Caregiver Notice and Right to be Heard Subcommittee

A workgroup of the Subcommittee spent over a year studying and discussing ways to support Ohio's courts in providing required notice to caregivers to allow their meaningful participation in hearings in relation to the children in their care.

This work culminated in a recommendation to the Advisory Committee to approve the implementation of an online toolkit to be offered by the Supreme Court of Ohio to aid courts in providing required notice. The proposed Toolkit includes a model rule, a model notice, and associated forms. In addition, the Subcommittee recommended an amendment to the Ohio statute requiring that such notice be given to make its language consistent with federal law and the laws of all other states.

This is the recommendation of the Subcommittee:

The Supreme Court of Ohio should encourage all courts with juvenile jurisdiction to adopt a local rule that ensures that a foster parent, kinship caregiver or prospective adoptive parent (caregiver) has the ability to provide meaningful information to the court about a child in their care. The rule should, at a minimum:

a. Set forth the process between the PCSA and court for caregiver notice.
b. Require the PCSA to notify the court of an initial placement or change in placement the next business day, and no later than within seven days from the placement.
c. Specify the court as responsible for providing notice to caregivers.
d. Require that information regarding the identity or contact information for the caregiver not accessible to the public and that it be maintained in the court’s non-public (family) file.
e. Provide alternate ways that the caregiver can provide information to the court.

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