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

Report outlines results of regional foster care forums
Gov. Mike DeWine and the Office of Children Services Transformation have released a preliminary report summarizing the state's efforts around foster care reform since he took office. It includes an overview of the feedback from the 10 community forums on foster care held across the state.  Read the report .

Board of Trustees meets
The PCSAO Board of Trustees met Feb. 5 and approved Jan. 8 meeting minutes, December's financial report, and the 2019 year-end actual budget. Trustees were notified that Moira Weir, Director, Hamilton County JFS, will be leaving the board in March when she becomes the new CEO of the United Way of Greater Cincinnati. The board also reviewed the final agenda for the Executive Membership Meeting in March, approved the 2020 conference theme, and discussed PCSAO priorities, pending legislation, and rules updates. The board will meet next on March 5.

Wear Blue will be April 8
The annual Wear Blue social media event will be Wednesday, April 8. County agency staff and others are encouraging members of the public to wear blue for child abuse prevention at work, at school, or in the community. Photos can be posted to local agency social media or the statewide Facebook page . An updated campaign toolkit, logos, and more are available here .

PCSAO joins child care group's advisory committee
PCSAO is excited to join Groundwork Ohio’s Advisory Committee, which held its first meeting Feb. 6. Members of the committee are trusted to provide insights on the needs of young children and families in Ohio and advance Groundwork’s mission to champion high-quality early learning and healthy development strategies. We look forward to this exciting opportunity to bring the lens of young children and families involved in the children services system to this work. 

PCSAO Medicaid-Managed Care core group meets with ODM
The PCSAO Core Group for Medicaid-Managed Care met with ODM staff, including Director Maureen Corcoran and Deputy Director Marisa Weisel; Governor’s Office of Children’s Initiatives Director LeeAnne Cornyn; ODJFS HHS Assistant Director Kara Wente, OCST Director Kristi Burre, and OFC Bureau Chief Sue Williams; and DODD Deputy Director Kim Hauck on Feb. 7. The Core Group received updates on the Managed Care Procurement and provided initial feedback especially as it relates to children in custody and adoption assistance. ODM provided policy updates related to third-party liability, multi-system youth programs, and the continuum of care for placements, including Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with an Intellectual Disability – Intensive Behavioral Health Support Services and Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility. The PCSAO Core Group appreciated the opportunity to have this discussion with the leaders from ODM, ODJFS, and DODD. To read more about ODM's goal of creating a reimagined managed care program focused on the individual and to view ODM’s Request for Information #2, click here .

PCSAO meets with managed care representatives
UnitedHealthCare hosted a meeting for PCSAO’s Executive Director, Angela Sausser, Ohio START Director, Fawn Gadel, and Fairfield County's Family Peer Mentor, Kitty Matson to present on Ohio’s children services transformation efforts including Ohio START on Feb. 6. In addition to UHC staff attending this meeting, the other plans were invited to participate including staff from Buckeye Health, CareSource, Molina, and Paramount. PCSAO appreciated this opportunity to meet with all five managed care plans and dialogue about the exciting transformational efforts occurring in Ohio’s children services system. 

Ohio START regional meetings scheduled
The Northwest Region kicked off the new quarterly meeting format Feb. 5 in Toledo at the Northwest Ohio Regional Training Center. These regional meetings have replaced the previous consortium meetings. Mercer County START presented on its steering committee and direct line format, detailing key community stakeholders and relationship building. Any county can attend any regional meeting throughout the state, but must register on the Ohio START website . All regional meetings this quarter are scheduled 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Northeast: Feb. 18 at the Northeast Ohio Regional Training Center
  • Southwest: Feb. 19 at Butler County Children Services
  • Central: Feb. 25 at Delaware County JFS
  • Southeast: Feb. 26 at Ross County JFS
Community Education Committee meets
At its monthly meeting Feb. 7, the Community Education Committee reviewed the activities and goals of the Governor's Children Services Transformation Advisory Council and the initial report issued this week (see above). Michelle Hendricks of Bike Lady, Inc. also presented to the group about the organization's growth and plans. The next meeting is March 13 in Columbus.

