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House Bill 4 Enacted to Enhance Child Abuse and Neglect Reporting

As of May 30, 2022, the General Assembly enacted 2022 Am.Sub.H.B. No. 4, which requires public social service agencies to inform law enforcement of abuse and neglect reports and update existing memorandums of understanding (MOUs) in compliance with the Ohio Department of Jobs and Family Services (ODJFS).

Pursuant to Sec. 2151.4211(E)(2)(c)(ii), public social services agencies are required to notify law enforcement of abuse and neglect reports. Under Sec. 2151.4210(A), public social services agencies must prepare and routinely update their MOUs to include the standards and procedures performed throughout the course of their investigations and reports of child abuse and neglect.  The Bill also requires the ODJFS to biennially audit MOUs submitted by each public children services agency to ensure compliance with the Youth and Family Ombudsman Act under the ODJFS, pursuant to Sec. 2151.4219.  The Ombudsman Act was established in order to “investigate and resolve concerns and complaints from and on behalf of children and families involved with entities overseeing foster care or the placement of children.”  In order to remain in compliance with the Ombudsman Act, the ODJFS must certify that each public children services agency prepares an MOU that is signed by the following: county juvenile judge(s), chief municipal peace officers, peace officers in child abuse division(s), county prosecuting attorney, and other members directly involved with the public children services agency.

To review this bill, click here.

To review the HB4 analysis, click here.

Authors: Matthew John Markling and the McGown & Markling Team.

Note: This blog entry does not constitute – nor does it contain – legal advice. Legal jurisprudence is like the always-changing Midwestern weather. As a result, this single blog entry cannot substitute for consultation with a McGown & Markling attorney. If legal advice is needed with respect to a specific factual situation, please feel free to contact a McGown & Markling attorney.


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