A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for November 2, 2020
Association Updates

Southeast District welcomes Director Hall
Many thanks to Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) Director Kimberly Hall for joining the Southeast District meeting Oct. 26. Director Hall provided updates on efforts to stabilize the children services workforce, Family First implementation, kinship supports, the state budget, and the ODJFS strategic plan. Tammy Osborne-Smith (Jackson County JFS) was reelected to the PCSAO Board of Trustees for a second term, and 2021 district meetings were scheduled. Updates were provided by trustees and PCSAO staff before the meeting adjourned. The next meeting will be Jan. 25.

Northeast District meets
The Northeast District met virtually Oct. 26. ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall joined the district to discuss key priority areas. District members received updates from trustees, PCSAO, and individual counties and approved meeting dates for 2021. KelliJo Jeffries, Portage County JFS, was affirmed to serve a second, two-year term as a PCSAO Trustee. Julie Rudolph, Mahoning County CSB, accepted the nomination to continue to serve as district chair next year, with Amy Davidson, Summit County CSB, serving as vice chair, and Gina Wilt continuing as secretary. 
Karen Ezirim: Ohio loses passionate voice for parents
PCSAO staff were saddened to learn last week of the passing of Karen Ezirim of Columbus. An advocate for parent engagement, recovery, trauma-informed care, and resiliency, Karen was a leader in reforming Ohio’s children services system. Karen joined the Ohio Family Care Association (OFCA) in 2000 to assist OFCA in understanding the importance of the primary parent (birth parent) voice in discussions about children services policies and practices. Karen was featured in a PCSAO video about parent partners and spoke at several PCSAO conferences about her personal journey. She helped to found HOPE, Helping Ohio Parent Effectively, which she also chaired, and led the statewide parent support group SUCCEED. According to her fellow leaders at OFCA, Karen was passionate about helping all of us "work to end practices that separate children from their families without solidifying the path for family healing." Karen’s family has created a GoFundMe page to help pay for funeral expenses.
State Updates
  • Gov. Mike DeWine called on community leaders in each county to immediately form a local COVID Defense Team consisting of county commissioners, mayors, hospital leaders, health commissioners, business and religious leaders, and other local leaders. Each COVID Defense Team will be responsible for assessing COVID-19 spread in their communities, taking inventory of the assets in the community, and focusing on what steps are necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus among their citizens. 
  • Gov. DeWine reminded Ohioans of the fundamental ways to stop the spread of the virus: Wear a mask when you are out in public, when you go to a store, and when you are with friends. Keep your distance. Wash your hands often. Keep your building well-ventilated.
  • The governor asked Ohio businesses to allow employees to work from home when possible, to remind employees of the ways they can stop the spread of the virus, and to require customers to wear masks.
Rules Updates

Pre-Clearance: The following rule is open for comments until Nov. 4:
The following rule is open for comments until Nov. 5:
  • Rule 5101:2-5-38 - Payment of foster caregiver training stipends; reimbursement of training allowances to recommending agencies.
Clearance: The following rule is open for comments until Nov. 3:
The following rules are open for comments until Nov. 4:
  • Rule 5101:2-42-90 - Information to be provided to children, caregivers, school districts and juvenile courts.
  • Rule 5101:2-48-15 - Provision of information to a prospective adoptive parent matched with a specific child.
  • Rule 5101:2-48-21 - Child study inventory.
The following rule is open for comments until Nov. 5:
The following rules are open for comments until Nov. 11:
  • Rule 5101:2-48-18 - PCSA and PCPA approval of placements with relative and nonrelative substitute caregivers.
  • 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.
Filed with JCARR: The following rules were original-filed on Oct. 26 with a hearing date of Dec. 1. A summary of these rules can be found here.
The following rules were final-filed on Oct. 26 with an effective date of Nov. 5. The summary of rules 5101:2-47-08 and 5101:2-47-13 can be found here.
  • Rule 5101:2-47-08 - Required application/update for Title IV-D (child support) services and referrals to Title IV-A (public assistance); healthchek; third party insurance; and supplemental security income (SSI).
  • Rule 5101:2-47-13 - Title IV-E foster care maintenance (FCM) program eligibility: Legal responsibility requirements.
The summary of rules 5101:2-48-02 through 5101:2-48-25 can be found here.
The following rule was filed no change on Oct. 28:
Announcements and Resources

