A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for March 9, 2020
Association Updates

Children Services Transformation Advisory Council meets
The Children Services Transformation Advisory Council, part of Governor Mike DeWine’s Children’s Initiative, met March 3. The council identified specific recommendations related to three focus areas: workforce, practice and prevention. Lucas County Children Services Director Robin Reese and Guernsey County Children Services Director Nicole Caldwell serve on the Advisory Council as official members with PCSAO, Ohio Job and Family Services Directors' Association and County Commissioners Association of Ohio serving as subject matter experts. The next meeting is April 7.

PCSAO holds Executive Membership Meeting
PCSAO held its first Executive Membership Meeting of 2020 March 5-6 with over 80 directors and administrators in attendance representing over 50 counties. On March 5, members heard presentations on:
  • The importance of counting foster youth in the 2020 Census from Tracy Najera of Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio.
  • Ohio Children’s Alliance’s initiatives and priorities from Mark Mecum.
  • Funding and planning updates on multi-system youth from Ohio Family and Children First Executive Director Sarah LaTourette.
  • Medicaid updates affecting children from Ohio Department of Medicaid Director Maureen Corcoran.
  • Association updates from PCSAO staff.
On March 6, members learned about:
  • Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) updates regarding strategic planning, state budget preparation, children services transformation and Family First from Director Kimberly Hall and agency staff Kara Bertke-Wente and Kristi Burre.
  • The Supreme Court of Ohio’s recent efforts to address children services issues from David Edelblute.
  • Ohio’s Family First Prevention Services recommendations from Alex Citrin, Center for the Study of Social Policy, and ODJFS staff Bertke-Wente and Burre.
The next executive membership meeting will be June 25-26.  
PCSAO Board of Trustees meets
The PCSAO Board of Trustees met March 5 following the first day of the executive membership meeting. The board approved the February meeting minutes and January 2020 financial report. It also reviewed PCSAO’s feedback to the Ohio Department of Medicaid request for public comments on Medicaid managed care, discussed current PCSAO priorities, and reviewed pending legislation. The next board meeting is April 1.     

Children services levies on primary ballot in five counties
One brand-new levy will be on the ballot March 17, along with four renewal levies. Early voting is underway. Results will be shared in the March 23 Weekly Update. Good luck to the hard-working staff and deserving families and children in each of the counties.
Rules update
Pre-clearance: The following rules are in pre-clearance 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
The following rule is in pre-clearance until March 5:
The following rule is under five-year review and will be available for comment until March 31:
  • Rule 5101:2-33-02 - PCSA requirement to participate in child protection oversight and evaluation
Clearance: As of March 4, there are no children services-related rules in Clearance.

Filed with JCARR: The following rules were filed on March 3:
Announcements and Resources

Early childhood webinar offered March 11
The County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) will offer a one-hour webinar on Building Brains, Building Communities: Why and How Should Local Policymakers Support a Prenatal to Three Agenda? o n March 11 at 9:30 a.m. The webinar will explore the case for investing in children, prenatal to age three, including the following topics:
  • How early learning and healthy development policies are effective prevention strategies for challenges county officials face every day.
  • What county officials can do to support Ohio's youngest children and their families.
  • An introduction to the Ready, Set, Soar: Early Investments, A Lifetime of Success, a coalition-driven campaign effort led by Groundwork Ohio committed to ensuring that more pregnant women, infants, toddlers and their families have access to the support they need to reach their full potential.
The speaker is Warren County Commissioner Shannon Jones, who is also the executive director of Groundwork Ohio, a statewide, nonpartisan public-policy organization that advocates for early childhood. Click here to register. 

Nominate young adults for Washington, DC, policy group by March 30
The American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) will bring 10 young adults (ages 18-24) with previous involvement in the foster care and juvenile justice systems to Washington, DC, July 7-10. These young people from around the country will spend three days engaging in group discussions, learning about juvenile justice and foster care policies, identifying policy recommendations, completing team exercises and proposing next steps for improving education/workforce outcomes for youth involved in both systems. This is an all-expenses-paid event. AYPF will pay for all meals, travel, lodging, and local transportation. Youth will also be provided with a stipend for their time and contributions. Goals of the group are:
  • To collect feedback from youth with previous or current involvement in the juvenile justice and foster care systems on the barriers to education and workforce outcomes they have encountered.
  • To hear directly from youth about how the foster care and juvenile justice systems should be reformed to increase outcomes for youth and families.
  • Identify gaps through the lens of youth involved in both systems.
  • Create a group of young people who can serve as experts to inform policymakers in AYPF’s network working on foster care and juvenile justice reform.
  • Gather stories, testimonies, and quotes to feature in written publication.
AYPF is actively seeking youth nominations from adults. Nominate young people  here . The deadline for nominations is March 30 at 11:59 p.m. 

