A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for March 16, 2020
Governor DeWine takes action on coronavirus
Governor Mike DeWine and his administration have taken steps this past week to prevent the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Highlights include:
- State employees will work from home wherever possible; there is a travel ban in effect for state employees.
- Mass gatherings are prohibited.
- K-12 schools will close for three weeks beginning at the close of the school day today.
- Bars and restaurants closed last night at 9 p.m. and will remain open for carryout/delivery only.
- New directives regarding unemployment compensation, sick leave, telehealth, nonemergency elective surgery, and other matters have been or will be released.
- The state is currently seeking waivers from the federal government that improve program flexibility and funding during this time, to minimize in-person requirements and maximize benefits that support Ohio families.
PCSAO, along with the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association (OJFSDA), the Ohio Child Support Enforcement Agency Directors’ Association (OCDA) and the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO), continues to follow the situation closely and interact with state officials to ensure that county agencies are well represented and receive clear information. The best place to monitor the situation is
, which provides daily updates and resources including FAQs and videos. The Ohio Department of Health hotline, 1-833-4ASKODH (1-833-427-5634), is open 9 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. At this time, the Governor will continue to hold daily news conferences at 2 p.m. on
. These are often streamed on local television, public radio and social media if you have trouble accessing the website.
PCSAO staff will be available to assist members and stakeholders. While many staff are working remotely, some will be in the office, and all will be available via email and cell.
Workgroup considers caregiver supports, training for treatment foster care
PCSAO is taking up the recommendations from its
Tiered Treatment Foster Care report
by pulling together several workgroups to dig deeper into the needs for expanding Ohio’s treatment foster care system in order to prevent children from going into congregate care. That work kicked off March 9 with a group representing public and private agencies, caregivers and the state examining caregiver supports, training, recruitment and retention. The work will continue over the next couple months, to be followed by different workgroups focusing on professionalizing caregivers and per-diem rates.
Community Education Committee looks at staging large events
Months before COVID-19 had been identified, the Community Education Committee scheduled two presentations for its March 13 meeting on how to stage a large community event. Thanks to Stacy Ferencik and DeeDee Prezioso of Trumbull County Children Services and Karen Bennett of Cuyahoga County DCFS for coming through with outstanding presentations on this topic. While most in-person Child Abuse Prevention Month events have been canceled, the committee encourages agencies to continue promoting Wear Blue as a “safe” social media event that gives members of the community an opportunity to show their support for child abuse prevention by snapping a photo (preferably alone or in small groups!) and posting it to the county or state Wear Blue page. The committee meets next on May 8 with a presentation on community outreach and development.
PCSAO Call for Presenters to open this week
PCSAO is proceeding with plans for the 2020 annual conference scheduled for Sept. 16-18 at the Doubletree Worthington. The call for presenters will be available March 18. Look for it via email, social media and on the conference page on our website. This year's theme is "Partners in Progress" to reflect the transformation happening in Ohio's child protection system. Applications will be evaluated on content, evidence-based practice and relevance to the conference audience.
PCSAO Rules Committee meets
The Rules Review Committee met March 12 via teleconference. ODJFS staff discussed rules currently in pre-clearance, including:
- 5101:2-42-87 Termination of custody and substitute care of a child
- 5101:2-42-90 Information to be provided to children, caregivers, school districts and juvenile courts
- 5101:2-33-02 PCSA requirement to participate in child protection oversight and evaluation
- 5101:2-40-10 The Ohio kinship and adoption navigator (OhioKAN) program.
The Committee next meets on April 2.
The following rule is in pre-clearance until March 5:
The following rule is under five-year review and will be available for comment until March 31:
- Rule 5101:2-33-02 PCSA requirement to participate in child protection oversight and evaluation
Clearance: As of March 4, there are no children services-related rules in Clearance.
Filed with JCARR: The following rules were filed on March 3:
Announcements and Resources
Eastern Ohio Leadership Conference canceled
Please note that the Eastern Ohio Leadership Conference scheduled for March 25-27 has been canceled. Look for more information in future updates.
