A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for January 14, 2019
Association Updates

PCSAO congratulates  incoming ODJFS Director
On Jan. 10 Governor-elect Mike DeWine announced that Kimberly Hall will be the new Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) director. Hall currently serves as senior vice president of administration and general counsel at Columbus State Community College . We are looking forward to working with Kimberly in the coming months! We are also pleased to see that many child welfare champions will be taking posts in the new Administration, including Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) as chancellor of higher education; Jeff Davis as director of developmental disabilities; Maureen Corcoran as director of Medicaid; Lori Criss as director of mental health and addiction services; and Ryan Gies as director of youth services.

Executive transitions
A number of executive transitions took place during the past few holiday weeks. Following is a list of incoming directors we would like to welcome:
  • Hancock: Randy Galbraith has been appointed as director after previous director Diana Hoover retired
  • Huron: Lenora Minor moved from interim director to director and Rene King departed as administrator
  • Montgomery: Tom Kelly moved to county administrator and Michelle Niedermier was appointed director of JFS
  • Portage: Tammy Devine is retiring as administrator and Darlene Baad is moving from Summit County to take her position
  • Sandusky: Cindy Bilby stepped down as director, and Melanie Allen was appointed as interim director
  • Van Wert: Marcia Drake retired as director and Erinn Mendenhaul-Sellers was appointed in her place
PCSAO welcomes new manager of operations
PCSAO is pleased to introduce Nitina Francis, who is stepping into Jeed Jitprasert’s shoes as our manager of operations. Nitina is a native of Columbus who graduated with her MBA from Ohio Dominican University. She comes to PCSAO from the private sector after working as a senior pricing analyst for the past three years. Read more about Nitina or she can be reached at nitina@pcsao.org . Please join us in welcoming her to our team!

Board of Trustees meets
The PCSAO Board of Trustees held its first meeting of the year on Jan. 9. President Kathi Spirk, Clinton County JFS, welcomed the new trustees to the board. They include: Danny Brenneman, Coshocton County JFS; David Haverfield, Tuscarawas County JFS; Kellijo Jeffries, Portage County JFS; Kathy Oliver, Seneca County JFS; Tammy Osborne-Smith, Jackson County JFS; Robin Reese, Lucas County CSB; and Chip Spinning, Franklin County CSB. The board approved the Nov. 29 meeting minutes and the December 2018 Treasurer’s Report. The board welcomed PCSAO’s new manager of operations, Nitina Francis (see story above). Discussion topics for the board included 2019 contracts, ODJFS recent announcements, Executive Membership Meeting draft agenda topics, Dues Committee Charter, Continuum of Care Reform priorities, other Association updates, and legislative and rules updates. The Board of Trustees will meet next on Feb. 6.

Anti-human trafficking update
The Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force has released its January 2019 report detailing the Administration’s efforts to build a coordinated statewide response to human trafficking. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime has released its 2018 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons ; this report highlights that children account for 30% of those being trafficked.

Fostering Pathways to Success Conference volunteers needed
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Ohio Reach and JOURNEY to Successful Living are partnering this year for our 2019 Fostering Pathways to Success Conference! This dynamic event introduces our foster youth and young adults to a unique and interactive experience! Independence City will offer foster youth and young adults (ages 14-21) a fun yet challenging life simulation that will give participants a glimpse into real-life scenarios. Foster youth will have an opportunity to practice and develop independent living skills that will help them in life; exercise critical thinking, problem-solving and decision-making abilities; learn how to gain access to housing, transportation, Medicaid, food assistance, and other needed community resources; and explore postsecondary supports for career preparation, such as college, vocational and apprenticeship opportunities and the armed forces.
Please join us in making this event a huge success. We are seeking 100 adult volunteers to assist our youth with navigating through the Independence City experience. We have many opportunities and time slots for you to consider. If you volunteer more than four hours, then your parking in the Convention Center Goodale Garage will also be validated. Youth really appreciate the warmth and kindness that volunteers provide them during this annual event, and they really look forward to our interaction every year!

The conference will be Wednesday, April 3 at the Columbus Convention Center, 400 N. High Street, Columbus. Please remember that you will first need to receive your supervisor’s approval prior to signing up to a volunteer task/time slot occurring during your workday. All registered volunteers will need to participate in a two-hour volunteer orientation on Feb. 26 from either 10 a.m.-Noon or 1:30-3:30 p.m. Assignment details for all volunteer roles will be provided at that time (your t-shirt sizes and dietary restrictions will be obtained during that time). Please contact Sonia.Tillman@jfs.ohio.gov regarding any questions and register to volunteer here .
General Assembly adjourns following busy lame-duck session
Several bills impacting children services issues received attention during the recent “lame-duck session,” the time between an election and when the next General Assembly term begins. In Ohio, lame-duck occurs in November/December of even-numbered years. Some of these bills PCSAO had been following closely, while others included last-minute relevant amendments that passed in the lame-duck session. To find an overview of relevant bills and what happened during the 2018 lame-duck legislative session, click here .

