A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for February 24, 2020
Association Updates

ODJFS to invest $1 million in workforce stabilization
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) announced the investment of $1 million in a workforce crisis stabilization fund to help county children services agencies struggling with historically large caseloads, caseworker burnout and turnover, and unprecedented challenges caused by the drug epidemic. The investment will fund creation of a three-person Emergency Response Team which can respond to county agencies in crisis. PCSAO is grateful to ODJFS, Director Kimberly Hall, and Governor Mike DeWine for the investment.  Read the news release.

Partners for Ohio’s Families Advisory Board meets
The Partners for Ohio’s Families (PFOF) Advisory Board for ODJFS held its first quarterly meeting on Feb. 20. PFOF welcomed several new PCSA directors to its board, including Fred Lord, Director, Williams County JFS; Tim Schaffner, Director, Trumbull County CSB; Sue Ware, Director, Union County JFS; Jewell Good, Administrator, Montgomery County JFS; Heather O’Keefe, Administrator, Fairfield County JFS; and Erin Stauffer, Administrator, Columbiana County JFS. Kathy Oliver, Director, Seneca County JFS and Chip Spinning, Director, Franklin County CSB continue to serve on the board in addition to PCSAO Executive Director Angela Sausser. The board received updates related to Family First Prevention Services Act, Family First Transition Act, Children Services Transformation, state legislation, Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act, federal housing initiatives for former foster youth, the Office of the Inspector General’s audit, criminal record checks and CFSR. The board meets next on May 21. 

Ohio START regional meetings
Ohio START regional meetings continued this week with the Northeast meeting in Akron on Feb. 18 and the Southwest meeting in Hamilton on Feb. 19. The meetings featured presentations from Ashtabula County Children Services at the Northeast meeting and Butler County Children Services at the Southwest meeting. The counties presented on their successes as well as lessons learned while developing their steering committee and direct-line meetings. The final two regional meetings will take place next week. All counties are welcome to attend any regional meeting but must register through the Ohio START website .
  • Central: Feb. 25 at Delaware County JFS (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
  • Southeast: Feb. 26 at Ross County JFS (10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
PRT Council meets
The Youth-Centered Permanency Roundtables Advisory Council met Feb. 21. With support from Kinnect and the Family and Youth Law Center, through funding from ODJFS, participating counties are rebranding, aligning to model fidelity, improving facilitator skills, redefining guidelines and metrics, and expanding training and tools. The goal is to add five new counties in March and another five in November. The next meeting is May 15.

Rules update
Pre-Clearance: The following rules are in pre-clearance for five-year review until March 19:
  • Rule 5101:2-42-87 - Termination of substitute care and custody of a child.
  • Rule 5101:2-42-90 - Information to be provided to children, caregivers, school districts and juvenile courts.
In addition, Rule 5101:2-33-21 - Confidentiality and dissemination of child welfare information, is back in pre-clearance for a 14-day period until March 5. This version includes proposed changes based on feedback received during the recent Microburst on Reviewing Rules and Program Hearing (MORRPH) sessions, as discussed by the Rules Committee and ODJFS policy developers.  

Clearance: As of Feb. 21, no children services-related rules were in clearance.

Filed with JCARR: As of Feb. 21, no children services-related rules were filed with JCARR.
Announcements and Resources

Ohio Commission on Fatherhood grant available
The Ohio Commission on Fatherhood (OCF) announced a new grant funding opportunity due March 2. In recognition of the importance of involved, committed and supportive fathers, ODJFS will award up to 20 mini-grants to not-for-profit organizations and/or government entities to provide father-child events during the month of June. Funding is available up to $3,500. Grant funds will be released on a reimbursement basis. All expenditures must be made during the month of June 2020. Apply for grants here
Child Protection in the News

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) will invest nearly $1 million in an emergency response fund to help county children services.

The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services is creating a $1 million Emergency Response Fund to help agencies and caseworkers burdened by the ongoing opioid epidemic. 

“Our foster care system is really broken in Ohio,” said DeWine. “I think what has been found is that we have too many kids languishing in foster care who could have permanent homes,but are not getting permanent homes.”

An organization has moved to Seneca County and works to help the smallest victims of the opioid epidemic — the children.

The sooner the state and local governments can present a unified front in litigation, the sooner settlement money can begin flowing to pay for addiction treatment and prevention; help foster parents and children services agencies caring for the tens of thousands of children effectively orphaned by their parents' addiction; cover increased police, emergency and health care costs and many other costs than even can be reckoned.

Feb. 16 - Foster families needed in Monroe County - Times Leader
Monroe County needs more foster families, according to Job and Family Services Director Jeanette Schwall. She updated the Monroe County Board of Commissioners about several subjects last week, including the foster care program, which is always on the lookout for more participants.
Upcoming Events

Feb. 24 | Legislative Committee Meeting
Feb. 25 | Ohio START Central Regional Meeting
Feb. 26 | Ohio START Southeastern 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