COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) – Governor Mike DeWine has ordered a review of child welfare cases in Montgomery County.
On Wednesday, DeWine was made aware of an infant fatality in the area resembling the case of 10-year-old Takoda Collins, who died on December 13. Takoda’s death came roughly 19 months after his alternative response case was closed by county Children Services.
Because of these similarities, the governor is directing a team of Technical Assistance Specialists from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to conduct a review in partnership with Montgomery County Children Services, of the county’s alternative response cases over the last six months.
“It’s our obligation to ensure that Ohio’s children have the best possible chance to grow up in a safe and healthy environment. We must ensure that our county children services agencies are keeping that promise,” said Governor DeWine. “By initiating this review, we are working to ensure the safety of our children and that those charged with protecting them have the resources they need.”
Back in 2010, Ohio children services agencies transitioned to a response system that offers two options for responding to reports of child abuse and neglect: the traditional response and the alternative response.
An alternative response may be used in cases where a report does not allege serious or imminent harm. These cases do not involve the court system, but rather, caseworkers partner with families to ensure they receive the services and supports they need to keep children safe.
Even in these cases, a safety and risk assessment must be completed.
2 NEWS reached out to Montgomery County Children Services, who issued a statement saying, “Children Services case files are confidential under Ohio law. We will be cooperating with law enforcement and our Prosecutor’s Office as they review this case.”
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