Rules Committee meets
PCSAO’s Rules Review Committee met Feb. 6. ODJFS staff briefed the committee on the timeline and process for developing Ohio Administrative Code rules governing qualified residential treatment programs (QRTPs). Work on these rules is informed by several workgroups of the QRTP Subcommittee, established by the Family First Prevention Services Act Leadership Committee. The rules are expected to be placed into pre-clearance within the next several weeks. For more information on QRTPs, see the Governor's Office Letter announcing Family First  and  REQUIREMENTS FOR Ohio's Qualified Residential Treatment Programs . In addition, ODJFS staff and the committee reviewed feedback and comments on OAC Rule 5101:2-33-21, Confidentiality and dissemination of child welfare information, that was gathered late last year. The committee next meets via teleconference on March 12.  

Rules updates
Pre-Clearance: As of Feb. 7, no rules were in pre-clearance.

Clearance: As of Feb. 7, no children services-related rules were in clearance.

Filed with JCARR: The following rule was filed with JCARR on Feb. 6:
  • 5101:9-6-23 Children services best practices (CSBP) funding
Announcements and Resources

OCA conference registration opens
Early registration is now open for the Ohio Children's Alliance's 44th annual spring conference April 20-21 in Columbus. The discounted rate is only available through Feb. 21. Learn more and register

Family engagement training available
Ohio Statewide Family Engagement Center is offering a one-day free training March 20, "Reframe the Conversation: How to Talk About Family Engagement So People Understand." At this interactive event, researchers and communication experts from Frameworks and the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement will share new, research-based communication strategies for shifting public perception. Participants will leave with practical tools, resources, and a network of professionals to support their ongoing efforts to craft more effective messages and improve partnerships in support of student learning and growth. Register .

Appalachian students can apply for summer programs
Applications are being accepted for two free summer programs for Ohio’s Appalachian middle and high school students. The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is sponsoring the Appalachian Entrepreneurship Academy for high school seniors, and the ARC/Oak Ridge National Laboratory Summer STEM Program for middle and high school students, as well as high school teachers. Students from Ohio’s 32 Appalachian counties that will be enrolled in their senior year during the 2020-2021 school year are eligible to apply. Applications are due March 6. Application materials are available on the ARC website .

Save the date: Ohio’s School Safety Summit
The Ohio School Safety Center (OSSC)–Ohio’s new comprehensive, statewide office focused exclusively on school safety--will be hosting the first annual School Safety Summit June 10-12 at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. The OSSC welcomes participants with a passion for improving school safety to attend the conference. The subject matter will be particularly relevant to educators, transportation staff, school administrators, school resource officers, first responders, mental health professionals, state agency partners, elected officials, and other school safety and security professionals. There will be an opportunity for vendors and organizations to exhibit their products and resources for school safety. This opportunity will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Additional information will be released as it becomes available. For questions regarding the School Safety Summit, visit the website
Child Protection in the News

Feb. 6 - State Panel Issues Preliminary Report On Improving Child Welfare System (Includes audio) - Ohio Public Radio
The state advisory council that's been looking into how to improve Ohio's overloaded child welfare system has made some preliminary recommendations. The report includes stepping up foster and adoptive parent recruitment efforts. The preliminary suggestions also include early intervention with young kids in the foster care system, cutting red tape between organizations, and training and legal help for family members who want to adopt at-risk kids. It also calls for a formalized system to review any foster care deaths.

Ohio’s foster-care system should do more to recruit caregivers, give foster parents more of a say in whether children should stay in their care, and create state registries for foster-care services and children who need to be adopted, according to initial findings from a task force created by Gov. Mike DeWine.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine released a preliminary report on efforts to reform the state’s children services system, which has struggled with soaring caseloads and workforce burnout.

The initial report from Gov. Mike DeWine's panel reviewing Ohio's over-tasked child welfare system on Wednesday emphasized the need to better recruit foster-care families while ensuring those families have a voice in decisions affecting them and the children in their care.

Brigid's Path, the first newborn recovery center in Ohio, will begin construction this week on a $350,000 expansion that will allow it to add services and offerings for families impacted by addiction.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday he's close to releasing a proposal for dealing with an issue related to approved relatives caring for children taken from their parents even when the relatives aren't licensed caregivers.

Gov. Mike DeWine Wednesday will detail his plans for improving Ohio's foster care and child protective services system. The Republican governor said he wants to preserve local control over the system but make certain everyone follows best practices. He said he wants the state to increase specialized training for case workers within the child welfare system.
Upcoming Events

Feb. 14 | Conference Planning Committee Meeting
Feb. 18 | Ohio START Northeastern Regional Meeting
Feb. 19 | Ohio START Southwestern Regional 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 .
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org