A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
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Weekly Update for March 26, 2018
Association Updates

2018 Conference update
Public Children Services Association of Ohio will hold our annual conference Sep. 19-21 in Columbus. The theme of this year’s conference is “The Child Protection Puzzle: Putting All the Pieces Together.” We strongly believe that collaborating and connecting essential components in child welfare are essential in training and empowering our child protection workers. The conference will focus on efforts to highlight collective knowledge and best practices in child protection that lead to improving outcomes and increased well-being for children, youth and families. You are invited to be a part of our statewide child protection conference:
  • Call for Presenters – The conference draws more than 500 participants each year, and is an outstanding opportunity for you to make a valuable contribution to the advancement of child protection practice in Ohio. We invite you to submit a proposal to present. Download the 2018 Call for Presenters and submit by the Apr. 30 deadline.
  • Conference Sponsorship Opportunities – You are invited to be part of our annual event by exhibiting and sponsoring at the conference. The conference offers you the opportunity to interact one-on-one with individuals who are working in and involved with child protection. Sponsorship opportunities are available on a first-come, first-served basis, so we encourage you to register online today.
Please feel free to share the information with your colleagues, skillful presenters and enthusiastic child protection supporters. We look forward to your participation!

Legislative Committee meets
The Legislative Committee met Mar. 19. The committee discussed pending children services-related legislation, including HB394, Juvenile Law; HB448, Sibling Visitation Rights and Adoption; HB515, Child Rehoming-Parental Rights; HB523, Animal Abuse-Armed Forces Abuse-Therapy; and HB533, Foster Care Training and Requirements. Ana Beltran, Generations United, presented an overview of education and health care consent laws around the nation. The committee next meets Apr. 16. For more information, contact mary@pcsao.org .

Southwest District meets
The Southwest District met Mar. 21. ODJFS, OCWTP/IHS, and PCSAO provided updates on various programs, initiatives, rules and legislation. Northwoods presented a demonstration of the Traverse product, which is being included in plans for the statewide EDMS project for the child protective services system. The district next meets May 16. 

Ohio START Southern Consortium meets
The sixteen START PCSAs and their partners met Mar. 20 in Ross County. During the meeting, the Ohio State University School of Social Work provided an update on the interim evaluation report and an overview of a new database, the needs portal, which will be used to collect data for the pilot. In addition, PCSAs provided updates on the START project in their county and the group celebrated the one-year anniversary of the project. The Southern Consortium will meet again in June.

Anti-human trafficking update
PCSAO staff participated in an orientation Mar. 20 held by the Office of Criminal Justice Services now that all grant-related personnel have been hired at all partner agencies, including the Ohio Department of Youth Services and the Ohio Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers. Bhumika Patel, PCSAO’s Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator, who joined PSCAO earlier in March, has been spending her time learning about training, education, and resources for PCSAs, in addition to attending this orientation. The goals of the grant include providing training and developing policies to improve outcomes for child and youth victims of human trafficking across systems.

Rules update
5101:2-33-29 , Verification of United States citizenship and immigration status for all children in foster care, is under five-year review.

The following rules were submitted for original filing Mar. 19. Click on the links below to review the rules. If you have questions, contact Mary Wachtel, mary@pcsao.org .
  • 5101:2-47-05: Title XIX medicaid coverage for Title IV-E foster care maintenance (FCM) recipients in accordance with the "Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act" (COBRA)
  • 5101:2-47-09: Case record requirements for foster care maintenance (FCM)
  • 5101:2-47-12: Foster care maintenance: Initial determination of program eligibility and reimbursability
  • 5101:2-47-13: Foster care maintenance program eligibility: Legal responsibility requirements
  • 5101:2-47-14: Foster care maintenance program eligibility: ADC-relatedness
  • 5101:2-47-14.1: Title IV-E eligibility under the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996
  • 5101:2-47-20: Foster care maintenance program reimbursability: Supplemental reimbursements for the cost of care for the child of a Title IV-E recipient parent
  • 5101:2-47-22: Foster care maintenance: reasonable efforts requirements
  • 5101:2-47-23: Beginning date of reimbursability for foster care maintenance
The following rules were submitted for final filing Mar. 20 and will be effective Apr. 2. Click on the links below to review the rules:
  • 5101:9-6-50: Ohio department of job and family services (ODJFS) grants
  • 5101:9-6-51: Family Service agency responsibilities
The following rules are in pre-clearance until the date indicated. You can review and provide comments at http://ohiorulereview.org/ .

