Today, the Ohio Senate passed House Bill (HB) 8, sponsored by State Representatives Susan Manchester (R-Waynesfield) and Tavia Galonski (D-Akron). HB 8 would authorize the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) to re-design foster parent training curriculum and hour requirements.
Passage of HB 8 will equip Ohio’s child welfare system to onboard foster parents quicker and utilize virtual training opportunities. This is especially important given Ohio’s recent rise in foster care placements and the need to leverage virtual technology amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
This legislation is one of the bipartisan priority bills for the 133rd General Assembly, legislation that builds pillars for a stronger Ohio.
It also enacts one of the recommendations produced by the 132nd General Assembly’s Foster Care Advisory Group which Ohio Children’s Alliance CEO Mark Mecum co-chaired.
“We are confident in the ability of ODJFS to re-structure and improve Ohio’s foster care training program. It is important for foster caregivers to become licensed faster, but still receive all the training courses required to care for foster children,” says Mark Mecum. “We believe these administrative changes will result in Ohio producing an even higher quality foster care program and larger network of foster caregivers.”
HB 8 passed the Ohio Senate unanimously and now heads back to the House for concurrence.