I am excited to say we received notice we are one of 10 new counties to offer an innovative, alternative approach to protecting the children of Hamilton County.
The Ohio Alternative Response Pilot Project evolved from the work of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Children, Families, and the Courts’ Subcommittee on Responding to Child Abuse, Neglect, and Dependency. The program approaches families in a non-adversarial way, without the constant threat of punishment that often accompanies child welfare cases. While child safety is still the number one goal, the Alternative Response approach recognizes the different levels of severity with child welfare cases and the fact that they can be treated in different ways.
I am excited because this allows us to really look at the needs of each family we encounter in an individual way. Child welfare has never been a cookie-cutter business, as each family has unique problems and needs. We investigated more than 5,300 reports of abuse last year. Some can be helped with intense services up front, while others require long-term involvement. This program provides even greater opportunity to try new approaches.
According to a study conducted on the 10 original counties, Alternative Response resulted in:
● Children remaining as safe with this approach as the traditional investigative approach
● Families more satisfied with the services they received
● Greater participation in decision making by families
● Greater satisfaction among child welfare workers
● A decline in the number of children being removed from their home and placed elsewhere
We are honored to be chosen for any program that tries new approaches to helping families.