A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for March 4, 2019
Association Updates

Legislative Committee meets
At its Feb. 25 meeting the committee reviewed a number of bills recently introduced in the General Assembly, including SB6 Temporary Child Hosting; SB13 Human Trafficking-Juveniles; HB19 To Exempt From S ales Tax the Sale of Tampons and Other Feminine Hygiene Products Associated With Menstruation;  HB33 Establish Animal Abuse Reporting; HB24 Changes to Humane Society Law; HB60 Child Diaper Sales Tax Exemption; and HB69 Child Abuse Registry. 
PCSAO provided Interested Party testimony on SB6 before the Senate Health and Human Services Subcommittee on Feb. 26. 
Citizen Review Panel considers system funding challenges
PCSAO and directors from several southwest counties presented to the Citizen Review Panel based out of Cincinnati Feb. 25 about how children services funding challenges compromise child and family wellbeing. The panel, required by CAPTA and organized by the OSU College of Social Work, will make recommendations about the funding structure in a report due out later this year. Many thanks to Kathi Spirk and Gina Speaks-Eshler (Clinton), Moira Weir and Margie Weaver (Hamilton), Jewell Good (Montgomery), and Susan Walther (Warren) for taking time to address the challenges of agencies small and large, with and without levies.
Crisis communications topic of committee presentation
Thanks to Deborrha Armstrong of Franklin County Children Services for presenting on crisis communications to the Community Education Committee March 1. The presentation (available to members via recorded webinar) was well received and generated valuable discussion. The committee met afterwards to discuss a number of topics, including Child Abuse Prevention Month and Wear Blue. The committee meets next on May 3 and will focus on video production.

IV-E funds now able to pay for parents’ and children’s attorneys
Under a new HHS policy, states will now be allowed to claim reimbursement for legal representation provided to parents and their children who are at imminent risk of entering the foster care system or those in foster care who are Title IV-E eligible. Lawyers for parents and children will now be more readily available from the beginning of a children services case until the closing of the case to ensure that proceedings are fair and accessible. This new policy also aligns well with the goals and intended outcomes of the recent Family First Prevention Services Act. Going forward, agencies should assess what services are currently available in their counties, as well as consider establishing partnerships with courts, firms, and other service providers to best plan for any changes or increases in legal resources for families. More information about claiming these funds can be found at the American Bar Association .

Rules update
Rules in Pre-Clearance: The rule regarding child fatality/near fatality is being split into two separate rules as the process for PCSAs is now completed through SACWIS. As a result, the following rules are currently in pre-clearance until March 13: 
  • 5101:2-42-89 “Public children services agency and private child placing agency procedures when a child receiving services or in agency custody dies”
  • 5101:2-33-14 “PCSA requirements for recording a child fatality or near fatality”
Rules in Clearance: 
Adoption Assistance rule 5101:2-49-05 “Initial Determination of AA monthly payment amount” is in Clearance until March 12. The rule includes multiple changes so therefore was rescinded and created as new for clarification. See the cover letter for a summary of the changes. 
Amendments to chapter 5101:2-25 rules due to automation of the Title XX County Profile form are in Clearance until March 14. The following is a brief explanation of the changes: For rules 5101:2-25-01 and 5101:2-25-02, the JFS 01821 form number and revision date were removed from the rules. For rule 5101:2-25-03 the automation of the County Profile through the Federal Reporting SSBG Title XX System was added to the rule. Also, words and sentences were added and removed for clarity and understanding.
Announcements and Resources
2019 Trainer Conference
All trainers and prospective trainers are invited to attend the 2019 OCWTP Trainer Conference. The theme of this year's conference is Flip the Switch On: Team-based Learning. The conference will take place on April 8 at the Crowne Plaza North. Any questions regarding the event can be directed to Debra Sparrow, dsparrow@ihs-trainet.com , 614-233-2223.
Sixth Annual Trauma-Informed Care Summit
Registration is now open for the Sixth Annual Trauma-Informed Care Summit, and the theme this year is “Creating Environments of Resiliency and Hope.” The purpose of the summit is to move systems beyond trauma informed to trauma competent. Keynote speakers for the summit include Vincent Felitti, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California; Salvador Treviño, PhD, Executive Director, Guadalupe Counseling and Psychological Services, Santa Barbara; and Sarah Buffie, MSW, LSW, Founding Director, Soul Bird Consulting. The summit will take place May 14-15 at the Marriott Columbus University Area in Columbus. Learn more about keynote speakers sand register here .

