A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for March 2, 2020
Association Updates

Ohio START regional meetings successful
Ohio START concluded its current round of regional meetings this week with the central Ohio meeting in Delaware on Feb. 25 and the southeast Ohio meeting in Chillicothe on Feb. 26. The meetings featured presentations from PCSAO and Butler County Children Services. Butler County staff presented on their successes as well as lessons learned while developing their steering committee and direct-line meetings.

Family First Leadership Advisory Committee meets
The ODJFS Family First Leadership Advisory Committee met on Feb. 26 and celebrated the planning accomplishments to date. The committee is moving from defining the “what” for Family First to defining the “how” for implementation. Updates were shared about the recently passed Family First Transition Act including the best way to leverage readiness funding. Peter Watson from Casey Family Programs presented on how other states have approached Family First Act planning and implementation. The Center for the Study of Social Policy presented the case flow process developed by a workgroup for the Prevention Services Subcommittee. The leadership committee approved two recommendations from the Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP) Subcommittee related to trauma-informed treatment models and competencies. Other Family First Act updates provided included Tiered Treatment Foster Care, Child Fatality, and Chafee/Independent Living. The leadership committee will meet March 25 via webinar to hear about the finalization of the Family First Act roadmap. 

Legislative Committee update
The PCSAO Legislative Committee met on Feb. 24. PCSAO provided policy and legislative updates. The committee reviewed recently introduced legislation including:
  • SB 240/HB 408 — Regards children’s crisis care facilities
  • HB 443 Regards mental health/substance use disorder benefit parity
  • HB 506 Prohibits placement of child with relative child does not know
  • HB 505 — Eliminates the specific authority of residential facilities to operate within residential zoning districts
The committee meets next on March 16.   

Rules update
 Pre-clearance: The following rules are in pre-clearance for five-year review until March 19:
  • Rule 5101:2-42-87 Termination of substitute care and custody of a child.
  • Rule 5101:2-42-90 Information to be provided to children, caregivers, school districts and juvenile courts.
In addition, "Confidentiality and dissemination of child welfare information" is backed up in pre-clearance for a 14-day period until March 5. This version includes proposed changes based on feedback received.

Clearance: As of Feb. 27, no children services-related rules were in clearance.

Filed with JCARR: The following rules were original-filed on Feb. 24; a public hearing is scheduled for March 30:
  • Rule 5101:2-37-01 – PCSA requirements for completing the safety assessment
  • Rule 5101:2-37-02 – PCSA requirements for completing the safety plan
  • Rule 5101:2-37-03 – PCSA requirements for completing the family assessment
  • Rule 5101:2-37-04 – PCSA requirements for completing the reunification assessment
Announcements and Resources

Medicaid Substance Use Disorder Waiver hearing
The Ohio departments of Medicaid and Mental Health and Addiction Services will hold a public forum on the progress of Ohio’s Medicaid Substance Use Disorder (SUD) 1115 Waiver on March 27 from 1-3 p.m. Any interested party or stakeholder is invited to provide comment. There are three options for participation:
  • Register to attend in person at the Ohio Department of Medicaid offices, 50 West Town Street, Columbus, OH 43215 
  • Register to join by webinar by selecting March 27
  • Submit comments via email to MCD_SUD1115@medicaid.ohio.gov
State staff will kick off the public forum by providing an advanced briefing on Ohio’s first SUD 1115 waiver progress report, which will be submitted to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services on March 30. Following the briefing, participants are invited to comment on the progress report, or on any aspect of Ohio’s SUD 1115 Demonstration Waiver. Webinar participants may offer comments via the audio function of their computer (instructions will be given at the beginning of the webinar). Interested parties who cannot attend, or who do not wish to speak, may submit their comments via email.  
Child Protection in the News

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine received notice Wednesday of an infant fatality in Montgomery County. The case contained numerous similarities to that of a 10-year-old boy from Dayton who died Dec. 13, 2019, roughly 19 months after the 10-year-old's alternative response case was closed by Montgomery County Children Services. Due to these similarities, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine is directing a team of Technical Assistance Specialists from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to conduct a review, in partnership with Montgomery County Children Services, of Montgomery County's alternative response cases from the previous six months.

At least half a dozen agencies and institutions in three states were at some point involved in attempting to protect the well-being of Takoda Collins, a 10-year-old in Dayton who was allegedly tortured and abused before he died in December. A joint investigation by the Dayton Daily News and WHIO-TV uncovered concerns that efforts to keep Takoda safe may have been hindered by poor communication between the agencies.

A Public Children Services Association of Ohio study found that between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016, 25% of caseworkers left their positions. The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services announced it will invest nearly $1 million in an emergency fund to help counties struggling with historically large caseloads, caseworker burnout and turnover and other challenges related to the drug epidemic.
Upcoming Events

March 5-6 | Executive Membership Meeting
March 5 | Board of Trustees 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 .
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org