Apr. 8:
  • 5101:2-5-13: Required agency policies, plans and procedures. Rule posted for 30 days for the revisions to the recruitment plan requirements.
  • 5101:2-33-11: Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) agency administrative requirements. Rule posted for 30 days for the revisions to the recruitment plan requirements.
  • 5101:2-48-05: Agency adoption policy and recruitment plan. Rule posted for 30 days for the revisions to the recruitment plan requirements.
  • 5101:2-48-13: Non-discrimination requirements for adoptive placements. Rule posted for 30 days for the revisions to the recruitment plan requirements.
Apr. 13:
  • 5101:2-39-01: Removal of a child from the child's own home. This rule is being revised to sync with IV-E language regarding reasonable efforts when removing a child. The amendment is also for the five-year review.
  • 5101:2-40-02: Supportive services for prevention of placement, reunification and life skills. This rule is being reviewed for the five-year review requirement.
Announcements and Resources

Report on improving permanency for teens in foster care
A new report from the National Center for Youth Law looks at state policies that are successful at helping older foster youth gain permanency as they transition to adulthood. For older teens, that is often difficult. According to the authors of the report, providers, agencies and advocates must balance two different visions of permanency when thinking about youth who are on the brink of aging out of the foster care system: a permanent connection to some kind of family and meeting the self-sufficiency goals of young people as they pursue a greater degree of independence in adulthood.
Child Protection in the News

The new levy would provide additional funding for children's services in the Washington County for the next five years. Those services include placement of children from troubled families in foster homes.

Last year, there were more than 1,000 cases of child abuse and neglect in Lucas County. While no child in the system is without a home, the demand for foster homes has been on a steady increase over the last few years.

A recent Raycom Media investigation into doctors who over-prescribe opioid pain medication and their so-called “pill mills” suggests that, for at least half of the nation’s heroin users, addiction started with a legal prescription for painkillers. Medicare provider data from 2015 shows 128 general practice health care providers wrote more prescriptions for opioids than all other drugs combined.

Cuyahoga County Division of Children and Family Services agreed to a sit-down, round-table style interview regarding how CCCFS assesses and services child cases exclusively with Cleveland 19 News, Tuesday. This, after the death of a 4-year-old Euclid girl who previously had an open case with CCCFS but was closed due to lack of evidence during CCCFS's 2017 investigation.

Mar. 19 - Social Workers: Building Better Lives in Ohio (Includes video) - Public News Service
Social workers dedicate their time and energy to helping make the country a better place to live, and in Ohio, more than 9,000 focus that time and energy on children and families.This is National Social Work Month, and agencies around the Buckeye State are highlighting the vital role of social workers in local communities. 

The Ohio House of Representatives has taken up legislation that addresses extrajudicial adoptions, perhaps the most pernicious form of human trafficking. Called re-homing, the practice amounts to a transfer of a child's legitimate custody from either his birth parents or legal, adoptive parents to willing individuals who forgo the lawful adoption process, presumably for illicit reasons.

Jenny Conrad knows how to talk to parents addicted to heroin and other opioids because she has been there. Now recovered, Conrad and two other former drug addicts are teaming up with Fairfield County Child Protective Services workers to help currently addicted parents recover and hold on to their children.

The stories and images of the devastating effects of the drug and opioid crisis have taken hold across Butler County and the wider nation. The stories of sobriety and those getting clean are sometimes overlooked. But when heard, they shed light on what it takes to get clean and stay that way.

Mar. 18 - The truth about trafficking - Ashtabula Star Beacon
Traffickers prey on those without support structures or loved ones. Many victims did not attend school regularly or didn't have a peer group they fit in with. Most came from broken homes where drugs were prominent and they were bounced around the foster care system. That leaves victims vulnerable to manipulation and coercion with no one to trust. Many times traffickers also become drug suppliers, and from there it's not a far push into the sex trade.

A 5-year-old Native American boy at the center of controversy for more than a year will remain with his Coshocton County foster family, for now. Last week, the Ohio Court of Appeals reversed an earlier juvenile court ruling that would have sent the preschooler 2,000 miles from his home to a reservation in Arizona. The ruling stated the juvenile court should not have granted custody without first conducting a full evidentiary hearing taking into account the best interest of the child.

The number of cases filed last year in Hancock County Juvenile Court was the lowest since 1985, according to the 2017 annual report released by the court. Just 1,178 cases were filed in the court last year, compared with 1,287 cases in 2016, a previous low.

To mark Child Abuse Prevention Month, Allen County Children Services is holding a contest called Wear Blue. Wear blue to work April 11!
Upcoming Events

Apr. 4 | Board of Trustee Meeting
Apr. 12 | Rules Review Committee Meeting
Apr. 13 | Conference Planning Committee 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

"I continue to believe that if children are given the necessary tools to succeed, they will succeed beyond their wildest dreams!" 
 — David Vitter
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org