A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for November 12, 2019
Association Updates

Board of Trustees meets
The PCSAO Board of Trustees held its monthly meeting Nov. 6 and had the opportunity to dialogue with ODJFS leaders Shancie Jenkins, Kara Wente, Kristi Burre and Carla Carpenter on children services transformation efforts and SFY 20-21 budget investments. Trustees also approved October meeting minutes and the September 2019 financial report, discussed the final agenda and membership vote for the upcoming Executive Membership meeting Dec. 5-6, and received updates on several priorities. The Board will meet next on Dec. 5.  

Speaker Householder receives appreciation from trustees
Speaker Larry Householder, along with Deputy Chief of Staff Bryan Gray, met with PCSAO Trustees on Nov. 6. The trustees thanked the Speaker for his leadership on children services issues in the recent biennial budget, for which he was honored as a 2019 PCSAO Legislator of the Year. The trustees briefed Speaker Householder on efforts to stabilize the children services system in this biennium and the opportunity for reform moving into the next biennium and beyond. PCSAO appreciates the Speaker’s commitment to working together, ensuring that a generation of children isn't lost to the opioid crisis. 

Levies pass in all 10 counties
All 10 levies related to children services on last Tuesday's ballot passed, and PCSAO expresses gratitude to all voters who supported agency efforts to keep children safe. A new human services combined levy in Medina County passed, as did replacement levies in Athens and Stark counties. The other seven levies were renewals, meaning that the cost to taxpayers did not change. Read more .

Ohio START launches new website
Ohio START premieredd its new website on Nov. 5. The website features information about the program and resources for Ohio START counties. Visitors can also register for upcoming trainings and sign up to receive Ohio START’s monthly newsletter. Visit the website .  

Conference Planning Committee meets, seeks volunteers
Work has begun on the 40th annual conference. Allen County Children Services Director and PCSAO Vice President Cyndi Scanland, who chairs the planning committee, invites fellow directors and their staff to join the committee to ensure more representation from county agencies. The committee typically meets on the second Friday of each month, with a call-in option, and is looking to make the 2020 conference (dates and location to be announced soon) a truly special event. Contact Scott Britton to join the committee.

Community Education Committee meets
Patti-Jo Burtnett of Lorain County Children Services shared how she trains caseworkers, supervisors and other staff at the agency on the basics of communications so that they can serve as ambassadors for the agency and even spokespeople for the media at the Community Education Committee meeting Nov. 8. The committee's final meeting of the year featured discussion of Election Day levies and the Governor's foster care forums.

Rules updates
Rules in Pre-Clearance: Chapter 37 assessment rules are in pre-clearance until Nov. 12; you can view and make comments here . These rules were in pre-clearance in early 2019. As a result of feedback gathered then and through subsequent dialogue, the rules now in pre-clearance reflect proposed changes.  
  • 5101:2-37-01, PCSA requirements for completing the safety assessment
  • 5101:2-37-02, PCSA requirements for completing the safety plan
  • 5101:2-37-03, PCSA requirements for completing the family assessment
  • 5101:2-37-04, PCSA requirements for completing the reunification assessment
Rules in Clearance: A revised new fiscal rule, 5101:9-6-24, Multi-system youth (MSY) funding, is in Clearance through Nov. 13; you can review and comment here.
Filed with JCARR: As of Nov. 7, no new children services-related rules have been filed with JCARR.
Announcements and Resources

DeWine forms advisory council, announces forums
Last week Governor Mike DeWine announced the formation of the Children Services Transformation Advisory Council, aimed at reviewing the state of Ohio’s foster care system and developing recommendations for improving the experience of children and families. The advisory council was created to build on the historic investments included in the State Operating Budget providing more opportunities for families and children. Lucas County Children Services Director Robin Reese and Guernsey County Children Services Director Nicole Caldwell were named to the council, along with HOPE parent partners Rhonda and Jeffrey Mays and numerous stakeholders; PCSAO Director Angela Sausser will serve as a subject matter expert. The Governor also announced regional forums across the state, beginning tomorrow through Dec. 19, where individuals are invited to deliver verbal or written testimony on the foster care system. The Children Services Transformation Advisory Council will be tasked with:
  • Travelling the state to better understand local barriers and best practices.
  • Promoting a shared state and county vision for agency purpose and practice.
  • Reviewing data, trends, and policies regarding the current foster care system.
  • Providing recommendations and strategies to strengthen all areas of the system, including kinship care, foster care, adoption, workforce, and prevention.
Child Protection in the News

Ohio law does not require foster care homes, where the state places some of its most vulnerable children, to be safe from lead hazards.

Nov. 9 - Consider adoption -- the need is there (Includes video) - Wooster Daily Record 
November is adoption month. There are over 4,000 children in Ohio awaiting an adoptive family; waiting for forever parents. We don't seem to concentrate on how they became eligible for adoption and we also tend to ignore the hundreds of step-parents and other relatives who adopt each year.

A program that will be proposed in the state legislature would allow the Ohio treasurer to offer financial institutions deposits at below-market interest rates, with the savings passed on to Ohioans who need to take out loans to pay for adoption costs.

According to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, Kinship Care refers to a temporary or permanent arrangement in which a relative or any ...

Portage County Children Services is seeing more children in care after a ... Jeffries said she recently attended a meeting with other directors in Ohio ...

Nov. 7 - Substance Use and Addiction: The Situation in Ohio - Pinnacle Treatment Centers
The Ohio Department of Health stresses it's critical to get a handle on the problem with opioid prescriptions. Many people who use heroin or fentanyl began with prescription painkillers. In response, the government has enacted several programs. Ohio's actions, which are closely watched by other states, cities, and counties, may serve as a model for programs across the nation:

For over 50 years, the Professional ... is teaming up with Habitat for Humanity and Lucas County Children Services.

A successful foster-care system has to be one that involves the child in its decision-making, said a former Lucas County foster child who's about to add her own experience to Gov. Mike DeWine's new council charged with recommending changes to the over-tasked system.

Anthony Cardenas spends his workdays piecing together family trees that branch out to at least 80 members.

For the second year in a row, the Lake County commissioners unanimously passed a resolution proclaiming November National Adoption Awareness Month in Lake County.

Gov. Mike DeWine says Ohio has too many children in crisis, with an improved foster care system among the potential answers.

Across the U.S. and in parts of Canada, more than 9,000 children have been adopted through the Wendy's Wonderful Kids program, which provides money for public and private agencies to hire recruiters whose sole job is to find adoptive families for the children who have been waiting the longest. A five-year study of the model found that foster children served by program recruiters are up to three times more likely to be adopted, especially if they are teenagers, children with special needs or sibling groups.

A government study out this past week says the nation's opioid epidemic cost the economy $696 billion from 2015 through last year. Then there's the human toll, not captured by dollars and cents: Lives lost to overdose and families torn apart by addiction. Dean Reynolds reports.
Upcoming Events

Nov. 12 | Ohio START Steering Committee Meeting
Nov. 15 | PRT Advisory Council Meeting
Nov. 18 | Legislative 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