A quick rundown of Ohio child protection news this week
Weekly Update for October 19, 2020
Association Updates

PCSAO districts meet
The Northwest and East Central Districts met Oct. 15 and 16 respectively. ODJFS Director Kimberly Hall joined both districts and provided information and updates on the next biennial budget, Family First Act implementation, children services workforce stabilization efforts, and kinship supports. The districts greatly appreciated Director Hall for taking the time to meet with them. In addition, both districts approved their slates for 2021. Northwest District elected Cassandra Holtzmann of Crawford County JFS and Fred Lord of Williams County JFS to serve on PCSAO's Board of Trustees beginning in January. They will replace Jacqueline Ringer of Marion County CSB and David Wigent of Wood County JFS when they complete their final term in December. East Central District voted to renew the second trustee term for Danny Brenneman of Coshocton County JFS and David Haverfield of Tuscarawas County JFS. PCSAO staff provided updates on SFY22-23 initial budget priorities, FFPSA rules, OhioRISE, Ohio START, and the Executive Membership agenda for Dec. 3. In addition, trustees provided information on recent action taken by the PCSAO Board of Trustees, and counties provided local updates. The Northwest District will meet next on Jan. 21, and the East Central District will meet on Jan. 15. 
State Updates
  • Gov. Mike DeWine cautioned that the continuing increase in COVID-19 cases indicates that significant numbers of infections are likely this winter unless citizens take steps to mitigate and control the spread of the virus. Ohio’s positivity rate was 5.4% and the seven-day average was 4.2%. This is up from September, when the positivity rate was 2.7%.
  • Ohio COVID-19 cases have averaged 1,475 cases per day as compared to an average of approximately 1,000 cases per day only two weeks ago. 
  • Gov. DeWine encouraged parents not to delay their children's well-visit vaccinations. In the coming days, the Ohio Department of Medicaid will launch several initiatives to encourage childhood immunizations among its members. He also unveiled a new advertisement that stresses the importance of childhood vaccines.
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 was 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 from chapter 5101:2-5 are under five-year review and will be open for comments until Oct. 30:
Filed with JCARR: The following rule was filed No Change on Oct. 2:
  • Rule 5101:2-33-07 - Delegation of responsibilities and contracting for the performance of specified agency duties.
Announcements and Resources

Bar Association to host trafficking symposium
The Ohio State Bar Foundation, along with Advocating Opportunities, CASA of Franklin County, and the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, will offer a virtual symposium Oct. 20 at 4 p.m. called “On the Margin: Foster Youth at Risk for Human Trafficking.” The symposium will highlight Ohio kids in foster care who fall victim to human trafficking and will include Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Judge Yvette McGee Brown as speakers. PCSAO’s Bhumika Patel will also speak at the symposium. Find more information here.

OhioKAN goes live
The Ohio Kinship and Adoption Navigator is now live. Families can contact OhioKAN through their website or by calling 1-844-OHIO-KAN to develop a personalized plan connecting them with needed services in their area. Visit the website here.

Groundwork releases report on lead paint
Groundwork Ohio released a report on lead hazards in child care settings
commissioned by the Lead Safe Cleveland Coalition, “Building the Way to a Healthier Future: Investigating a Path Forward to Ensure Ohio’s Youngest Children are Safe from Lead Paint Hazards in Child Care Settings.” It includes the most comprehensive scan of state policies on lead-safe practices in child care programs to date and is one of the first in the nation on lead prevention in child care facilities. Read the report here
Child Protection in the News

Oct. 16 - Grants awarded to BGSU, Toledo agency - Toledo Blade
Bowling Green State University and a Toledo agency that assists children who have been trafficked for labor have both been awarded six-figure federal grants for their programs to fight crime against juveniles, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday.

Reports of child abuse and neglect dropped by nearly 50% in Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky in the weeks after quarantine restrictions began in March. Now, six months later, as reports of abuse and neglect rebound, child protection workers said they are seeing more severe physical abuse, especially of very young children, than they did in 2019.

Alongside the OSBF’s 2019 Fellows Class, a group of Ohio attorneys who have joined the organization to help further its mission through volunteering efforts and monetary contributions, the Foundation created this virtual educational symposium to highlight the alarming number of Ohio kids in foster care who fall victim to human traffickers. Attendees will hear from Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, human trafficking survivors and experts who are fighting to address this concerning issue. Discussions will be led by Former Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown and will focus on education and, more importantly, action.
Profiles of Hope and Courage

Stephanie: 'I work with a lot of awesome people who do a lot of awesome things'
Stephanie is a caseworker with Athens County Children Services and a native of Southeast Ohio. She loves working as part of a team to serve families and specializes in working with fathers.

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. 19 | Legislative Committee Meeting
Oct. 21 | Southwest District Meeting
Oct. 26 | Southeast District Meeting
Oct. 26 | Northeast District 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