On Tuesday, July 17, 2012, the Supreme Court of Ohio launched an expanded news program – Court News Ohio – that features stories about the Ohio judicial system. This archived page on the Supreme Court’s website only displays news stories that occurred before that date. News stories that occurred on July 17 and thereafter can be found at www.courtnewsohio.gov.

April 25, 2011
Ohio to Expand Differential Response in Child Protective Services to More Counties

Based on the results of a successful pilot project, the Supreme Court of Ohio and the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services (ODJFS) are expanding the Differential Response program to include eight additional counties.

The counties selected to participate in the next phase of the project’s expansion – which will bring the total number of participating counties to 33 – include Butler, Carroll, Delaware, Miami, Putnam, Sandusky, Scioto and Seneca.

Differential Response gives caseworkers the freedom to use an alternative approach when investigating some reports of child abuse and neglect in Ohio. That freedom helps keep families together and reduces the number of children placed in out-of-home care, all without compromising child safety. Differential Response begins with a non-threatening, non-adversarial, family assessment. It allows caseworkers to guide the family to local social service programs that might meet the child’s and the family’s needs.

Parents, children and caseworkers all have reported increased satisfaction with the Differential Response approach. In addition, because it reduces the number of children in out-of-home care, Differential Response saves taxpayers money.

Steve Hanson, manager of the Supreme Court’s Children, Families and the Courts Programs, said the benefits of the program also extend to the court system because fewer families require formal court involvement. “Alleviating some of the pressure on court caseloads overall enables courts to focus their energy and resources on the cases that do require court involvement and oversight.”

In December 2009, Ohio completed an 18-month Differential Response pilot project with the Supreme Court of Ohio. The final pilot report and evaluation study are available online at: http://www.law.capital.edu/adoption/ohiochildlaw/AR_Final_Report_10.06.14.pdf.

For a complete list of participating counties in 2010, visit: http://www.law.capital.edu/adoption/AR/2010_Pilot_Map_Levy.pdf.

Contact: Chris Davey or Bret Crow at 614.387.9250.