A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
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Weekly Update for May 29, 2018
Association Updates

2018 PCSAO award nominations
Each year at our conference, PCSAO recognizes the achievements of county PCSA supervisors, caseworkers, and support staff, as well as local journalists that have made extraordinary contributions toward promoting safe children, stable families and supportive communities. PCSAO also celebrates children, youth and families (primary birth, kinship, foster, and adoptive) who have been served by Ohio’s public children services agencies. We are inviting all PCSAs to nominate outstanding staff, journalists, and rising young stars. The deadline for award nomination is June 29. Download the award nomination forms .

Anti-Human Trafficking update
PCSAO’s Anti-Human Trafficking Coordinator, Bhumika Patel, and human trafficking grant partners, Veronica Scherbauer from the Department of Public Safety, Seth Boughton from the Ohio Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, and Rebekkah O’Bryan from the Department of Youth Services, have met several times over the last month to discuss training content and grant objectives. On May 9, all the grant partners met with Kim Jordan and Rachael Tallmadge to discuss the Grief Fellowship in Human Trafficking at the Moritz College of Law as well as the Safe Harbor Provision for juvenile victims of human trafficking. Grant partners attended two conferences: the Attorney General’s Two Days in May and the Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force Conference on “Enhancing Ohio’s Frontline Response to Human Trafficking”. On May 16, Patel had the opportunity to visit Lucas County Children Services to learn more about their response to juvenile human trafficking. On May 23, grant partners had the opportunity to visit Dayton to meet with Jennie Cole from Montgomery County Job and Family Services, tour the CARE House and the Center for Adolescent Services. 

Rules updates
CCN 8183 Kinship Child Care Program RMS procedure letter is posted on Clearance for a 14-day period; comments will be accepted until end of June 6. Click here to review and comment. 

HB 126 – Kinship Navigator Bill
HB 126, the Kinship Navigator Bill, is moving again. After being stalled for a year, Substitute House Bill 126 was accepted and voted out of the House Community and Family Advancement Committee on May 23. PCSAO provided proponent testimony in May 2017 and again at the May 23, 2018 hearing. The bill requires the establishment of a statewide kinship navigator program to ensure that kinship caregivers – who step up every day to raise children whose parents can no longer care for them – are connected to supports and services across the state.  

Since last year, several things have occurred to make this the right time to move this bill:
  • Congress provided one-time funding, via the 2018 Kinship Navigator Grant, to help states develop kinship navigator programs as defined by the federal Family First Prevention Services Act of 2018. We encourage Ohio to apply for this funding to establish a robust planning process that includes a wide range of stakeholders such as kin caregivers, youth raised by kin, current navigators, PCSAs, and other community partners.
  • Federal reimbursement at a 50:50 match will soon be available for state kinship navigator programs that meet certain criteria.  This funding option was included in the Family First Prevention Services Act passed within the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
  • The number of children placed with relatives by public children services agencies continues to grow.  
The planning grant and new funding outlined above provide a unique opportunity to get the kinship navigator program right and have resources to help sustain it. Sub HB126 provides the vehicle for moving forward and the appropriate flexibility to ensure Ohio’s design meets the criteria to qualify for federal match funding. We are pleased the bill is moving again and urge quick action in the House and then the Senate.

Bridges Advisory Council meets
Bridges Advisory Council met on May 24. ODJFS reported that 132 young adults have been enrolled in Bridges, with many more applications in process. The Child and Family Health Collaborative of Ohio, which manages the Bridges program, provided updates on various aspects of the program, including opportunities they are pursuing to increase housing capacity for young adults enrolled in Bridges. Do you know a young person soon to emancipate from foster care, or who already has and is under age 21?  Learn more.

Parent engagement training 
Helping Ohio Parent Effectively (HOPE) will present "HOPE for the Future of Parent Engagement" at the 2018 PCSAO workshop in the fall. Two of the pilot HOPE counties, Cuyahoga and Richland, will share their experience developing and implementing a parent engagement program including peer advocates. These counties will share their individual approaches, lesson learned and outcomes. The PCSAO conference will be held on Sept. 19-21 in Columbus.   

