COLUMBUS – State Reps. Cindy Abrams (R-Harrison) and Mike Loychik (R-Bazetta) today announced the Ohio House has approved House Bill 92, their legislation that requires public children services agencies to report child abuse or neglect in military families to the appropriate military authorities.
“This key legislation ensures our state remains a strong partner to our military services in promoting the health and safety of children in Ohio,” said Abrams.
Under current law, military services are required to establish Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with state and local child welfare services to collaborate on the oversight of cases involving military families. However, county welfare agencies may not have the authority or direction to collect this information or share it with the appropriate Department of Defense authorities.
H.B. 92 requires child welfare case workers to ask clients if they are associated with the military and gives case workers the authority to share this information with the appropriate military authorities. These two provisions provide a more uniformed law and allow for better coordination of local child welfare and military protective and rehabilitative services.
“As a former service member and Vice-Chair of the Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee, I am very proud to stand in support of our military families with this bill,” said Loychik. “When it comes to child welfare of our military families, we must put the right steps in place within our law to provide full collaboration and coordination among these agencies for the betterment of our children.”
The measure was introduced as House Bill 558 last year and passed the Ohio House unanimously. It’s also supported by the Dayton Development Coalition, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Department of Defense, Ohio Children’s Alliance, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, and Dayton Children’s Hospital.
The bill awaits further consideration in the Senate.