A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for October 13, 2020
Association Updates

Board of Trustees meets
The PCSAO Board of Trustees met virtually on Oct. 7 and approved September 2020 minutes and the August 2020 financial report. Trustees reviewed a memo for membership regarding annual dues, prepared for upcoming district meetings, reviewed a research brief proposal, and finalized agenda topics for the Executive Membership Meeting on Dec. 3. The board received and discussed updates from PCSAO staff on initial SFY22-23 budget requests, the progress of the Office of Children Services Transformation Advisory Council, finalization of the association’s strategic plan, SFY21 plans for OhioSTART, the upcoming presentation on OhioRISE, and the draft FFPSA Prevention Services Rules. The board discussed two pending legislative bills and proactive issues that the Legislative Committee is pursuing. The board will meet next on Nov. 4.

Conference Committee meets
The PCSAO Conference Planning Committee met Oct. 9 and reviewed details surrounding the conference, including attendance, survey results from attendees and presenters and the positives that emerged from a virtual conference. The committee talked about how to maintain a virtual component when PCSAO returns to in-person events and how to make virtual offerings more interactive for participants and sponsors. The committee meets next on Nov. 13.
State and Federal Updates

Ohio updates
  • Gov. Mike DeWine announced that his administration is working closely with the legislature on a plan to distribute CARES Act funding to help citizens who are struggling to pay their rent, mortgage, or water and sewage utility bills. The plan will also focus on providing aid to small businesses and nonprofits. More information on the economic recovery relief package is expected to be released soon.
  • Gov. DeWine announced that he has authorized a study focused on school students who are quarantined due to meeting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's definition of close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • Under an order signed this week, nursing facilities may permit indoor visitation beginning Oct. 12 if they meet health and safety requirements. The visits will be limited to two visitors and will be a maximum of 30 minutes. Facilities are required to report visitation information, including visitation status, hours, maximum visitation time, and number of visitors, and they must register with the state by Oct. 19.
  • The same order also details compassionate care visits, which are separate and distinct from normal visitation. Other situations can include when a resident is grieving someone who recently passed away, a resident who may need encouragement to eat or drink that was previously provided by a family member or caregiver and is experiencing weight loss or dehydration, or when a resident is experiencing emotional distress. The order is available on coronavirus.ohio.gov.
National Association of County Human Services Administrators updates
  • Feds fund programs through Dec. 11: The President signed a bill last week extending all federal funding for programs until mid-December. At that point, the length of the next round of appropriations will likely be influenced by which party will control the Senate in 2021.
  • Coronavirus relief talks continue: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin continue on-again, off-again talks on another coronavirus response package. Before they left town, the U.S. House adopted a modified version of the HEROES Act passed in mid-May. The measure contains a number of NACHSA-supported policies, including a significant increase in the Social Services Block Grant, with funding carved out specifically for counties administering federal TANF, foster care and child support programs. Administrative flexibilities would continue under the measure, and state and local governments would receive $417 billion in relief, down from the $915 billion the House adopted last spring. 
PCSAO Conference 2020

Partners in Progress was a huge success!
PCSAO’s first virtual conference was a success! Thank you to all of our “Partners in Progress” who helped make our 40th anniversary so meaningful, even if it wasn’t the in-person celebration we had hoped for.

Continuing education training credit has been processed. CEUs, CLEs and E-Track supplemental training credit have been submitted, and certificates have been emailed to participants whose attendance can be verified. If you have questions about the conference, contact Cassandra Freeland.

If you missed our conference, or just missed a workshop, you can find slide decks, handouts, and other information from all of our workshops. We hope to post video recordings of each plenary and workshop soon.
Rules Updates

Pre-Clearance: Proposed rules and forms related to implementation of Family First Prevention Services are now in pre-clearance. The following rules are open for comment until Oct. 30:
  • Rule 5101:2-1-01 - Children services definitions of terms.
  • Rule 5101:2-36-10 - PCSA requirements for responding to family in need of services reports.
  • Rule 5101:2-40-02 - Supportive services for prevention of placement, reunification and life skills.
  • Rule 5101:2-40-05 - PCSA requirements in providing family first prevention services.
The following forms are open for comment until Oct. 29:
Clearance: The following rules are under five-year review and are open for comments until Oct. 8. Residential facility rules:
Adoption and MEPA rules:
  • Rule 5101:2-33-03 - Procedure for complaints of alleged discriminatory acts, policies or practices in the foster care or adoption process that involve race, color, or national origin.
  • Rule 5101:2-33-11 - Multiethnic Placement Act (MEPA) agency administrative requirements.
  • Rule 5101:2-33-13 - Administrative procedures for falsification in adoption.
  • Rule 5101:2-33-70 - Statewide automated child welfare information system (SACWIS) access.
Filed with JCARR:
  • Rule 5101:2-33-07 - Delegation of responsibilities and contracting for the performance of specified agency duties.
Announcements and Resources

Center honors Hall, Fudge for P-EBT program
The Center for Community Solutions (CCS) honored Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Kimberly Hall and U.S. Congresswoman Marcia Fudge with the CCS Award for Public Service in Honor of John Begala for their commitment to ensure Ohioans can access food and nutrition services via the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, especially the P-EBT Program, which provided critical assistance to hundreds of thousands of Ohio school-aged children. Congratulations to both women. 

Groundwork Ohio releases race, equity report
Groundwork Ohio released a new report on equity for young children in Ohio, “Drafting a New Blueprint for Success: Reflections on Ohio Early Childhood Race & Rural Equity.” As part of this report's release, Groundwork also encouraged stakeholders to declare racism as a public health crisis as a step toward addressing the inequities and closing the existing gaps that too many young children and their families are experiencing.

Foster Club offers youth-led virtual workshop Oct. 20
Foster Club, an organization dedicated to leading efforts of young people in and from foster care to become connected, educated, inspired and represented so they can realize their potential, is offering a virtual workshop called "Crap Happens." All Star interns, who are young people with lived experience in foster care, will lead the session Oct. 20 at 3 p.m. Register here.

OCALI offers webinar on increasing access, opportunity Oct. 23
The Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence (OCALI) will offer a webinar on “Increasing Access and Opportunity: Celebrating 30 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act” Oct. 23 at 11 a.m. Over half of young adults with autism are unemployed and not enrolled in higher education in the two years after high school. Ohio’s Interagency Workgroup on Autism and Employment First Task Force will discuss this topic. Register here.

OMHAS, Center for Innovative Practices offer Fall Fridays series
The Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is teaming up with the Case Western Reserve University Center for Innovative Practice to host a series of trainings for providers who serve adolescents with co-occurring mental health and substance use needs. The “Fall Fridays” series will feature free, Zoom-based presentations on five different areas of focus. Training dates and topics include:
Oct. 23, 9 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Adolescent Screening and Assessment
Oct. 30, 9 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Adolescent ASAM
Nov. 6, 9 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Adolescents: Differential Considerations
Nov. 13, 9 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Youth and Family Engagement
Dec. 11, 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Motivational Interviewing Refresher

Institute for Child Welfare launches #10thousandlives campaign
The Institute for Child Welfare Innovation has launched a new campaign called #10thousandlives. The institute is interested in working with 1,000 child welfare professionals, teams, or organizations that together will positively impact 10,000 lives. The campaign is providing free coaching and tools to anyone connecting children and families in the children services system. Find more information here. 

National Youth in Transition Database Cohort 3 survey open
The ODJFS Office of Families and Children encourages agencies to identify youth to participate in the National Youth in Transition Database survey. This letter contains important information and instructions about the survey, which opened this month. If you have questions regarding the NYTD Statistical Report, contact Chris Beach at Christopher.Beach@jfs.ohio.gov. If you have policy questions regarding NYTD, send your inquiries to the Transition Age Youth Programs mailbox at Transition-Youth-Programs@jfs.ohio.gov.
Child Protection in the News

The Clark County Juvenile Court and Department of Jobs and Family Services have partnered together to launch a new program designed to address the needs of critically at-risk children who are involved in child welfare and juvenile justice systems. In the new 'Dually Involved Youth' program, children who enter the juvenile justice system with new charges (or currently have an open case) or become involved with the child welfare system will meet with a community panel to discuss the resources available to them and their families.

An overhaul of Montgomery County Children Services announced last week - after a year in which children died or were allegedly abused despite intervention from the agency - is a first step toward improving the safety net for children here and across Ohio, advocates said.

Gov. Mike DeWine’s administration has unveiled plans for a long-awaited overhaul of the $28 billion Medicaid health-care program covering more than 3 million poor and disabled Ohioans. The Ohio Department of Medicaid seeks to update its managed-care setup with a focus on wellness and improving the health of beneficiaries, meeting the needs of children with complex needs, and reducing administrative hurdles for patients and health-care providers.

In recent years, Marion County Children Services has been working to develop and improve its kinship placement service as an alternative to foster care. According to agency officials, the use of kinship providers is helping to decrease the number of children placed in foster care locally. The Office for Children and Families, a division of the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, defines kinship care as "a temporary or permanent arrangement in which a relative or any non-relative adult who has a long-standing relationship or bond with the child and/or family, has taken over the full-time, substitute care of a child whose parents are unable or unwilling to do so."
Profiles of Hope and Courage

Michele: 'It didn’t slow us down; we just had to adapt'

Michele is a foster care caseworker at Wayne County Children Services. She likes working with families throughout their foster care journey. While COVID has brought changes to her job, it has not slowed her down.

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

Oct. 15 | Northwest District Meeting
Oct. 16 | East Central District Meeting
Oct. 19 | Legislative 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