A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for June 8, 2020
Association Updates

Coronavirus updates
Gov. Mike DeWine and his administration made the following announcements this week:
  • Gov. DeWine announced that he expects K-12 schools to resume in the fall. When schools begin and how they are structured will be up to each individual district.
  • The governor announced that aquariums, art galleries, country clubs, ice skating rinks, indoor family entertainment centers, indoor sports facilities, laser tag facilities, indoor movie theaters, museums, outdoor playgrounds, public recreation centers, roller skating rinks, social clubs, trampoline parks, and zoos may open beginning June 10.
  • Gov. DeWine announced that he is intensifying efforts in Ohio to improve issues of health and economic disparities, racism, and inequity. The efforts will include new plans to improve law enforcement access to quality training, enhancing transparency between the police and the public, recruiting more minorities to serve as peace officers, and adding more oversight to Ohio's law enforcement agencies to ensure accountability.
  • Additionally, other continuing work will include addressing lead paint poisoning in children, reducing infant and maternal mortality in the African-American community, increasing home visiting programs for at-risk first-time moms, fighting the drug epidemic in Ohio, and prioritizing the availability of mental health services in Ohio's schools for children who need them.
  • The governor announced that all elective surgeries, including those requiring an overnight stay, may now resume.
PCSAO continues to follow the COVID-19 situation closely and interact with state officials and community partners to ensure that county agencies are well represented and receive clear information. For the latest information from the state, visit the  coronavirus.ohio.gov page.

PCSAO Board of Trustees meets virtually
The PCSAO Board of Trustees met virtually on June 3. The board welcomed Susan Walther, Warren County CSB director, as a new trustee replacing Moira Weir. The board also welcomed Becky Sorrell, Preble County JFS director, who will become a trustee in August replacing Kathi Spirk. In addition, the board elected Cyndi Scanland, Allen County CSB director, to become president in August, replacing Kathi Spirk, and elected Stacy Cox, Champaign County JFS director, as vice president. The board approved May meeting minutes, April financial reports, and filing an amicus brief. The board also discussed the agenda for the Executive Membership Meeting on June 25 and received updates from Kara Wente, ODJFS assistant director, and Kristi Burre, ODJFS Office of Children Services Transformation director. The board meets next on Aug. 5.

Community Education Committee discusses virtual outreach
At its June 5 meeting, the Community Education Committee covered three related topics and shared helpful tips: safely returning to face-to-face outreach this summer, successfully moving caregiver recruitment and other events online, and effectively campaigning for fall levies while fundraising within legal restrictions. The group heard updates and gained more knowledge about effective use of social media and meeting platforms during the pandemic. The group next meets Aug. 7.

PCSAO presents to Ohio Legislative Children's Caucus 
PCSAO Executive Director Angela Sausser gave a presentation on the effects of COVID-19 on Ohio's children services system to the Ohio Legislative Children's Caucus on June 5. She highlighted the challenges agencies are facing, including a reduction in calls and an anticipated surge in cases when mandated reporters begin seeing children again. She also emphasized the budget challenges many county agencies will be facing and the necessity of federal investment in child welfare. Finally, she stressed that it is important to maintain the historic investments Ohio has made and to continue the transformation of Ohio's children services system through implementation of the Family First Act. Other panelists included Mark Mecum, CEO of Ohio Children’s Alliance, who stressed the issues and challenges providers have faced during COVID-19 and the need for reform with implementing the Family First Act; Dr. Jonathan Thackeray of Dayton Children’s Hospital, who shared firsthand experience of the barriers that children and families have faced during the pandemic; and Stefanie Sprow, child welfare policy director for the Children’s Defense Fund – National Office. The Children’s Caucus is co-chaired by Sen. Peggy Lehner and Rep. Allison Russo. 
PCSAO Conference 2020

Nominate youth who are rising up and moving on and families who stand out
Thousands of children and youth served by Ohio's child protection system have done wonderful things with their lives. Many have broken generational abuse cycles to become supportive, nurturing parents. Others have gone on to jobs or college, and some have even become foster parents. Many have contributed to their communities in meaningful ways. Do you know young people who fit that description? Nominate them for our Rising Up and Moving On Award.

PCSAO wants to recognize families who stand out within the children services system, including
birth families who have stayed together or been reunified as well as kinship, foster, or adoptive families who opened their homes. Do you know families whose accomplishments and hard work deserve recognition? Nominate them for Family of the Year .

Each year, PCSAO also recognizes the achievement of professionals who serve Ohio’s public children services agencies. Do you know a child welfare caseworker, support staff, or supervisor whose accomplishments and hard work deserve recognition? Nominate a staff member here .

