February 2010Vol. 11, No. 1Ohio Implements Alternative Response Pilots
In an effort to offer early child abuse and neglect prevention services to families in need, the Ohio Supreme Court and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services introduced a pilot program that would allow selected counties to offer alternative response (AR) as part of their regular child protective services. In July 2008, 10 Ohio counties implemented AR pilot projects in which AR was offered for accepted reports of alleged child maltreatment. The counties collected data for 18 months (through December 2009) on child safety, services, family involvement and participation, feedback from workers, and other issues.
A team of researchers will evaluate the outcomes and share results so that the State can decide whether to expand the pilot to other counties. One positive outcome already realized was the significant enhancement made to Ohio's Statewide Automated Child Welfare Information System (SACWIS), giving caseworkers and administrators the ability to track and manage AR cases in the system, a major milestone for the State.
Prior to the pilot project's end in December 2009, the participating counties developed transition plans to institute AR as a child protection option, realizing the value it brings to Ohio families. Read more about county transition plans, Ohio's SACWIS improvements, Greene County's experience with the AR pilot program, staff coaching, and more in the October 2009 issue of Alternative Response Quarterly on the American Humane website:
http://www.americanhumane.org/assets/pdfs/children/differential-response/alternative-response-oct-2009.pdf (347 KB)
For more information about Ohio's alternative response pilot project, including pilot documents and resources on alternative response, visit: