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Plummer, Manchester Add Layer of Protection for Children as House Bill 4 Passes Senate, House Vote

February 10, 2022
Susan Manchester News

COLUMBUS – State Representative Phil Plummer (R- Dayton) and Susan Manchester (R- Waynesfield) added another layer of security for Ohio children with the passing House Bill 4 out of the Senate and House Wednesday.

“This legislation works to prevent any cases from failing through the cracks,” said Plummer. “House Bill 4 helps prevent any vital information from being lost and through a collaborative effort of all agencies, including law enforcement, we can help improve the outcome for children in dire need of help.”

House Bill 4 will make changes to a Public Children Services Agency’s (PCSA) memorandum of understanding, which outlines a PSCA’s standard terms and policies regarding cases of child abuse or neglect. 

The legislation will require a PCSA disclose confidential information discovered during a child abuse or neglect investigation to any federal, state or local government entity, including law enforcement. 

House Bill 4 will also ensure that follow up by PSCA is taking place by requiring the organization to provide written notice of receipt of a report or closure of an investigation to the reporter of the abuse or neglect. 

“With this legislation, we are creating safety nets for the children during the process of investigation,” said Manchester. “Too many times you hear about a child that should have been protected by the system. We don’t want that to happen to the children of Ohio.”    

Finally House Bill 4 will create a youth and family ombudsmen program through the Department of Jobs and Family Services. The ombudsman office will be tasked with investigating complaints on behalf of families that believe their case is not being handled appropriately. 

House Bill 4 will now head to the governor’s office.