Weekly Update: May 24, 2021
Association News
Legislative Committee meets
PCSAO's Legislative Committee met May 17. PCSAO provided association updates, and the committee reviewed several children services-related bills. The committee next meets on June 21. For more information, contact Mary Wachtel.

Southwest District meets
The PCSAO Southwest District met May 19 and received updates from the Southwest Ohio and Western Ohio regional training centers, Susan Walter on behalf of the PCSAO Board of Trustees, and PCSAO staff. Family First implementation and the prevention services pilot project were a main focus of discussion throughout the meeting. The district next meets on Aug. 18.

PCSAO partners with OSU on children services workforce crisis
PCSAO has announced a partnership with The Ohio State University College of Social Work (CSW) to identify successful caseworker recruitment and retention strategies for county children services agencies struggling to stabilize their workforce. College of Social Work researcher and doctoral candidate Rebecca Phillips is leading the project, joined by department co-investigators Dr. Alicia Bunger and PhD candidate and researcher Oliver W. J. Beer, a Research Fellow at The University of Plymouth (U.K.). Project data collection will involve a review of successful strategies in other states along with surveys and focus groups of county agency staff. The project will culminate this fall in statewide workforce solution recommendations as well as a toolkit for county implementation. Read more.

Legislative Children’s Caucus hosts webinar on children services system needs
Sen. Stephanie Kunze and Rep. Allison Russo of the Ohio Children’s Caucus in the General Assembly hosted a webinar May 17 about the state budget and children services. PCSAO’s Scott Britton presented an overview of children services investments and needs. The webinar also featured Kim Eckhart of the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio and former foster youth and activist Charmion Janaé, both of whom spoke about the proposed ombuds office. Watch the webinar.

Reflection session offers opportunity to discuss race, equity issues
PCSAO’s Race, Equity and Inclusion Learning Series continued May 18 with a reflection on April’s training, “Having Conversations about Racism and Intro to Foundational Concepts.” Thanks to all of the breakout room facilitators and participants for engaging in meaningful discussions. The next training, “Shared Language around Equity Concepts,” will be June 15 from noon to 2 p.m. The series is made possible with grant support from Casey Family Programs and is led by the Center for the Study of Social Policy.
Ohio START seeks technical assistance with onboarding
Ohio START is seeking to partner with a vendor to provide technical assistance to PCSAs, behavioral health partners and family peer mentors regarding recruiting, hiring, onboarding and successfully integrating family peer mentors into Ohio START. The request for proposals (RFP) can be found here. Contact Fawn Gadel, Director of Ohio START, with any questions.  

Come work with us!
Ohio START is seeking a regional manager to assist with management and implementation of our program, focused on the development and oversight of technical assistance in a specified region of the state. Read more and apply here.
PCSAO Annual Conference
Presenter applications are open!
PCSAO is planning its 36th annual conference, "Facing the Future Together: Our World, Our Commitment," for Sept. 29-Oct. 1, at the DoubleTree Worthington. You are invited to submit the application below if you would like to be a presenter at our conference. Presenters at PCSAO's conference are volunteers; there is no compensation. If you would like to preview the application to see the pieces of information required to complete the application, download an example here. You will need to download this template and upload it with your application. When you are ready, submit your application here.

Sponsorship applications will be open soon. If you have questions, contact Cassandra Freeland.

Thanks to our World Champion Sponsor
State and Federal Updates
Gov. Mike DeWine announcements this week:
  • The Ohio Department of Health amended its remaining health order to conform to the new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance, which allows those who have been vaccinated to stop wearing masks. Under the CDC's new guidance, those who have not been vaccinated should still wear a mask and socially distance.
  • Ohio's order reflects the CDC's recommendation that everyone wear masks when in a healthcare setting, when traveling on public transportation (including airplanes), and when at a business or employer that chooses to require masks.
  • As advised by the CDC, Ohio's order also continues to require masking in congregate settings, such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and in settings with large numbers of unvaccinated individuals, such as schools and daycare centers.
  • The Ohio Department of Health has created a new Frequently Asked Questions document to answer common questions from parents, guardians, and youth about COVID-19 vaccines. The document shares information about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine, parental consent, where children can be vaccinated, and more.
  • Parents who would like their child to be vaccinated at their pediatrician's office are encouraged to call the office first and ask if they are administering the Pfizer vaccine. Pediatricians who are not yet registered to be vaccine providers are encouraged to sign up. Pediatricians and other potential vaccine providers can find more information at odh.ohio.gov.
  • Gov. DeWine announced that the Ohio Vax-a-Million drawing will be an opt-in program. Ohioans will be asked to register for the drawings by visiting OhioVaxaMillion.com or by calling the Ohio Department of Health at 1-833-4-ASK-ODH.
As always, more information is available at coronavirus.ohio.gov.
Rules Update
Pre-Clearance: As of May 21, there are no children services-related rules in Pre-Clearance.
Clearance: The following rules are open for comments until June 4:
  • Rule 5101:2-5-02 - Application for an Agency to Perform Specific Functions: Amended Applications.
  • Rule 5101:2-5-03 - Certification of an Agency to Perform Specific Functions.
  • Rule 5101:2-5-04 - Recertification of an Agency to Perform Specific Functions.
  • Rule 5101:2-5-13 - Required Agency Policies, Plans, and Procedures.
  • Rule 5101:9-6-08.6 - Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) Independent Living (IL) Allocation.
  • Rule 5101:2-42-12 - Assessment to Determine Child’s Placement into a Qualified Residential Treatment Program.
Filed with JCARR: The following rules were final-filed on May 18 with an effective date of June 1:
  • Rule 5101:2-5-33 - Foster caregiver preplacement and continuing training.
  • Rule 5101:2-5-38 - Payment of foster caregiver training stipends; reimbursement of training allowances to recommending agencies.

