The Ohio Child Protection Law Reform Initiative is the name given to the ground-breaking work of the Subcommittee on Responding to Child Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency of the Supreme Court of Ohio's Advisory Committee on Children and Families.
The Subcommittee's charge is to: identify ways in which Ohio's child protection law, policy and practice can be improved; formulate strategies and suggestions for improvement; and assist in implementing legislative and policy changes.
Below are webpages with information about the Subcommittee's current initiatives and links to other child and family resource sites.
Under federal law, human trafficking is considered a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others. According to an Ohio Attorney General report, studies indicate that 1,078 Ohio children are victims of human sex trafficking every year, and thousands more are at risk of becoming victims each year. The Subcommittee on Responding to Child Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency monitors Ohio's efforts to address this growing concern.
Ohio courts are required to give notice of proceedings and the opportunity to present evidence to caregivers of children involved in child protection cases. The Subcommittee on Responding to Child Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency has recommended strategies to ensure courts comply with statutory requirements for notice and that caregivers have a meaningful opportunity to participate in proceedings related to the children in their care.
A court may appoint a guardian ad litem in proceedings filed in domestic, juvenile, probate or general divisions of a common pleas court to assist the court in determining a child’s best interest. The Subcommittee on Responding to Child Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency is reviewing laws, practices and policies and developing recommendations regarding guardian ad litem practice under Rule 48 of the Supreme Court Rules of Superintendence.
Children and youth who are involved with child welfare and foster care systems have life-changing decisions made about them by caseworkers, attorneys and judges. Often the voice of the child in these proceedings is not heard directly. The Subcommittee on Responding to Child Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency has developed a toolkit aimed at assisting judges in including children and youth in a decision-making process leads to better outcomes for kids.