Contact Person: Catherine Lawhorn
Contact Address: Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, P.O Box 183204, Columbus, Ohio 43218-3204
Contact Phone: (614)466-1213
Founded In: June 1999
Ohio has experienced a transition in the Citizen Review Panel initiatives. Beginning in the State Fiscal Year 2008, Ohio utilized three programs to meet the requirement to maintain three citizen review panels. This consists of two statewide boards, the Statewide Child Fatality Review Advisory Committee (SCFRAC) and the Overcoming Hurdles In Ohio Youth Advisory Board (OHIO YAB); and one county Citizen Review Board.
The SCFRAC is statutorily authorized and was established in 2002. The mission of SCFRAC is to reduce the incidence of preventable deaths in Ohio. The purpose of this committee is to review Ohio’s child mortality data and child fatality review data to identify trends in child deaths; to provide expertise and consultation in analyzing and understanding the causes, trends and system responses to child fatalities in Ohio; to make recommendations in law, policy and practice to prevent child deaths in Ohio; to support child fatality reviews and recommend improvements in protocols and procedures; and to review and provide input for the annual report. The committee membership represents diverse professions, state agencies and external partners. Local boards in each county or region are mandated to review all deaths of children under eighteen years of age, from all causes.
The SCFRAC receives reports from each county child fatality review team regarding each child fatality case that is reviewed by the local child fatality review team. The report completed during case reviews examines what specific changes the team believes should occur to prevent other deaths and keep children safe, healthy and protected. Additionally, the report requests specific recommendations and/or actions that resulted from the case review. This includes the development of new policies, revised policies, new programs, new services, and expanded services.
The OHIO YAB is a statewide organization of young people, age 14-23, who have experienced foster care. With the assistance of Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO), caseworkers, directors, independent living professionals and advocates, OHIO YAB has been in operation since July 2006.
The OHIO YAB mission is to be the knowledgeable statewide voice that influences policies and practices that effect all youth who have or will experience out of home care; to bring youth together on a statewide level regardless of race, sex, religion, creed, disability, sexual orientation or national origin; to work with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services by bringing their knowledge and personal experience to the table; to assist youth in establishing and achieving realistic goals for their future; to provide exemplary leadership and empowerment opportunities for youth who have or will experience out of home care. A representative from ODJFS participates in the OHIO YAB meetings.
ODJFS has also contracted with the Stark County Juvenile Court to operate a Citizen Review Board (CRB). Per Ohio Revised Code, the juvenile court may appoint a referee or a CRB to conduct required court review hearings. If the court appoints a CRB to conduct the review hearings, the board must consist of one member representing the general public and four members who are trained or experienced in the care or placement of children and have training or experience in the fields of medicine, psychology, social work, education, or any related field. The contract requires that the CRB monitor implementation of case plan objectives and timeframes for permanency for children who have been adjudicated as abused, neglected and/or dependent; monitor the number of contacts the Public Children Services Agency (PCSA) caseworker has with a child and his/her parents; monitor the involvement of the parent in the development of the case plan; monitor parental participation in semi-annual reviews; collect demographics regarding each child, and which parent is engaged; collaborate with the local PCSA and Court Appointed Special Advocate/Guardian Ad Litem (CASA/GAL) program; identify barriers to the case review process and trends; identify procedures to work with community stakeholders to address local trends or recommendations; provide recommendations on the various approaches to the local, state, and federal levels for the enhancement of the child protective systems; and, have the ability to gather data and provide reports. Funds were allocated from the Basic State Grant in the amount of $16,000.00 per SFY for the contract with the Stark County Juvenile Court CRB.
Annual Report submitted:Stark County Juvenile Court CRB – August of each year