A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for March 30, 2020
Association Updates

PCSAO expresses support for state efforts on COVID-19
PCSAO sent a letter of support to Governor Mike DeWine for the measures included in HB 197, the pandemic response legislation he signed Friday. Read more about our letter and see details of the legislation below.

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 Ohio's 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.-8 p.m. daily. The governor continues 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. 

State legislators pass COVID-19 package
The Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate passed a package of measures March 25 to protect Ohioans during the pandemic. These measures, included in HB 197, will be in place until Dec. 1 or until the state of emergency is lifted. Highlights include:
  • Prohibits disconnection of public water service.
  • Expands eligibility for unemployment compensation.
  • Creates an extension for people whose licenses issued by the state or a local government will expire during the emergency.
  • Allows temporary practice certificates for recent nursing graduates and changes the scope of practice for certified registered nurse anesthetists.
  • Allows local government bodies to meet remotely provided the meetings are available to the public online.
  • Exempts schools and other entities from food processing requirements so they can continue to provide student meals.
  • Extends voting by mail to count absentee ballots postmarked by April 28.
  • Waives state testing and report cards for this academic year.
  • Permits high school seniors who were on track before the crisis to graduate.
  • Freezes EdChoice school voucher eligibility at current levels for the 2020-2021 school year.
  • Aligns the state tax filing deadline to the delayed federal deadline.
  • Temporarily tolls criminal and civil statutes of limitation.
  • Allows a one-time transfer from the Rainy Day Fund this fiscal year, with Controlling Board approval.
Find more analysis of the measures here .

Governor continues efforts to limit spread of coronavirus
During his daily press conferences, Governor DeWine continued his efforts to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Highlights last week include:
  • Calling on the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to fully authorize technology developed by Battelle that would allow for sanitation of 80,000 masks per day in multiple locations to address the shortage medical personnel are experiencing. Late Sunday night, the FDA approved full application of the sterilization process after earlier approving it on a very limited basis.
  • A temporary freeze on hiring, pay increases and contract services for the state of Ohio.
  • A directive that state agency directors work to cut 20 percent of spending for the current and upcoming fiscal years.
  • From March 26 through April 30, all child care centers in operation must hold the newly created temporary pandemic child care license.
  • Lt. Governor Jon Husted said that while there is no requirement that businesses have a letter to remain open, he recommends that they create their own documentation with their rationale for staying open and outlining the safety measures they have implemented.
  • The state is asking residents and businesses that can donate personal protective equipment (medical masks, gowns, gloves, shoe covers) or any other essential service or resource to email Together@Governor.Ohio.Gov.
  • On Friday Governor DeWine announced that Ohio is launching a website to encourage Ohioans to support local businesses. To find a local shop or restaurant to support, or to have your business featured, go to Ohio.org/SupportLocalOhio.
Call for presenters open 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 Aug. 12. It will still be at the Ohio Union on the campus of The Ohio State University.

Rules update
Pre-clearance: The following rules are in pre-clearance until April 3:
The following rule is in pre-clearance until April 4:
Clearance: There are currently no child protection-related rules in clearance.
Filed with JCARR: There are currently no child protection-related rules filed with JCARR.
Announcements and Resources

Franklin County Children Services shares tips for preventing child abuse
Franklin County Children Services created a tip sheet for preventing child abuse during the COVID-19 pandemic. It includes advice on reducing stress and self-care, resources for those feeling overwhelmed and emergency contacts for those who need help. Download it here.

Learn more about Youth-Centered Permanency Roundtables on upcoming webinar
Kinnect is offering webinars to PCSA staff interested in adopting the Youth-Centered Permanency Roundtables model. The model has been shown in 10 counties to help move children 12 and older toward permanency by putting the youth in charge of her/his permanency plan. It also helps shift agency culture and philosophy toward permanency across all divisions. Kinnect plans to bring five new counties onboard by the end of this year and five more next year. All webinars are the same. Sign up for one of these dates and times: 
University Partnership Program evaluation released
The Ohio Child Welfare Training Program has released the 2019 evaluation of UPP, focusing on outcomes from the eight participating universities and the students being trained there for careers in child protection. Read the evaluation report .

OhioKAN resources for caregivers
The Ohio Kinship and Adoption Navigator (OhioKAN) is not operational yet, but Kinnect has gathered a list of resources for caregivers on its OhioKAN webpage. Visit it here.
Child Protection in the News

Mark M. is about 120 days into his recovery from an opiate and methamphetamine addiction. After becoming sober, he’s started down the road of rebuilding his life, and building a network to support him.

March 22 – Ohio Orders All Nmon-Essential Workers to Stay Home -Lexblog On Sunday, March 22, 2020, Dr. Amy Acton, Director of the Ohio Department of Health, declared all workers in non-essential businesses across the state of Ohio are required to stay at home starting Monday, March 23 at 11:59 PM in order to combat the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This Order shall remain in effect until 11:59 PM on April 6, 2020, unless rescinded or modified at a sooner time and date. For purposes of the Order, covered businesses include any for-profit, non-profit, or educational entities. The Order clarifies that Essential Business or Operations which are not subject to the Order include: child protection and child welfare personnel.
I had an eye-opening conversation with Robin Reese, the executive director of Lucas County Children Services, on Monday afternoon. It took place via Zoom, because we can no longer do in-person interviews. While it is easy to selfishly bemoan the fact that we are stuck in our homes, it is easy to forget that there are some people who are forced to continue going into harm's way. Reese's investigators are some of those people. 
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