2020 Child Welfare Needs Assessment Survey due March 24
Capacity Building Center for States is conducting its
2020 Needs Assessment Survey
to better understand child welfare agencies’ needs related to preventing child abuse and neglect, strengthening families, and implementing the Family First Act. Completion of the anonymous survey by March 24 will help determine how the organization can assist child welfare systems around the country to improve practice and outcomes by:
- Identifying pressing and emerging needs of child welfare agencies to strengthen families and improve safety, permanency, and well-being outcomes for children and youth
- Understanding what child welfare agencies and their partners need to develop services that will help prevent child abuse and neglect before they occur
- Identifying critical needs of child welfare agencies to successfully implement the Family First Act
Groundwork Ohio hosts Census Twitter chat March 25
Groundwork Ohio will be co-hosting a Census Twitter chat at 1 p.m. March 25 along with Children's Defense Fund Ohio, the American Academy of Pediatrics (Ohio Chapter) and PRE4CLE. The goal is to spread awareness about the importance of participating in the Census. The 2020 Census will determine how much funding communities receive for programs such as child care, home visiting, early intervention, housing assistance, food assistance, transportation, health care, and more. It will also determine how many seats Ohio will have in the U.S. House of Representatives. Sign up for Groundwork’s
Twitter chat toolkit
and learn more about the Census
Youth-Centered Permanency Roundtables to expand; webinar offered
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) has offered the opportunity for 10 additional Ohio counties to join the Youth-Centered Permanency Roundtables (YCPRT) program. Through its partnership with Kinnect, ODJFS has committed to funding, coaching, rebranding, training, tools, and engagement. Kinnect will be hosting a webinar on three dates to share details regarding the program implementation and expansion plans:
- March 30, 12 noon
- March 31, 9 a.m.
- April 1, 3 p.m.
All sessions are identical and people need only register for one. RSVP to Tracy Cook, YCPRT Coach, at
. Responses will help the advisory council assess interest in expansion of the program, and plan for its scale and sustainability.
Trauma Informed Care Conference offered May 19-20
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is offering its seventh annual Trauma Informed Care Summit May 19-20, with an added pre-conference day on May 18.
The conference is designed for participants to experience a day-long deeper dive into the following focus areas:
- Get Well! Be Well! Stay Well! Families, Youth and Resiliency
- Early Childhood Trauma
- Secondary Trauma and Workforce Crisis: Self-Care Solutions
- Intersection of Trauma and Health
- Student Wellness and Success
- Working with Veterans
- Family Informed Trauma Treatment
- Trauma and Marginalized Populations
National Child Traumatic Stress Network offers coronavirus guide
The National Child Traumatic Stress Network has developed a parent/caregiver guide to helping families cope with coronavirus.
Download it here
Child Protection in the News
A Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services program called Ohio START may offer a solution for addicted parents who want to keep their kids and get clean.
The Chronicle of Social Change is soliciting information from key stakeholders in these fields – youths, parents, foster and adoptive parents, caseworkers, probation officers, judges, and others – about how the spread of coronavirus is affecting these systems’ ability to function. The goal is to help inform leaders about what is happening on the ground.
The burden of Ohio’s ongoing opioid-addiction crisis has fallen mainly on the state’s communities, hitting local schools, police and fire departments, and social service agencies the hardest...That’s why it is so important that Gov. Mike DeWine is making good on one of his key campaign promises — more help for the local agencies that care for children.
Montgomery County Children Services needs someone from outside their agency to handle complaints from the public, according to a citizens group created to seek reforms after the December death of 10-year-old Takoda Collins. The group, Takoda's Call, plans to appear at Tuesday's Montgomery County commission meeting to request the establishment of an external ombudsman, according to group member Karen Bocko.
In 2019, 16,000 Ohio children were in foster care. This year, that number is expected to reach 20,000. An agency that provides mental health services and administers foster parent services has set up some informational meetings in hopes of attracting new potential foster parents in Trumbull and Mahoning counties.
Through a targeted combination of one-on-one mental health counseling, low teacher-to-child ratios, regular home visits and a social-emotional learning curriculum, the Therapeutic Interagency Preschool program serves children who have been abused, neglected or otherwise mistreated. Evidence suggests it works: children's trauma symptoms, including anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, are on average reduced by 30 to 50 percent over one school year. early childhood education workforce.
March 18 | Southwest District Meeting
April 1 | Board of Trustees Meeting
Note: Most if not all meetings will be held via web meeting or teleconference.
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 |