Leadership Academy for Middle Managers accepting applications for 2018 class
As part of an ongoing effort to address workforce challenges in children services agencies, PCSAO is pleased to offer the nationally acclaimed Leadership Academy for Middle Managers (LAMM) Oct. 24-26. This year’s LAMM has been adapted specifically for Ohio by trainer Melanie Hale, and has been made possible with generous support from Casey Family Programs. The application process is open to middle management staff at PCSAO member agencies at a nominal cost (currently estimated at $200). Participants or their agencies must also agree to cover the cost of transportation to the training, two or three nights' lodging (depending on distance from Columbus), and evening meals. Agency directors must explicitly support the middle manager's participation in two or three months of pre-training coaching and preparatory work plus six months of post-training coaching. Following the training, middle managers will work with agency leadership on a change initiative -- a significant project aimed at workforce development and the CFSR Program Improvement Plan. The training will accommodate 20 participants, and we anticipate that the application process for available slots will be competitive. Applications must be submitted online by June 30 , and selections will be made by July 31.
Announcements and Resources

OFCA’s 42nd Annual Resource Family Conference
There is still time to register! Join OFCA at the Connecting Families, Healing Lives conference June 8-9 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin- Columbus OH. Hear from state leaders and panels of families as they address strategies and best practices to support and empower Ohio's foster, adoptive, kinship and primary birth families and the children in their care.  Click here for more information. If you have questions, please contact Wendi Turner at 614-222-2712 or wendi@ofcaonline.org .  

2018 Medicaid Budget Training
You are invited to apply for The Center for Community Solutions’ 2018 Medicaid Budget Training Academy in Columbus, OH on June 28 and 29. The Academy will provide a select number of attendees a unique opportunity to connect with policy experts on Ohio’s Medicaid program, and learn more about its role in Ohio’s budget. The event is intended to link human service agency staff and advocates, with legislators and policy experts, and give them the tools to understand Ohio’s Medicaid program and how to effectively be an advocate. The cost of the two day event is $250, which includes meals both days and an Academy Reception featuring a special guest speaker on the night of the June 28. The fee does not include a hotel stay, though group rates may be available for attendees who book by June 6. For more information and to apply, click here.

Opioid Overdose Family Support Toolkit
A new toolkit was developed by MSW students at The Ohio State University to address a gap acknowledged by many practitioners about the lack of resources for families, especially children, who have witnessed or are aware of an overdose by a family member. In support of this toolkit, they conducted a needs assessment, analyzed the results, and used that information to provide tools which they hope will be useful to families who have experienced an opioid overdose.
The end result of this project are two brochures: The Trauma of Witnessing an Opioid Overdose: How to Help Children, and Narcan Q & A (developed in conjunction with colleagues from the College of Pharmacy); and a website with helpful information and resources including the two brochures at: https://u.osu.edu/toolkit/ . Please share these new tools widely.
Child Protection in the News

The new public awareness campaign "Keep a Promise" aims to raise awareness about the connection between substance abuse and child abuse, aiming to establish a central resource for those seeking help. 

May 17 – Foster families recognized throughout month of May – Logan Daily News
On Friday, the pair received the 2018 Athens County Children Services Foster Caregivers of the Year award. Additionally, they recently finished the ...

There are so many kids going into foster care because their parents are trying to recover from heroin addiction that the system is on overload. Some are calling for changes to the timeline it takes to reunited parents with their kids, so families have a stronger chance of staying together. 

The Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services has announced its first series of changes following the alleged murder of a 4-year-old girl earlier this year.

Cleveland Clinic specialists say chemotherapy is the only way to treat Zara Ali's tumor, save her failing eyesight and possibly her life. Her parents have resisted. They've been doctoring their daughter with "natural and holistic medicine," gentler remedies they believe will heal her.

The screaming baby was inconsolable. Jennifer Kiser and Will Martin passed their newborn back and forth in desperate attempts to calm him down, but no amount of love or comfort would ease baby Dominic’s quivering limbs and high-pitched cry of despair.

According to Cyndi Scanland, director of Allen County Children Services, the current need for foster parents is at a critical stage due to the recession, ...
Upcoming Events

June 6 | Board of Trustees Meeting
June 6 | Human Resources Association Meeting
June 7 | Rules Review 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

“Carry out a random act of kindness, with no expectation of reward, safe in the knowledge that one day someone might do the same for you.” –  Princess Diana
Public Children Services Association of Ohio | 614-224-5802 | www.pcsao.org