Youth homelessness report released
The National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty and National Network for Youth released Alone without a Home: A National Review of State Laws Affecting Unaccompanied Youth . The report looks at the status of current law in 13 key issue areas that affect the lives and future prospects of unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness in all 50 U.S. states. The report estimates 700,000 minors experience homelessness each year due to different factors such as abuse and neglect, mental health and substance issues, and family conflict. The report looks at causes behind youth homelessness and provides recommendations for policy changes.
HHS 2017 Child Maltreatment Report
The Department of Health and Human Services recently released its 2017 Child Maltreatment Report that outlines child maltreatment data and expresses key findings. The report includes data on the number of children who received investigations, the number of abuse and neglect victims, and other key data points regarding child safety and maltreatment.
Child Protection in the News

Tucked inside the $1.3 trillion spending bill passed by Congress in 2018 was a piece of legislation called the Family First Prevention Services Act. The measure was little noticed outside human services circles. But once it’s implemented, the new law will completely upend the way child welfare operates at the state level

More than 16,000 children are in foster care in Ohio, which has been hammered by the opioid crisis. That’s an increase of 28 percent in five years, according to a December report by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio. In 2017, the state created a panel of foster parents and child welfare professionals to suggest changes.
Mar. 1 - Ohio groups team up to attack drug, opioid abuse - thebellvillestar.com
An alliance of local, state, and national organizations have launched the Rx Abuse Leadership Initiative (RALI) of Ohio. RALI Ohio will address the challenges and needs of the state’s opioid and substance misuse epidemic through a diverse partnership that includes health care, business, veterans, farmers, community, and drug prevention organizations.
Ohio was among five states with the biggest jumps in the rate of children entering foster care due to parental drug abuse, according to a new analysis of federal foster-care data for fiscal 2017.

A federal magistrate recommended that a lawsuit filed by the adoptive parents of special needs children be given class-action status, opening it up to 160 Warren County families and exposing the county to millions in back support payments. U.S. District Magistrate Judge Karen Litkovitz issued her report and recommendation on Thursday, siding with the families who claim that Warren County wrongfully underpaid them for adopting special needs children.
The City of Columbus is being creative when it comes to rehabbing old motels that aren't in use and helping at-risk youth. A former Motel 6 and Knights Inn will be transformed into the city's first housing development for the youth.

Ohio was among five states with the biggest jumps in the rate of children entering foster care due to parental drug abuse, according to a new analysis of federal foster-care data for fiscal 2017.

There's a serious shortage of foster parents here in the Valley and across the state of Ohio. Mahoning County Children Services is looking for loving people who can fill that role.
When it comes to government agencies and their money, there are often two kinds of frustrations. Most common is when an agency lacks the funds to provide the kind of services it is designed to offer. Less common but more maddening is when there are funds available that bureaucrats can't figure out how to use for their intended purpose. The latter is the situation that has upset Ohio families who have been unable to obtain care for children with severe behavioral-health problems while $10 million in federal funds has sat largely untouched for 18 months.

News Center 7's Kate Bartley obtained a report from the Dayton Police Department showing Montgomery County Children Services took custody of the newborn right from a hospital nursery.
Upcoming Events

March 7 | JFS Human Resources Association Conference
March 7 | Board of Trustees Meeting
March 7-8 | Executive Membership 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 .

UPP graduates seeking employment at a PCSA are listed on our website.
Quote of the Week

"What we do today is what matters most."
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org