In 2011, Ohio's Children Services program was placed on a federal program improvement plan (PIP) for failing to meet federal benchmarks. A major deficit identified was Ohio's  inability to involve fathers and non-custodial parents in case planning and assessments of their service needs. One result was that OCF began training Ohio County Children Services staff on how to engage fathers during the early stages of the PIP. Because of their success in engaging fathers, in 2014 OCF proposed a pilot project with Summit County Children Services.

The objectives of the pilot project included:

 • Strengthening the PIP by providing training for Ohio County Children Services staff to engage and serve fathers in order to enable fathers to provide healthy relationships and a sustainable life for their child/ren.
• Increasing overall performance in the PIP and decrease risk of federal penalties and financial burdens
• Locate and identify all fathers within open and future cases
• Decrease the need for adoption and foster care services
• Increase knowledge of domestic violence
• Identify and involve fathers in case planning where service needs would be assessed and identified.
• Build relationships with fatherhood programs and other referral services for fathers

Summit County Children Services trained child welfare staff in Trumbull and Ashtabula Counties and developed a toolkit for use by other Ohio Children Services Agencies.

 Click here to view the toolkit