Rules update
The PCSAO Rules Review Committee met via teleconference on Jan. 10. Shelby Cully, Lucas County, now serves as chair, replacing Erica Sabados, Cuyahoga County, who served for two years. We appreciate Erica’s leadership and welcome Shelby. ODJFS provided an overview of and fielded questions on Chapter 5101:2-44 rules (which includes the State Adoption Maintenance Subsidy and the Post Adoption Special Services Subsidy program), currently in Clearance through Jan. 21. The committee also reviewed Chapter 5101:2-37 Assessments, currently in pre-clearance through Feb. 2. The committee next meets on Feb. 6. 
Rules in Clearance: Five-Year Review of Chapter 5101:2-44 rules (SAMS, PASSS, and Medicaid eligibility for children with special needs). The proposed changes are largely minor and are summarized here .   Comments are due Jan. 21.
Rules in Pre-Clearance: Chapter 5101:2-37 Assessments are in pre-clearance through Feb. 2. These are up for five-year review:
The following rules were original-filed with JCARR on Jan. 7 and are scheduled for a public hearing on Feb. 14: 
  • 5101:2-49-02: Adoption assistance eligibility criteria
  • 5101:2-49-02.1: Title IV-E adoption assistance AFDC-relatedness eligibility criteria
  • 5101:2-5-04: Recertification of an agency to perform specific functions
  • 5101:2-5-13.1: Disaster preparedness plan requirements
  • 5101:2-5-27: Termination of a foster home certificate
  • 5101:2-5-29: Foster home records
  • 5101:2-5-36: Additional requirements for an agency that acts as a representative of ODJFS in recommending treatment foster homes for certification
  • 5101:2-5-37: Additional requirements for an agency that acts as a representative of ODJFS in recommending medically fragile foster homes for certification
  • 5101:2-5-40: Preplacement and continuing training programs
  • 5101:2-7-16: Additional requirements for a treatment foster caregiver and a treatment foster home
  • 5101:2-33-80: Retained applicant fingerprint database information exchange (Rapback)
  • 5101:2-42-66: Administrative procedures for comprehensive health care for children in placement
  • 5101:2-42-66.1: Comprehensive health care for children in placement
  • 5101:2-42-66.2: Documentation of comprehensive health care for children in placement
Announcements and Resources

HHS releases details on Family First clearinghouse
The Children's Bureau has issued a letter describing further the process to evaluate and publish prevention programs and services qualifying under the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA). It highlights some of the differences between what the FFPSA requires and what other evaluators of evidence-based practices examine. The Prevention Services Clearinghouse Handbook of Standards and Procedures is expected to be issued in April.

Call for proposals for the Sixth Annual Trauma-Informed Care Summit
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (OhioMHAS) and Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD) are accepting proposals for the Sixth Annual Trauma-Informed Care Summit, scheduled for May 14-15. The purpose of the summit is to move our systems beyond trauma informed to trauma competent. Proposal must be submitted by Feb. 8. Announcement of accepted proposals will be made no later than Feb. 22. For more information, click here ; to submit a proposal, click here .

2019 Peer Recovery Supporter Symposiums 
The P.E.E.R. Center is hosting a series of symposiums that brings together peer recovery supporters to help each other and share ideas on how to be more effective when advocating for individuals -- and for the joint cause to reduce stigma. They want to work together to educate audiences, rather than instigate an argument. Participants will get some tips on how not to take criticism personally, the most effective way to share stories, and more. The most common criticisms and questions will be discussed, and possible answers explored.
Symposiums are held in multiple locations to engage peer recovery supporters throughout Ohio. Although in different geographic areas, each symposium will present the same information. There is no need to attend on multiple dates. Space is limited; click here to find dates for each symposium and register for the event.

Family and community PAX Tools Facilitator Trainings
As part of Ohio’s 21 st Century CURES Act project, OhioMHAS and the PAXIS Institute will partner to provide five regional PAX Tools Facilitator Trainings this spring. PAX Tools is a collection of trauma-informed, evidence-based behavioral strategies for families and communities to promote the development of self-regulation of the children in their lives. Caregivers who participate in the PAX Tools trainings will receive materials they need, including the PAX Tools App, to effectively use PAX Tools with children. Community-level prevention awareness/education professionals, mental health and recovery providers, community health educators, faith-based volunteers and addictions professionals are encouraged to attend. The application is open until Jan. 15. Click here to learn more and to apply for the training. For more information, email paxohio@paxis.org   
Child Protection in the News

As Ohio prepares for DeWine to swear in, the foster care system is already asking for help.

A law requiring certain workers report child abuse and neglect now includes law enforcement, making Ohio the final state to adopt such a measure.

A wave of Ohio children removed from their homes for neglect or abuse appears to have peaked, but the state's children's services system remains in crisis, a new report shows.

Report: One year later: Children services remains in severe crisis: http://www.champaigndjfs.org/news/2/69/

Angela Sausser with the Public Children Services Association of Ohio says some counties have put two levies on the ballot because one isn't enough.
The transition to the administration of Gov.-elect Mike DeWine is bringing several changes to state government, including a new office dedicated to carrying out one of DeWine's top campaign promises. As part of his first major policy rollout, DeWine announced his plan to help Ohio's children. That plan detailed a focus on providing early childhood education and intervention programs. And as part of his first cabinet announcements, DeWine appointed LeeAnne Cornyn to lead the newly created Office of Children Initiatives.
Gov.-elect Mike DeWine has said children's initiatives are a top priority. But one group that advocates for kids says it's going to push him to prove that in the upcoming state budget.

We're in uncharted territory," said Lucas County Children Services executive director Robin Reese. Leaders say parental drug use is the main reason why so many children are in the system.
His clients ranged from United Airlines, AT&T and Medical Mutual to the city of Dayton and the Public Children Services Association of Ohio.
Upcoming Events

Jan. 14 | Northeast District Meeting
Jan. 16 | Southwest District Meeting
Jan. 17 | Northwest District 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 .

UPP graduates seeking employment at a PCSA are listed on our website.
Quote of the Week

"The love of children inspires an interest in the welfare of all humanity." ~James Lendall Basford
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org