A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for March 23, 2020
Association Updates

Gov. DeWine continues efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus
Gov. Mike DeWine this week continued the state’s efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus. Highlights of state actions:
  • Issued stay-at-home order beginning tonight at midnight through April 6, closing all businesses except those deemed essential. Essential businesses include those providing health care and public health as well as those providing human services (construed broadly to include child protective services).
  • Closed child care facilities as of this Thursday, excepting those with the new pandemic child care license.
  • Closed adult daycare for persons with developmental disabilities serving 10 or more.
  • Bureau of Worker's Compensation deferred premiums.
  • Closed bars and restaurants except for carryout services.
  • Limited mass gatherings of 50 people or more.
  • Canceled the March 17 primary election due to a health emergency.
  • Closed gyms, bowling alleys, movie theaters and other indoor recreation facilities.
  • Closed barbershops, hair salons, nail salons and tattoo parlors.
  • Closed Bureau of Motor Vehicles sites, except for five sites that may continue renewing and issuing commercial driver's licenses.
  • Expanded unemployment insurance to cover employees directly impacted by COVID-19.
  • Expanded Medicaid telehealth options to include any licensed provider and to apply regardless of whether an enrollee is a current patient of the provider.
  • Canceled or delayed non-essential elective surgeries, including those for dentists and veterinarians who are asked to share supplies with the medical community.
  • Ordered the Ohio National Guard to provide humanitarian assistance only, such as setting up field hospital tents for isolation.
PCSAO, along with the Ohio Job and Family Services Directors’ Association (OJFSDA), the Ohio Child Support Enforcement Agencies 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 coronavirus.ohio.gov , 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.-8p.m. daily. At this time, the Governor will continue to hold daily news conferences at 2 p.m. on www.ohiochannel.org . These are often streamed on television and public radio if you have trouble accessing the website. 

Ohio Supreme Court responds to coronavirus
Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor participated in Gov. DeWine’s daily news conference on Thursday. She will recommend passage of legislation that will create uniform continuity of response in emergencies in Ohio’s many courts. In her address, she:
  • Encouraged courts to limit themselves to essential business.
  • Encouraged courts to limit the use of bond and release individuals on their own recognizance when possible.
  • Encouraged courts to postpone jury trials and foreclosures.
  • Encouraged courts to increase use of video and telephone conferencing.
  • Announced that the Ohio Supreme Court would make $4 million available for grants to local courts to purchase teleconferencing equipment.
Call for presenters opens for 2020 PCSAO Conference
We need your knowledge and expertise! The call for presenters is now open for our 35th Annual PCSAO Conference, scheduled for Sept. 16-18 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Worthington/Columbus. The conference theme is “Partners in Progress” to reflect the transformation taking place in the child protection system. The audience consists of children services professionals: directors, administrators, caseworkers, supervisors, attorneys, students and advocates. Submissions are due May 1 by 5 p.m. Submit your proposal here . Note that you can download a preview of the whole application at the bottom of the submission link. You can check the PCSAO Conference webpage for updates.

Ohio START Summit postponed
The Ohio START Summit originally scheduled for May 7 has been rescheduled for August 12. It will still be at the Ohio Union on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Rules update
Pre-clearance: The Following rule is in pre-clearance until March 26:
  • 5101:2-40-10 The Ohio kinship and adoption navigator (OhioKAN) program
  • 5101:2-9-42 Qualified Residential Treatment Program (QRTP)
The following rules are in pre-clearance until April 3:
The following rule is in pre-clearance until April 4:
Clearance: The following rule is in Clearance until March 25:
  • 5101:9-7-01.1 Public Children Services Agency (PCSA) Quarterly Reconciliation
Filed With JCARR: The following rule was final-filed on March 13, with an effective date of March 23: 
The following rules were revise-filed on March 18, with a public hearing scheduled for March 30. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this hearing will be via teleconference only. Oral testimony will be accepted telephonically (instructions are included in the summary of changes noted below); as always, written testimony is accepted via email. 
  • 5101:2-37-01 PCSA requirements for completing the safety assessment
  • 5101:2-37-02 PCSA requirements for completing the safety plan
  • 5101:2-37-03 PCSA requirements for completing the family assessment
  • 5101:2-37-04 PCSA requirements for completing the reunification assessment
The following rules were original-filed on March 19, with a public hearing scheduled for April 20. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this hearing will be via teleconference only. Oral testimony will be accepted telephonically (instructions are included in the summary of changes noted below); as always, written testimony is accepted via email. A summary of changes to each rule is here.  These rules are revised due to the five-year review and to recent legislative changes (federal Family First and state Sub. HB 166). 
  • 5101:2-5-09 Personnel and prohibited convictions for employment
  • 5101:2-5-09.1 Criminal records check required for certain prospective employees and certified foster caregivers
  • 5101:2-5-18 Waivers and variances
  • 5101:2-5-20 Initial application and completion of the foster care homestudy
  • 5101:2-5-24 Foster home recertifications
  • 5101:2-5-32 Occupancy limitations and accessibility
  • 5101:2-5-33 Foster caregiver preplacement and continuing training
  • 5101:2-7-02 General requirements for foster caregivers and applicants
  • 5101:2-7-10 Care of a foster child under age two
  • 5101:2-7-12 Site and safety requirements for a foster home
  • 5101:2-7-15 Transportation
Announcements and Resources

National Child Welfare Workforce Institute provides coronavirus information
The National Child Welfare Workforce Institute has collected coronavirus resources for both individuals and organizations. For individuals:
For o rganizations:

Child Welfare League of America creates COVID-19 webpage
The Child Welfare League of America has also created a webpage to share tips, sample policies and protocols, and resources. People may email CWLA at covid19@cwla.org  to ask questions, communicate challenges they are experiencing, and share additional resources for posting.
Child Protection in the News

There were more than 16,000 children currently in foster care in Ohio as of Jan 1, 2020, and the president of the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption said many of them may be vulnerable during this coronavirus pandemic.

March 14 - Removing barriers to success - Highland County Press
Every child deserves a safe and stable place to call home. Yet, too many young people are living day-to-day in motels or doubled-up in the homes of family, friends, or strangers. This lack of stable housing for our kids cannot be overlooked, even as millions are "invisibly homeless." While they may not be living on the streets, homelessness in any form hinders their ability to succeed in school, to build a strong future, and to live healthy lives. To combat this problem, it's going to take a response at all levels: local, state, and federal.

Ohio Chancellor of Higher Education Randy Gardner said universities would pursue policies to move nearly all students out of dormitories, except those who are former foster care youths, international students and those who have no place to move to. Ohio State University this week told students to begin moving out of its residence halls.
Upcoming Events

April 1 | Board of Trustees Meeting
April 2 | Rules Review Committee Meeting
April 10 | Conference Planning Committee Meeting

Note: Most if not all meetings will be held via web meeting or teleconference.

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