A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for June 24, 2019
Association Updates

2019 PCSAO conference updates: Sponsorship, exhibit tables, awards
T he 2019 PCSAO awards will be presented at luncheon ceremonies during the conference. All nominations must be submitted by June 30. Download the  Youth and Family Awards Nomination Packet  and the   Professionals Nomination Packet . Youth and family nominations also require a Release of Information Form All nominations must be e-mailed to pcsao@pcsao.org , and nominators will be notified of the outcome by the end of July (staff nominees remain secret until the conference).

The PCSAO annual conference is an unrivaled opportunity to network with more than 500 children services professionals from across the state. This year’s conference theme is “ Champions for Children and Families,” and the focus of the conference will be improving child protection best practices and supporting the children services workforce. The audience includes child protection caseworkers, supervisors, administrators, attorneys, directors and advocates. Sponsorship registration is now open, along with exhibitor registration. To learn more about the various sponsorship and exhibitor packages and to register, click here . If you have any questions or would like more information about these opportunities to support the child welfare community, contact nitina@pcsao.org or by phone at 614-224-5802. Opportunities for sponsorships and exhibit tables are available on a first-come, first-served basis., so register early, but no later than Sept. 1.

Treatment foster care stakeholders convene
PCSAO launched its Tiered Treatment Foster Care Project June 17 with a meeting of stakeholders that included public agencies, private providers, associations and others. Tim Schaffner, director of Trumbull County Children Services, co-chairs the group with Karen McGormley from the Office of Children Services Transformation. The plan is part of PCSAO's Children's Continuum of Care Reform . The Institute for Human Services provided research and background information, and with professional facilitation support, the group discussed the need for strengthening treatment foster care, shared values for a new system, and various models from other states. The group will meet monthly through October.

Director Hall attends Northwest JFS District meeting
ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall attended the June 20 meeting of OJFSDA’s Northwest District, which also included PCSAO and OCDA staff and several stand-alone agencies from within the region. Director Hall engaged in discussion with agency staff present and shared her vision for the work of ODJFS. The visit is part of the director’s community engagement initiative. PCSAO appreciates Director Hall’s willingness to travel around the state, listen to and learn from local agencies – strong partnerships are a critical part of strong human services.  

OhioKAN Development Project holds second stakeholder meeting
The Ohio Kinship and Adoption Navigator (OhioKAN) Development Project met for the second time June 17. ODJFS has partnered with Kinnect, a Cleveland-based nonprofit specializing in strengthening child welfare practices, to facilitate the design process that will result in a plan submitted to ODJFS by Oct. 1. Regional town hall meetings to gather feedback on the proposed plan are being scheduled. PCSAO, along with a number of local PCSAs, is pleased to be part of the stakeholder group and looks forward to helping plan a successful kinship and adoption navigator program. Follow the work here .

National CHAMPS effort launches in Ohio
PCSAO attended the first meeting June 20 of CHAMPS , Children Need Amazing Parents. Led in our state by the Ohio Children's Alliance, CHAMPS is a nationwide effort that aims to improve foster parenting through public policy and communications. The group will examine prior and existing foster care initiatives, such as the Foster Care Advisory Group recommendations and Family First implementation , in order to prioritize two or three of the six national CHAMPS goals . The group has a two- to three-year timeline for improving the quality of foster parenting that children receive and to celebrate and elevate foster parents. 

HOPE update
HOPE, START, Succeed, and ODJFS representatives met to plan for primary parent engagement and inclusion in child welfare. Each group has been working with primary parents as peer mentors, group leaders, and partners. The combined group agreed to gather data, challenges encountered, and lessons learned from their experience working with primary parents to inform planning for statewide primary parent inclusion in the children services process.  
Rules update
As of June 21, no children services-related rules were in Pre-Clearance or Clearance. 

