© The Quality Improvement Center for Workforce Development (QIC-WD)
The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS), through the Office of Families and Children (OFC), is responsible for Ohio’s state-supervised, county-administered child welfare system. Ohio’s 83 single-county agencies and two multi-county agencies are responsible for the delivery of child protective services and ongoing case management in Ohio’s 88 counties. Sixty-three agencies are housed in a county ODJFS department, overseen by county commissioners, and 22 children services boards are stand-alone child welfare agencies overseen by citizens appointed by county commissioners.
OFC is responsible for state-level administration and oversight of programs that prevent child abuse and neglect; provide services to abused/neglected children and their families (birth, foster and adoptive); license foster homes and residential facilities; and investigate allegations of adult abuse, neglect and exploitation. In addition, OFC provides technical assistance to county agencies and monitors program implementation for compliance with federal and state laws, rules, and policies.
Child welfare services (e.g., child protection, foster and kinship care, adoption, independent living) are provided by the public children services agencies (PCSAs) which provide direct services to children and families. The PCSAs were created by Ohio law, and the structure of each is determined at the local level. Each PCSA has its own hiring requirements and qualifications for caseworkers and supervisors. Ohio’s PCSAs are categorized into six groups according to their county population, as seen in Table 1.
QIC-WD Project Overview
The Ohio project site was composed of nine counties, including six implementation counties and three control counties.
- Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS) Children’s Services Division
- Montgomery County Children Services
- Champaign County DJFS
- Knox County Children and Family Services
- Wayne County Children Services
- Summit County Children Services
- Crawford County DJFS
- Huron County DJFS Children Services
- Trumbull County Children Services
The QIC- WD’s site implementation manager (SIM) worked to support implementation of the intervention, Coach Ohio. Coach Ohio was designed to prevent and mitigate the effects of secondary trauma, employee disengagement, disengagement from families and children served, and a rigid organizational culture. Implementation counties selected which staff would participate in the initial implementation of the intervention. Five counties included all child welfare staff, while Hamilton County staggered staff participation by program area.
Based on information provided in Ohio’s initial QIC-WD application in 2017, using information from a Public Children Services Association of Ohio (PCSAO) survey, the nine counties participating in the QIC-WD project had an average turnover rate of 28% in state fiscal year 2016, and an average turnover rate of 27% in state fiscal year 2017. Reported rates of turnover across these counties ranged from a low of 9% to a high of 75%. Thus, the results of the PCSAO survey gives some indication that turnover in Ohio was higher than the median turnover rate reported nationally during the same time period (Edwards & Wildeman, 2018).
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