The following rule was original-filed on May 19 with a hearing date of June 23:
Resources and Clips
NAMI Facebook Live on impact of COVID-19 on children
On May 26 from 6-7 p.m., NAMI Ohio Children’s Division and Akron Children’s Hospital pediatric psychiatrist Dr. Steven Jewell will host a Facebook Live event on the impact of COVID-19 on children’s mental health. Research has shown that over one year of shutdowns and social isolation has had a significant negative impact on the mental health of children and youth. During this live discussion, Dr. Jewell, along with parents and caregivers, will be discussing realistic expectations for returning to "normal" post-pandemic life and offering suggestions to help children cope with another major life transition. Watch the event live on the NAMI Ohio Facebook page.

enCompass offers trainings for families, communities
RecoveryOhio Initiative and the Addiction Policy Forum are partnering with county Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services boards to host enCompass, a comprehensive training on navigating addiction for Ohioans. This free virtual training session is open to all adults who want to learn more about addiction and have the skills to respond. Attendees often include families, friends, caregivers, clergy, law enforcement, first responders, healthcare providers, employers, educators, community-based service providers, and anyone interested in learning how to respond to substance use/co-occurring disorders. Click here for more information.

Center for Innovative Practices holds trainings
The Center for Innovative Practices (CIP) will host a series of system of care best practice training events designed to support home- and community-based behavioral health services across Ohio. These trainings are free to providers and supported by OhioMHAS. All events are virtual and require advance registration. Find more information here.
  • Break the Cycle: Understanding and Treating Generational Trauma, June 2 from 8:45 a.m. – 4:15 p.m. (6 CEUs), presented by Amber Stiles-Bodnar. Register HERE.
  • Trauma-Informed Family Engagement: Understanding Implicit Bias and Structural Racism, June 4 from 8:45 am – 4:15 pm (6 CEUs), presented by Bobbi Beale & Kynetta Sugar McFarlane. Register HERE.
Ohio Supreme Court grant funding opportunities
ODJFS Office of Families and Children announced two new funding opportunities in collaboration with the Ohio Supreme Court:

  • The first is a grant opportunity to fund multidisciplinary legal representation pilot projects. Eligible applicants include Ohio juvenile courts, county public children services agencies, regional legal aid offices, county public defender’s offices, law schools, social work schools or universities, or any Ohio community entity positioned to support a pre-petition and/or multi-disciplinary legal representation model. Applicants may consider two best practice models of multi-disciplinary legal representation or pre-petition legal representation for their pilot effort and can apply for up to $100,000 the first year with possible additional funding for up to four years. Applications are due June 25.

  • The second is up to three grants for technical assistance from the Robert F. Kennedy National Resource Center for Juvenile Justice (RFK). This grant will provide intensive technical assistance and consultation toward the development of a coordinated and integrated child services and juvenile justice system that enhances the service provision and outcomes for dual status youth. Only Ohio Juvenile Courts are eligible to apply; however, the project requires collaboration from the county children services agency. If you are interested in this opportunity, you are encouraged to reach out to your local court to partner on the application process. Applications are due June 11.

Child Protection in the News
May 21 - Opioids' high cost - Toledo Blade
The opioid epidemic is costing Ohio big.

A few years ago, Randy and Hannah Riggs fostered a 4-year-old girl. 
Being in an unfamiliar place and uncomfortable around men, the girl was frightened and ran out of the kitchen when she met Randy. Within a few days, the Riggs learned about the girl's situation, which Randy said seemed "more like a movie than real life." 

Today, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hosted a news conference call as he leads bipartisan legislation with Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) to require states to report data on all child abuse-related deaths and develop recommendations to prevent child abuse deaths from occurring in the first place.
NBC News' Cynthia McFadden has rare access inside the psychiatric crisis department at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. The past year has brought a stunning increase in the proportion of mental health visits to the ER - up 31 percent nationally for those 12 to 17, and 24 percent for kids 5 to 11.
Advocates are looking to the Ohio Senate to prioritize child welfare issues, such as infant health, child care and reducing youth incarceration as they work toward passage of the state operating budget.

Rachel Workinger, an independent living case worker at the Wayne County Children's Services, is working hard to make a difference in the lives of children and young adults—and she was recently awarded for her efforts.

May is National Foster Care Month. Right now, more than 400 thousand kids are in foster care across the United States. Over the last decade, that total number has seen a constant increase. With a growing number of children entering foster care, there's an increased focus on providing them with support.
Ohio officials agree with experts who say that children who must be removed from their homes do better when placed with relatives rather than foster parents. But in a years-long defiance of a federal court order, and despite another pending federal lawsuit, the state still doesn't award equal pay to "kinship caregivers," the official term for relatives who take in children.
Calendar and Job Postings
June 2 | Board of Trustees Meeting
June 3 | Rules Review Committee Meeting
June 4 | Community Education Committee Meeting

Note: Meetings will be held via web meeting until further notice.

Looking for a career in child protection? Or a new position to challenge yourself?