Eastern Ohio Leadership Conference March 25-27
“Vision 2020” will be the title of the March 25-27 conference presented by the East Central Ohio Regional Training Center (ECORTC), Southeast Ohio Regional Training Center (SEORTC) and ODJFS. It will be held at the Carlisle Inn in Sugarcreek. The conference brochure has been updated to include final details on Counselor, Social Worker, and Marriage and Family Therapist Board approval and competencies. The revised brochure can be accessed here . Register no later than March 17 to give staff time to prepare. There is no registration fee to attend this conference, and there is no requirement to attend all three days. Contact Darla Zajack at Darla.Zajack@jfs.ohio.gov or by phone at 740-432-2355 x252 with questions. 

State Bar Foundation to hold symposium on human trafficking in foster youth
The Ohio State Bar Foundation will hold an educational symposium called “On the Margin: Foster Youth at Risk for Human Trafficking” April 27 at 5 p.m. at the Ohio Statehouse. The event will highlight the alarming number of Ohio kids in foster care who fall victim to human trafficking. Attendees will hear from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, human trafficking survivors, and other experts who are fighting to address this issue. Discussions will be led by former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown and will focus on education and action. PCSAO Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator Bhumika Patel will serve as an expert panelist. The symposium will also highlight three organizations on the front lines working with survivors, kids, and the community: Advocating Opportunities, CASA of Franklin County, and Ohio Justice and Policy Center. Proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to these organizations. Tickets are available here .

Free Ohio School Safety Summit June 10-12
The Ohio School Safety Summit will be at the Greater Columbus Convention Center June 10-12. The summit will provide an opportunity to foster cross-disciplinary conversations about student safety and wellness. Registration is now open. Presentations and training opportunities will include experts in physical security, emergency management, mental health, school climate, suicide prevention, critical incident response, cyber safety, transportation, and threat assessment. This event is free and open to the public. Additional details about the summit can be found here .
Child Protection in the News

Ohio's child welfare agencies are grappling with historically high caseloads, and there's often not enough resources to provide timely services to children and their families. One-in-four Ohio caseworkers left his or her position in 2017, and turnover is even higher in some counties.

Ohio and Kentucky lead the nation in three dismal drug-use trends that make it clear that the region remains in an addiction epidemic.

An advisory council tasked with improving the state's Children Services systems met on Tuesday. Governor Mike DeWine created the board in November wanting improvements in foster care.The council made up of case workers, foster and biological parents, law enforcement, judges, and others just finished traveling the state, talking to families and looking for ways to improve Children Services.

A modest two-story house with sand-colored siding and dark green shutters will soon be home to three young men who are either aging out of foster care or exiting the Lucas County Juvenile Justice Center. It's the first of what Lucas Metropolitan Housing Authority President and CEO Demetria Simpson and juvenile court Judge Denise Navarre Cubbon hope will be many rental homes geared toward helping young adults find their footing as they navigate living independently for the first time.

What started as a conversation between two women has grown into a pilot program that will help change the course of a lot of lives in this community. A new program in Lucas County will provide housing for young adults who are coming out of foster care or the Lucas County Juvenile Justice Center with nowhere to go. It's the Bridge to Independence and Success Pilot Program
The leaders behind a first-of-its-kind social investment project say that the experiment ultimately did not hit its intended goal: reducing the number of days children were in county care. That means that the local and national investors will not be repaid now that the 5-year project has ended. But the program, which provided intensive services to Cuyahoga County families that experienced housing instability or homelessness, did yield some unexpected results that could be meaningful for helping reunite more African American children in foster care with their parents, according to a third-party evaluation.
A group of advocates working on education, health care, trauma prevention and early intervention for young children has launched a new campaign to encourage investing in programs earlier than ever before. It's aimed at the more than 545,000 kids three and younger who are living in Ohio - half of them in poverty.
Upcoming Events

March 12 | Rules Review Committee Meeting
March 13 | Community Education Committee Meeting
March 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 .
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org