A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
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Weekly Update for March 19, 2018
Association Updates

PCSAO welcomes anti-human trafficking coordinator on staff
Join PCSAO in welcoming Bhumika Patel, who started last week in a three-year, grant-funded position that will support training, education and resources for PCSAs in the area of trafficked children. Bhumika brings a wealth of experience in human trafficking, most recently from The Salvation Army of Greater Cincinnati. The position is supported by federal grants via the Office of Criminal Justice Services and the Department of Youth Services. Learn more about Bhumika!

Ohio’s training system passes federal CFSR
Federal reviewers on-site in Ohio last week confirmed that Ohio had satisfied requirements to meet the systemic factor relating to a statewide training system, part of the Child and Family Services Review Round 3. The Ohio Child Welfare Training Program worked hard to develop supporting evidence around the effectiveness of Ohio’s training system. The news was shared at the Mar. 14 OCWTP steering committee meeting. 

Executive Membership holds first meeting of 2018
The PCSAO Executive Membership kicked off the first meeting of 2018 on Mar. 12 with federal budget updates from Tom Joseph, National Association of County Human Services Administrators. The first day continued with finalizing recommendations for the Foster Care Advisory Group, receiving legislative updates, approving the Residential Action Group's final draft plan, providing feedback on a white paper, and discussing the state's Electronic Document Management System proposal (EDMS). The second day started with a panel consisting of the following presenters: LeeAnne Cornyn, AG's Office; Orman Hall, Ohio HIDTA; Julie Spohn, OhioMHAS; and Cheri Walter, OACBHA. The panelists provided updates on efforts to combat Ohio's opioid epidemic and information about other drug trends. Following the panel, membership was provided with updates regarding the behavioral health redesign and managed care carve-in from Marisa Weisel and Renee Bostick, Vorys Health Care Advisors. The second day concluded with a presentation from U.S. HHS Region V staff on Ohio's final results of the Child and Family Services Review Round 3 and the focus for Ohio's Performance Improvement Plan. The Executive Membership will meet next on Jun. 28-29. 

Board of Trustees meets
The PCSAO Board of Trustees met the evening of Mar. 12 and approved the February meeting minutes and Treasurer's Report. The Board discussed the EDMS proposal further with Joel Potts, OJFSDA. The Board then debriefed on day one of the Executive Membership meeting, approved the Conference Committee's recommendation for the 2019-2020 annual conference location, and received updates on legislation, rules, and other priorities. The Board will meet next on Apr. 4.

Conference Committee meets
The Conference Committee met Mar. 9 to continue planning the 2018 PCSAO Annual Conference. The theme and Call for Presenters were finalized after the meeting. The committee also reviewed the hotel costs and registration fees, as well as revising conference sponsorship opportunities. PCSAO will be updating the conference website this week. 

Rules update
5101:9-6-37.2 “Caseworker Visits Allocation” is in clearance until Mar. 30. The rule is being revised due to a five-year rule review; changes include updating language for consistency and clarification.

Please visit at www.ohiorulereview.org to view and comment on a number of rules in pre-clearance.

Note that rule 5101:2-47-08, Required application/update for Title IV-D (child support) services and referrals to Title IV-A (public assistance); healthchek; third party insurance; and supplemental security income (SSI), is posted until Mar. 24. There were no major changes to the rule since the child support interface was not completed and could not be incorporated into the rule. However, per IM 12-06, “Good Cause Circumstances,” language was added to the rule when determining appropriate referral to the IV-D agency. Additionally, language was added to complete a pre-termination review prior to the child’s case termination from custody. And finally, language was added regarding several of the JFS forms which are now ODM forms and where they can be found.
Announcements and Resources

Waiting Child Fund name change: "Kinnect"
The Waiting Child Fund will officially be transforming to the new name Kinnect. They feel that the new name of Kinnect is a more accurate representation of who they are and their programmatic focus on building kinship connections for youth in care. Click here for a short film about one of their board members. 

Free webinar on improving outcomes for crossover youth
Youth follow multiple pathways into the juvenile justice system. It is estimated that up to 30% of youth in the child welfare system follow that trajectory. Research also confirms that these youth are detained for longer periods of time, receive harsher dispositions, and have more unfavorable long-term outcomes. "Improving Outcomes for Crossover Youth: Spreading Lessons Learned from Implementation of the Crossover Youth Practice Model (CYPM)" is a webinar hosted by the California Evidence Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC) to provide an overview of the CYPM developed by Georgetown University's Center for Juvenile Justice Reform as a system reform model to impact this population. Participants will be provided information concerning the characteristics of this population, the pathways they follow into their involvement with both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, and the implications of their experiences for systemic change. The session will also present examples from communities in California and Florida that addressed the needs of this population through a variety of mechanisms including implementation of the CYPM. The webinar will be Apr. 5 from 10-11:30 a.m. PDT. Click here for more information. Register today!

ODJFS requesting proposals for contractors
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) is releasing a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the purpose of obtaining a minimum of five contractors to provide child welfare case consultation services to Public Children Services Agency (PCSA) caseworkers and supervisory staff using the Eckerd Rapid Safety Feedback (ERSF) Model. ODJFS is seeking contractors who are highly skilled and experienced in child welfare casework practice, quality assurance, and supportive casework coaching techniques. Proposals must clearly demonstrate the vendor’s capability of providing services as described in this RFP. If you or your organization is interested in submitting a response for this important project, please obtain the RFP here . If you experience any problems accessing this document or opening the above-referenced URL, please contact the Office of Contracts and Acquisitions mainline at 614-728-5693.
Child Protection in the News

To mark Child Abuse Prevention Month, Allen County Children Services is holding a contest called Wear Blue.

"This is not just happening in Lawrence County, it's statewide," Blankenship said Tuesday. "It's hard to work with. It puts more on our caseworkers. We're dealing with decreasing funding at a time when the need for services is definitely there. We have to live within our means." The county agency has seen its staffing levels decrease in the past dozen years or so from more than 100 to less than 70 at present. One thing that has been increasing, Blankenship said, is the costs for foster care. The drug problems in the area have led to the need to place the children of drug-addicted county residents with other relatives or foster care.

Legal advocates trying to stop a 5-year-old boy from being taken from his Ohio foster family and placed with a Native American tribe in Arizona won a step in the custody case this week when an appeals court reversed earlier juvenile court rulings.

In an opinion released Tuesday, the Ohio Court of Appeals determined the state's juvenile court should not have transferred jurisdiction of a custody case to the GRIC tribal court

Allen County Children Services is teaming up with Abby Hurles of Lima to create the Journey Totes program. The goal of the partnership is to provide essential items in a bag for children entering relative/kinship care. 

Mar. 9 - Wanted: Lucas County foster families (Includes video) - Toledo Blade
More than 140 more children need foster care than at this time last year, and those already in foster care are staying there longer. It has become all the more common to find caseworkers at the office late, scrambling to find a safe place for yet another child to sleep that night.
Upcoming Events

Mar. 19 | Legislative Committee Meeting
Mar. 20 | Ohio START Southern Consortium & Steering Committee
Mar. 21 | Southwest 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

"Pretty much all the honest truth telling there is in the world is done by children." 
 — Oliver Wendell Holmes
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org