sugarcreek. This annual conference is open to all PCSA and JFS leaders, including directors, managers, and supervisors, and will focus on the current issues and challenges that face the leaders of today. As always, there will be no conference fee! The details for this event are still being finalized, and the brochure will be made available to your RTC and through the PCSAO Weekly Update within the next few weeks. If you have questions, contact Darla Zajack , 740-432-2355 x252.  
Child Protection in the News

When two young girls recently were removed from their Summit County home because of a parent with a drug problem, they received a “dream kit.”

The opioid epidemic is entrenched in our communities, but there's hope now that we will get through it. What will addiction help look like when the epidemic is over? What will signal its demise? We talked to some of our front-line fighters to see what they envision success will look like. Here's what they said.

Getting kids help before they’re sent to the juvenile court system is the goal of a handful of assessment programs around the state, including the latest in Delaware and Fairfield counties. Advocates say they’re needed to provide services that parents or schools might miss.

Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown teamed up with Missouri Republican Sen. Roy Blunt on Wednesday to introduce legislation that would require states to collect data on deaths that stem from child-abuse, and to devise ways to prevent them by collaborating with the Department of Health and Human Services, pediatricians, public health and law enforcement officials.

The Belmont County Health Department is attempting to recoup the loss of a state contract that had provided $80,000 in annual funding. PREP funds are used to provide preventive education for youth in foster care and the juvenile justice system, she said. The program seeks to reduce the rate of teen pregnancy and to prevent incidence of sexually-transmitted diseases.

Jonathan Thomas of Bowling Green was a foster-care child and knows what it’s like to feel helpless after turning 18 and “aging out” of a home that provided stability after early years of turmoil.

One of the biggest things brought up was finding stability for foster kids by trying to find a way to make sure they aren't jumping from home to home if it's not necessary. Additionally, another major topic discussed was having mental health and other transitional resources for children aging out of the system.

Youth facing homelessness as they age out of the foster care system soon could have easier access to federal housing vouchers.
Upcoming Events

Dec. 16 | Legislative Committee Meeting
Jan. 3 | Community Education Committee Meeting
Jan. 8 | Board of Trustees Meeting

Note: PCSAO's 2020 calendar of events and meetings is now available at the link above.
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