State Representative Anne Gonzales (R-Westerville) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 452, legislation that will provide helpful information to local law enforcement agencies and fire departments when responding to incidents at children’s residential facilities.

Facilities under the purview of the bill include group homes for children, children’s crisis care facilities, children’s residential centers, and residential parenting facilities. These facilities will be required to provide certain information making it easier for first responders to respond to crimes and other incidents, such as:

  • Contact information of the facility, including written notice that the facility is operated in the department’s jurisdiction

  • Emergency disaster plans and procedures

  • Medical emergency plans

"This bill is an important step in changing how we care for these children," said Gonzales, who sponsored the bill in response to an event in her district involving children in residential facilities. "In addition to providing much needed information sharing with emergency responders in disaster situations, we also are allowing the communities to address issues that they may have with the operators of these homes."

The legislation also establishes the “Child Placement Level of Care Tool” pilot program to be implemented for 18 months in no more than 10 Ohio counties.. The program is designed to help participating counties assess children’s placement when they must be removed from their homes.

Having received unanimous support in the House, the bill now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.

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