A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
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Weekly Update for January 22, 2018
Association Updates

Southwest District meets
Discussion at the Jan. 17 district meeting in Lebanon focused on judicial practice and court relationships, placement options, and workforce challenges. Updates from the ODJFS technical assistance team, the regional training center and Institute for Human Services, and PCSAO rounded out a well-attended meeting. The district meets next on Mar. 21.

Northwest District meets
On Jan. 18, Northwoods provided a demonstration of the mobile application for child welfare, “Co-Pilot.” In addition, updates were provided by the Northwest Ohio Regional Training Center and PCSAO. The district next meets on Apr. 19.

East Central District holds special meeting
On Jan. 19, Fairfield County JFS hosted the East Central District to view the Northwoods demonstration of their electronic document management system and the mobile application for child welfare. Fairfield County JFS staff highlighted the efficiency and benefits of the system. The district meets next on Apr. 20.

Rules updates
5101.9-7-01.1, Public Children Services Agency Quarterly Reconciliation, is currently in clearance until Jan. 30. This rule is under a five-year rule review; changes include updating language for consistency and clarification. Review and comment here .

Chapter 36 Screening and Investigation rules were refiled on Jan. 12. These rules are being revised to comply with the federal Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA). These rules were originally filed in summer 2017, but were withdrawn in September after concerns were raised regarding both substance and process. Click on the links below to review the revised rules. If you have questions, contact Mary Wachtel, mary@pcsao.org
  • 5101:2-36-01: Intake and screening procedures for child abuse, neglect, dependency and family in need of services reports; and information and/or referral intakes
  • 5101:2-36-03: PCSA requirements for intra-familial child abuse and/or neglect assessment/investigations
  • 5101:2-36-04: PCSA requirements for conducting a specialized assessment/investigation
  • 5101:2-36-05: PCSA requirements for conducting stranger danger investigations
  • 5101:2-36-06: PCSA requirements for a deserted child assessment/investigation
  • 5101:2-36-07: PCSA requirement for conducting an assessment/investigation of the alleged withholding of medically indicated treatment from a disabled infant with life-threatening conditions
  • 5101:2-36-08: PCSA requirements for involving a third party in the assessment/investigation of a child abuse or neglect report
  • 5101:2-36-09: Requirements for dependent child assessments
  • 5101:2-36-10: PCSA requirements for responding to family in need of services reports
  • 5101:2-36-11: Extending time frames for completion or waiving completion of assessment/investigation activities
  • 5101:2-36-12: PCSA requirement for cross-referring reports of child abuse and/or neglect
  • 5101:2-36-13: Intrastate and interstate referral procedures for children's protective services
  • 5101:2-36-14: Protective service alert
  • 5101:2-36-20: Public children services agencies assessment requirements for child abuse and neglect reports in alternative response
New immigration guide offers resources
In the wake of uncertainty regarding the status of immigrant families, where the parents or children may be undocumented, PCSAO has released a quick-reference guide to help caseworkers, supervisors and other child protection agency staff navigate the legal barriers to serving them. Read more .

Federal Government shutdown
As of Sunday evening, parts of the federal government remained shut down. Until an agreement is reached on a short-term appropriations measure, the below summary provided by NACHSA describes how the shutdown affects key health and human services programs. PCSAO will keep members updated about the shutdown.

As a general rule, programs that are entitlements are not affected by a shutdown (e.g., IV-E Foster Care, Child Support Enforcement, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, SSI). Programs that must receive a federal appropriations each year (discretionary funding programs) will not receive any new funds, but if there are unspent funds already obligated in FY 2018, they could continue to be drawn down (e.g., SSBG, Child Welfare Services, Senior Nutrition Program).

Links are provided for each departments' official contingency memos. The descriptions after each program highlight key health and human services programs. Here is a general link to a number of federal departments but many of them have not been updated. Click here for the HHS Contingency Plan.
Announcements and Resources

New online tool for transition-age youth
COHHIO’s Youth Housing Initiative program announces Taking Charge , a new web-based tool available to young adults and allies helping them navigate the transition to adulthood. As an online resource guide, Taking Charge covers 12 topics including housing, community resources, foster care, LGBTQ and well-being. Designed in partnership with young adults and community stakeholders, the tool aims to equip young people with information for the purpose of empowering them as they navigate the transition to adulthood. If you have any questions about Taking Charge, contact Arlene “Sam” Jones at 614-280-1964, ext. 136.
Child Protection in the News

Jan. 17 - More foster families are needed in Medina County - Medina Gazette
From 2014-17, Felton said, there's been a 73 percent increase in the number of children entering foster care: 2014 - 92 children; 2015 - 113; 2016 - 138; 2017 - 159. Felton said 75 percent of the cases involve some sort of substance abuse.

An estimated half of all children in foster care are there because of parental substance abuse, according to Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Office.

Jan. 14 - Children of the opioid crisis (Editorial) - Portsmouth Daily Times
Opioid parental addiction continues to catapult Ohio's children into crisis. The Public Children Services Association of Ohio's website provides media stories pertaining to how the opioid crisis is affecting these children.

Ohio's attorney general has met with two of the five opioid manufacturers the state is suing to try to come up with a settlement. Many of the lawsuits have been consolidated in the Cleveland courtroom of federal Judge Dan Polster. This week, he told lawyers he wants to "do something meaningful to abate this crisis" and to do this year. He's set a Jan. 31 meeting for the 13 states.

The medical examiner’s office is forecasting the epidemic is going to get even worse in the county. It’s projecting 1,000 deaths in 2018 and 1,200 in 2019, with carfentanil becoming an even more significant contributor to the toll.
Upcoming Events

Jan. 22 | Southeast District Meeting
Jan. 22 | Legislative Committee Meeting
Jan. 22 | Northeast 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.

Quote of the Week

"Children see magic because they look for it." 
 ― Christopher Moore
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org