COHHIO, ODSA webinar on home relief
The Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) and the Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) will offer a webinar on Ohio’s new Home Relief Grant Program Nov. 4 at 2 p.m. The program may offer assistance to Ohioans who are behind on their rent, mortgage or water bills. It is funded by $50 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds. Community Action agencies will begin accepting applications Nov. 2. Download a fact sheet about the program or register here.

Black Robes, Black Lives webinar offered Nov. 12
The Ohio Innocence Project, Norman S. Minor Bar Association, the Black Lawyers Association of Cincinnati and the John Mercer Langston Bar Association are offering a webinar called "Black Robes, Black Lives: The Courts' Duty to Address Systemic Racism" Nov. 12 from 6-7:15 p.m. CLE credit is available for legal professionals; it is otherwise free and open to the public. For those seeking CLE credit, contact Katie Wood no later than Nov. 10. Learn more and register

Groundwork opens fellowship applications
Groundwork Ohio has opened applications for its second annual Early Childhood Leadership Fellowship. The fellowship provides early childhood professionals with essential training and support to enhance leadership skills and advocacy experience. Fellows may include home-based and center-based providers, home visitors, child welfare professionals, early childhood mental health providers, preschool educators, infant and maternal health professionals, or higher education professionals educating future early educators. Applications are due Nov. 20. Find more information here.

Learning Aid Ohio connects student with disabilities to education supports
The Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities has partnered with Gov. DeWine’s Children’s Initiative to provide financial support to families who may need supplemental assistance outside of what is provided by their child's Individualized Education Plans (IEP). Learning Aid Ohio was created to connect tutors, aides, or in-home providers who can offer distance learning support for students with disabilities on IEPs. Applications can be submitted at www.LearningOhio.com.
Webinar on strategies for children services leaders facing post-COVID budget cuts
A new webinar from the Annie E. Casey Foundation lays out a plan for how children services agencies can manage the fiscal implications of the evolving pandemic. "Poised for Action: COVID-19, Child Welfare Budgets and Building for an Equitable Future" can be viewed on the blog page here.

Guidance available on family-focused residential treatment
Earlier this month, Administration for Children and Families and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services jointly released an informational bulletin on “Support for Family-Focused Residential Treatment: Title IV-E and Medicaid.” The bulletin includes sections on existing opportunities and flexibilities under Medicaid, coordinating funding for SUD and other treatment services provided by a family-focused residential treatment program, and state coordination of funds. Read it here.
Child Protection in the News

Oct. 29 - The addiction epidemic hasn't gone anywhere - Columbus Dispatch
More than 220,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 this year. But double that awful tally and it is still not as many souls as have been lost to U.S. drug overdoses since 2000.

For thousands of Ohio parents, treatment of their children’s complicated mental health and developmental issues is so expensive that they must relinquish custody to the foster system so their kids get the help they need, via Ohio Medicaid.
Profiles of Hope and Courage

Tanya: 'Helping people has always been my makeup'
Tanya is a caseworker with Cuyahoga County Children and Family Services. She has been there 20 years, with experience in the ongoing and adoption units before starting extended services four years ago. She likes the continuity of her current job.

“A lot of these children can and do go home,” she explained. “When kids go home it’s a wonderful feeling.”

PCSAO is collecting stories from the front lines of child protection to raise awareness of the challenges our children services professionals, and the families they serve, are facing during this pandemic.
Upcoming Events

Nov. 4 | Board of Trustees Meeting
Nov. 6 | Community Education Committee Meeting
Nov. 12-13 | New Executives Orientation
Nov. 13 | Conference Planning Committee Meeting

Note: Meetings will be held via web meeting for the foreseeable future.

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.

Also, check out recent graduates of the University Partnership Program who are trained and ready to be hired by public agencies.
Public Children Services Association of Ohio || www.pcsao.org