House Bill 4, bipartisan legislation regarding child abuse and neglect reporting, recently passed the Ohio legislature and has made its way to the governor.
The bill, sponsored by Representatives Phil Plummer and Susan Manchester, will help prevent any vital information from being lost through a collaborative effort of all agencies, including law enforcement. It will also create a youth and family ombudsmen program through the Department of Jobs and Family Services
In addition, HB 4 was amended several weeks prior to its passage in order to mirror the home assessor piece of those bills. The change allows unlicensed individuals to perform home assessor duties so long as they have one year of experience working with children and families in addition to having a bachelor’s degree in a human services-related field. These provisions will move Ohio forward in improving the children services landscape and combatting the child welfare workforce shortage.