A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for November 25, 2019
Association Updates

Holiday notice
PCSAO will be closed this Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28-29. Happy Thanksgiving! The Weekly Update will resume after the holiday.

Toolkit available to help ensure complete count for 2020 Census
The 2020 Census will play a key role in determining how  federal dollars for states and localities will be distributed. Billions of dollars are at stake, making an accurate count critical. Organizations have raised concerns about undercounting of children—especially young children. Communities are encouraged to work together to encourage a full, accurate count. The U.S. Census Bureau released a public service announcement (PSA) toolkit for partners and stakeholders to utilize when encouraging individuals and families to participate in the 2020 Census. The toolkit includes guidelines, fact sheets, scripts, radio segments, and videos to share in 13 different languages and can be viewed here . You can follow and/or join Ohio 2020 Census efforts here .  

Anti-human trafficking update
PCSAO and grant partners provided full-day human trafficking trainings to Mahoning County Children Services and its community partners on Nov. 19 and to Hancock County JFS and its community partners on Nov. 22. 

The Freedom Network released a white paper on standards of care for the anti-human trafficking field. 

Legislative Committee meets
Discussion at the Nov. 18 meeting of the Legislative Committee included PCSAO updates, review of HB405/Adoption Linked Deposit Program, HB377/Provides Privileged Communications for Victim Advocacy Services, and HB408/Children’s Crisis Care Facilities. The committee next meets on Dec. 16 for its annual holiday luncheon.  

Rules updates
Pre-Clearance: The following rules are in pre-clearance through Dec. 22. You can view and comment here:
  • Chapter 5101:2-42-18, PCSA and PCPA approval of placements with relative and nonrelative caregivers; posted due to 5-year review.
  • Chapter 5101:2-48, Adoption: 20 rules are posted. Some are due for five-year review; others are posted for revisions related to the Family First Prevention Services Act. 
Clearance: Children Services Foster Care Licensing Rules package is in Clearance through Dec. 3. This rules package includes 11 amended rules, 4 revised forms, and 1 new form. The changes are a result of the Family First Prevention Services Act and other legislation. Note that this package includes revised foster care licensing requirements, as well as new requirements for background checks for caregivers and staff. A summary of the changes to each rule in this package can be viewed here. Review and comment on the rules here.

Filed with JCARR: The following rules have been original-filed and are scheduled for a public hearing on Dec. 17:
  • 5101:2-50-02, Requirements for bridges eligibility
  • 5101:2-50-03, Bridges termination and reentry
  • 5101:2-50-04, Bridges Title IV-E eligibility and reimbursability determination
  • 5101:2-50-05, Bridges appeal process
  • 5101:2-49-04, Requirement for adoption assistance past age eighteen
  • 5101:2-49-21, Reimbursement of nonrecurring adoption expenses for a child with special needs
Announcements and Resources

Governor announces three new forums
Governor Mike DeWine announced that the Children Services Transformation Advisory Council will be hosting foster care forums in Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Columbus. These are in addition to the seven foster care forums announced at the beginning of November . Regional Forums will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the following dates and locations:
  • Dec. 9 − Wood County Department of Job and Family Services, Children Services/Visitor Entrance, Bowling Green
  • Dec. 11 − Medina County University Center (University of Akron), Medina
  • Dec. 17 − Lebanon Conference and Banquet Center, Lebanon
  • Dec. 19 − United Way of Greater Stark County, Canton
  • Jan. 6 – Columbus State Community College, Columbus
  • Jan. 8 – Cincinnati Public Schools, Cincinnati
  • Jan. 13 – Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland, Cleveland  

Register: Family Finding Convening Dec. 3
Kinnect's annual Family Finding Convening will take place Dec. 3 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Mid-Ohio Foodbank. The convening is a not-to-be-missed gathering of public child welfare leaders, manager, supervisors, and workers; private agency leaders and workers; judges, CASAs, GALs, and court staff; families and youth with lived experience; statewide membership and advocacy organizations; and anyone committed to advancing permanency practice in Ohio. Topics include family finding (state of the art tools to help identify a permanent family and supportive network for foster children), engagement (utilizing Family Group Decision Making approaches in all of the work), Family First Act (a national perspective on the planning, development, and progress being made towards implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act). This is a rare opportunity to hear from many field experts and innovative practitioners in one setting. Register today .