The 2020 PCSAO award winners will be announced during the 2020 annual conference online Sept. 16-17. Nominations must be submitted by June 30. Each submission must include the nomination form and attachments. You may also include supporting materials.

Save the date!
We are planning to move our conference to a virtual format for two days, Sept. 16-17. Mark your calendar and look for more details this summer!
Rules Updates

Pre-Clearance: As of June 5, there are no children services-related rules in pre-clearance.

Clearance: The following rule under five-year review is open for comments until June 15:
  • Rule 5101:2-33-02 - PCSA requirement to participate in child protection oversight and evaluation (CPOE). This version reflects feedback gathered through ODJFS’ recent Microburst on Rule Review and Program Hearing (MORRPH) process and from the PCSAO Rules Review Committee.  
Filed with JCARR: As of June 5, there are no children services-related rules filed with JCARR.
Announcements and Resources

Virtual Neighborhood Connections June 9
The Office of Children Services Transformation, Casey Family Programs, and the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association are offering a “Virtual Neighborhood Connections” biweekly webinar. The next webinar is June 9 at noon and the topic is daycare. The session will highlight strategies for managing the stress and anxiety of children and families transitioning out of pandemic child care. It will feature three speakers from childcare resource and referral, center-based child care, and family child care/home-based child care. Register here .

Health impacts of COVID-19 webinar June 10
Northeast Ohio Medical University and Akron Children’s Hospital are partnering to present “Coping with COVID During and After: Health Impacts to Children and Families” June 10 from 12-1:30 p.m. The session will address the mental health impact of the pandemic on children and families, both now while people are staying home and later as people start to emerge, with a focus on "the next pandemic" of mental illness that will follow the COVID-19 pandemic. The session will be led by Steven Jewell, M.D., director of Pediatric Psychiatry and Psychology at Akron Children’s. Register here .

CEBC offers webinar on race, equity June 15
The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare is offering a webinar on “Race and Equity in Child and Family Serving Systems” from 1-2 p.m. on June 15. It will focus on ways employees can cultivate equity and inclusion to better serve children and families. Register here.

Summit County CASA creates webinar on emerging issues in practice
The CASA Board Volunteer Association of Summit County created a free webinar, “Emerging Issues in Child Advocacy Practice,” through a generous grant from the American Bar Endowment and the Ohio State Bar Association. This free online webinar examines human trafficking, immigration and domestic violence and offers up to 12 hours of training under Rule 48 of the Rules of Superintendence for the Courts of Ohio. Rule 48 sets standards regarding the appointment, responsibilities, training and report requirements of guardians ad litem and the responsibilities of appointing courts. Click here for more information.

Registration open for virtual child welfare expo Sept. 24
The Capacity Building Center for States and the HHS Children’s Bureau are offering a “Virtual Child Welfare Expo” on Sept. 24. The expo is for anyone involved in children services. The goal is to explore strategies that that build a prevention-focused child welfare system and support implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act. Space is limited. Register here .

Webinar series: Providing culturally relevant crisis services during COVID-19
The Great Lakes Health and Human Services region has made available a multi-part webinar series, ” Providing Culturally Relevant Crisis Services During COVID-19 .” The series has three parts:
Child Protection in the News

After looking at the per diems being paid to place dependent, neglected and abused children in out-of-county settings, Jefferson County commissioners decided Thursday it makes more sense for them to hire enough people to adequately staff the McCullough Children's Home.

When children enter foster care, they are often carrying the trauma of whatever led to their placement with a county children services office, and the trauma of being separated from the life they knew.

When 7-year-old Fabian Maldando-Cortez was found unresponsive inside his family’s home in North Linden on May 23, it was initially reported that he drowned.
Profiles of Hope and Courage: Children Services in the Era of COVID-19
Alli: 'We have a job to do'
Alli has been an intake caseworker at Guernsey County Children Services for two and a half years. Her job has changed less during the pandemic than caseworkers with other responsibilities because she is not able to complete her work virtually. “We have a job to do,” Alli said. “If we have to go in, we go in.”

PCSAO is collecting stories from the front lines of child protection to raise awareness of the challenges our children services professionals, and the families they serve, are facing during this pandemic. Despite all the changes in their daily lives, they remain hopeful and courageous.
Upcoming Events

June 12 | Conference Planning Committee Meeting
June 15 | Legislative Committee Meeting
June 25 | Executive Membership Meeting

Note: Meetings will be held via web meeting or teleconference for the foreseeable future.

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 .

Also, check out recent graduates of the University Partnership Program who are trained and ready to be hired by public agencies.
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org