Differential Response

Since 2004, the Supreme Court of Ohio's Advisory Committee on Children, Families, and the Courts has participated in ongoing efforts to develop and implement recommendations to improve Ohio's system for accepting and investigating reports of child abuse and neglect. One of the fundamental components of the recommendations submitted by its Subcommittee on Responding to Child Abuse, Neglect and Dependency was initiating an Alternative Response child protection model in Ohio.

Following a rigorously evaluated 18-month pilot project, the Advisory Committee recommended that Ohio move to implement an Alternative Response pathway on a statewide basis. Ohio is now focused on transitioning Alternative Response (AR) from a successful pilot project to a fully integrated statewide child welfare practice that is part of a continuum of responses. In July 2011, language to support the statewide implementation of a Differential Response System was signed into law in the state’s budget bill. This language codifies Ohio’s Differential Response pathways (Traditional Response and Alternative Response).