Human trafficking prevention, intervention, training grants available
The Ohio Children’s Trust Fund (OCTF), in partnership with the Ohio Human Trafficking Task Force and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services’ Children’s Justice Act Task Force, is pleased to announce the Human Trafficking Prevention, Intervention, and Training Services Initiative. The funding available through this Request for Grant Applications will support service providers across the state to provide at minimum two, but up to three, separate human trafficking-related activities, which include, (1) Human Trafficking Victim Support Services for Minors, (2) Training and Professional Development for those implementing Human Trafficking Victim Support Services, and/or (3) Human Trafficking Prevention Initiatives for Minors. OCTF plans to issue up to eight grant awards, between $30,000 and $50,000 per award per each fiscal year. This funding request is for a 17-month grant cycle (anticipated February 1, 2020 – June 30, 2021). Interested organizations should click here to find additional information and application instructions. Completed applications must be received by 4 p.m. Dec. 20.

OSU seeks kin families to participate in literacy program
STAR is a 15-week adult-child home reading program designed to improve children’s early literacy skills and provide guidance and support to help kinship caregivers to read regularly with their child. Participation involves:
  • Caregivers will receive and can keep 15 new storybooks.
  • Caregivers read each book to their child 4 times a week and help their children to pay attention to the print in the book. (Don’t worry, OSU will provide guidance to how to do this part.)
  • Total time includes: one-hour orientation, 40 minutes of reading each week, and one hour of meetings with project staff, for a total of 12 hours throughout the study period.
  • Caregivers keep a log of their reading and audio-record their reading sessions.
Families will receive up to $120 in gift cards from Target and Kroger, and keep all books and materials. This OSU study involves 40 kinship caregivers and their 4- to 5-year-old children. Those who are potentially eligible will meet these screening criteria:
  • Child is between 4 and 6 years of age;
  • Caregiver is at least 18 years of age;
  • Caregiver provides informed written consent to participate; and
  • Caregiver is willing to read regularly to her/his child using books provided for this purpose.
Contact Kate Finkel-Nitschke for more information.
Child Protection in the News

Ohio counties want to reunite families that were separated because of drug use. But prioritizing that ideal has had deadly consequences.

A Columbus-based nonprofit plans to provide foster care services in the Cleveland area for children the federal government took into custody when they crossed the U.S. border at Mexico, according to those knowledgeable of the program. Local leaders and immigration advocates aware of the plans said they were told the National Youth Advocate Program will provide foster care for children through the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Kent State is now partnering with non-profit charity First Star to reach nearly three dozen high school students currently navigating the foster care system.

Nov. 20 - Ohio, Kentucky remain focus states on sex trafficking report cards (Includes video) - Cincinnati Enquirer
Ohio remains a major focus for the nation's largest advocacy group combating juvenile sex trafficking, primarily because of a major legal loophole that puts Ohio all by itself. The loophole is a law that requires a 16- or 17-year old to prove they were coerced into commercial sex acts before an adult can be charged with sex trafficking. Ohio is the only state nationally that has such a provision, which is a major reason why Ohio's grade remained a C in the most recent report cards issued Wednesday by Shared Hope International.

Nov. 19 - Move ‘Fast Forward’ - The Findlay Courier
The rate of children entering the foster care network in Ohio is at a historic high, in part because of the state’s drug problems. According to the Public Children Services Association of Ohio, as many as 19,000 children could soon be in the foster care system in 2020.

Ohio’s new Children’s Services Transformation Advisory Council met with foster families in Wapakoneta on Monday as the council reviews the state’s foster care system, which has been overwhelmed with new cases largely driven by the opioid epidemic.
Upcoming Events

Dec. 4 | JFS Human Resources Association Meeting
Dec. 5 | Board of Trustees Meeting
Dec. 5-6 | Executive Membership 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