Rules filed with JCARR: The following adoption assistance rules were final-filed on June 17 and will be effective Aug. 1:
  • 5101:2-44-03      Public children services agency (PCSA) administration of the state adoption subsidy program
  • 5101:2-44-05.1   Covered families and children (CFC) medicaid eligibility: special needs children
  • 5101:2-44-05.2   Covered families and children (CFC) medicaid eligibility for state adoption subsidy recipient moving from or to Ohio
  • 5101:2-44-06      Eligibility of adoptive family and adoptive child for the state adoption maintenance subsidy program
  • 5101:2-44-08      Redetermination and amendment of a state adoption maintenance subsidy
  • 5101:2-44-09      Requirements for the state adoption special services subsidy program
  • 5101:2-44-10      Suspension of a state adoption maintenance subsidy
  • 5101:2-44-11      Termination of a state adoption subsidy
  • 5101:2-44-12      State adoption subsidy records
  • 5101:2-44-13      Public children services agency (PCSA) administration of the post adoption special services subsidy (PASSS) program
  • 5101:2-44-13.1   Eligibility and application process for the post adoption special services subsidy (PASSS) program
  • 5101:2-44-14      State adoption assistance loan fund
Click on the rule number to go to the Register of Ohio website for details about the rule filing.
Announcements and Resources

Federal clearinghouse approves first round of prevention services
The IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse has approved its first options for state use in preventing children from coming into foster care under the Family First Prevention Services Act. Seven services have been approved under three categories of evidence for use in addressing families' mental health, addiction and parenting needs so that children can remain safely at home:
  • The highest level of services, deemed well-supported, includes Functional Family Therapy, Multisystemic Therapy, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy, Parents As Teachers, and Nurse-Family Partnership;
  • The service deemed as supported is Families Facing the Future;
  • The service deemed as promising is Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Other programs were not approved, including two kinship navigator models, while still others remain under review. Learn more .

Adoption Excellence Awards nominations open
The federal Children’s Bureau is pleased to announce that Adoption Excellence Awards nominations are now being accepted. These annual awards recognize States, Tribes, agencies, organizations, businesses and individuals that have demonstrated excellence in making contributions to providing permanency for children in foster care. The Adoption Excellence Awards honor leadership and innovation in the commitment toward rebuilding the lives of children in foster care and those who are waiting for adoption. Nomination materials, including a description of the award categories, eligibility and selection criteria, and nomination forms can be obtained here . All nominations must be received by July 28. 

ODM releases Request for Information
The Ohio Department of Medicaid (ODM) has released a request for information (RFI) to gather public input as it begins the process to select managed care partners. ODM’s first step in the process is collecting feedback on current Medicaid services, what is working and ideas for improvement. ODM's mission in this process is to focus on the individual rather than on the business of managed care, and this request seeks information specifically from individuals receiving Medicaid services, providers and advocates. Feedback is being sought in multiple areas, including: 
  • How managed care organizations communicate and support individuals and providers
  • What benefits and services are most helpful
  • How to best coordinate individual care
  • How to file complaints and appeal managed care organization decisions
All feedback is being considered. If you would like to share your experience with the current program or your ideas and solutions for improving the program, please submit feedback through the RFI webpage .
Child Protection in the News

About 20 percent of Ohio children live below the poverty line, according to a report released last week.
Also: Public News Service (audio)

June 19 - Five budget priorities for Ohio's future (Editorial) - cleveland.com
“In my 20 years of public service and advocacy on children’s issues, I have never seen such dedication and leadership from the General Assembly and the governor in meeting the needs of children long neglected by public policy,” Angela Sausser, executive director of the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, recently told the Senate Finance Committee.

It has been said that the budgeting process is a process of allocating disappointment. While it is true that no one is ever completely happy, it is also a process, in essence, of appropriating funds that reflect the state’s list of priorities and I believe in this budget we are allocating hope, opportunity and key strategic investments.
Upcoming Events

June 27 | Executive Membership Meeting
June 28 | Executive Membership Meeting
July 11 | 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 .
Quote of the Week

“They are young families, and so they are familiar with TikTok and Snapchat and all that tomfoolery.”
- Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights), on how young families providing kinship care can support other caregivers who are older and may not be as familiar with new social media apps.      
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org