A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for February 3, 2020
Association Updates

Report outlines recommendations for treatment foster care
With federal and state changes aimed at reducing placement of foster children in residential settings coming in 2021, a new report calls for strengthening the state's treatment foster care structure in order to be ready. In the report released today, PCSAO and the Office of Children Services Transformation at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services identify initial recommendations for expanding and defining the number of tiers currently considered "treatment" foster care (as distinguished from traditional family foster care), serving children with more challenging medical or behavioral health needs; establishing appropriate payment ranges for caregivers; and modernizing the role of the caregiver through supports, training, recruitment, and retention. Read more .

Weir to step down from Hamilton JFS to lead Cincinnati United Way
After more than 12 years as director of Hamilton County JFS, Moira Weir will step down in March to become the first woman to lead the United Way of Greater Cincinnati as CEO/President. Moira's 27-year career at JFS has included impressive accolades for her work on behalf of children and families. In 2013-14 she served as president of PCSAO. Congratulations, Moira, and best of luck -- you will be missed! 

Legislative Committee meets
At its Jan. 27 meeting the committee received an update on pending legislation of interest, reviewed SB 225, Posting of child services number, and discussed truancy issues with Shawn Welch, deputy legislative counsel for the Ohio Judicial Conference. The committee next meets on Feb. 24.  

Rules updates
Pre-Clearance: As of Jan. 30, no rules were in pre-clearance.

Clearance: As of Jan. 30, no children services-related rules were in pre-clearance.
Filed with JCARR: The following rules have been final-filed and will be effective soon. Click on the rule number to go to the Register of Ohio website for details about the rule filing.
  • 5101:2-50-02 Requirements for bridges eligibility: Feb. 7
  • 5101:2-50-03 Bridges termination and reentry: Feb. 7
  • 5101:2-50-04 Bridges Title IV-E eligibility and reimbursability determination: Feb. 7
  • 5101:2-50-05 Bridges appeal process: Feb. 7
  • 5101:2-49-04 Requirement for adoption assistance past age eighteen: Feb. 3
  • 5101:2-49-21 Reimbursement of nonrecurring adoption expenses for a child with special needs: Feb. 3
Announcements and Resources

HPIO report highlights impact of addiction crisis on criminal justice
The addiction crisis has affected many systems and individuals in Ohio. The Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) released a report about how this crisis is impacting the criminal justice system, specifically focusing on the strengths, gaps and opportunities for improvement in Ohio. Click  here  for the report. This report will also be discussed through a forum organized by HPIO that will present speakers Vanessa Price and Monica D. Kagey. This forum will be Feb. 26 from 9:30 a.m.- 3 p.m. at The Conference Center at OCLC. The cost of this forum is $65, plus additional fees for CLEs for attorneys and CEUs for social workers. Click  here  to register and get more details about the forum. 

Fatherhood Commission funding available
The Ohio Commission on Fatherhood has released a new funding opportunity. In recognition of the importance of involved, committed and supportive fathers, the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services on behalf of the Commission 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. Funds for the events will be made available on a reimbursement basis. All expenditures must be made during the month of June 2020. The application deadline is March 2. Learn more .

ServeOhio announces AmeriCorps grant opportunity
ServeOhio is pleased to announce the availability of funds for 2020 Ohio AmeriCorps Formula Grants. Applications are due April 8. AmeriCorps members provide direct service in a paraprofessional capacity. For all questions related to this funding announcement, contact  Mary Cannon , Director of AmeriCorps.  Learn more .

HHS issues Family First Transition Act info memo
This Information Memorandum reiterates the new law's provisions. It indicates that the $500 million transition fund grants would be awarded late in the third or early in the fourth quarter of this federal year.

Family First Act brief available
The Congressional Research Service has issued this report on the recently enacted Family First Transition Act. It includes on page 12 a list of states and their timelines for implementing the underlying Family First Prevention Services Act.

HHS posts 2018 child maltreatment data
This report provides state-level data on child abuse and neglect. Among its many findings, the number of children nationally who received a child protective services investigation response or alternative response increased 8.4 percent from 2014 (3,261,000) to 2018 (3,534,000).

New chartbook: "The Ripple Effect: Children Affected by Opioid Use"
Prepared by the United Hospital Fund, this chartbook found that, in 2017, an estimated 2.2 million children--approximately 2.8 percent of the 74.3 million children in the U.S.--were directly affected by parental opioid use or their own use. State-by-state data are available.

Sex trafficking risk assessment tools
To help child welfare agencies understand the different types of available tools, the Capacity Building Center for States developed this resource . It describes the background of sex trafficking-summarizing particular risk factors for children and youth, presenting steps to take before implementing a particular tool, and listing ground rules for identifying trafficking victims.
Child Protection in the News

Both Cuyahoga and Summit counties in recent weeks have received a large portion of the hundreds of millions of dollars they agreed to take from drug companies to settle opioid lawsuits.

To help address the foster care issue in Ohio, state Rep. ... This is important for local county children services departments that may not otherwise want ...

This week, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) is urging Gov. Dewine to release court ordered funds made available for Ohio kinship caregivers by the Sixth Circuit Court's 2018 ruling in D.O. v. Glisson. The Court ruling made clear that "approved" kinship caregivers must receive the same payments as "licensed" foster parents. It has been three years since the court order and Ohio has yet to make these payments available to kinship caregivers.

Northeast Ohio Adoption Services (NOAS) is working to help guide children and young adults in the foster care system with a new mentoring program. The Ignite Foster Youth Mentoring Program is designed to pair a mentor with a child or young adult to serve as a support system. The program began this past fall. Right now, Trumbull and Mahoning counties are in dire need of foster families. Although not everyone is at liberty to foster, NOAS wanted to create a way to still support those in the system.

“We appreciate that the intent of HB76 is to update antiquated ballot language, increase transparency, and provide uniformity,” Mary Wachtel, director of public policy for the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, said in testimony.
Upcoming Events

Feb. 5 | Board of Trustees Meeting
Feb. 5 | Ohio START Northwestern Regional Meeting
Feb. 6 | Rules Review Committee 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