Ohio Summit on Children Working Together for Our Future

With goals of enhancing the safety, well-being and permanent home environments of children, the Governor and Chief Justice hosted Ohio Summits on Children in 2008 and 2009.  Modeled after the National Summits on Children, the idea for an Ohio summit came about after the success of the joint Supreme Court and Department of Job and Family Services Beyond the Numbers initiative, which primarily focused on improving court processes for the benefit of children and families.

The 2008 Summit on Children hosted 3-7 member teams convened by each county’s juvenile judge and children services agency director.  The event allowed county teams to hear national, state and local perspectives on the importance of collaboration on children’s issues; saw examples of proven and promising programs; and, most importantly, discussed local issues affecting children.  Facilitators assisted county teams as they assessed strengths and challenges, identified service gaps and developed local plans for improvement in delivering services to Ohio’s children.  At the conclusion of the summit, each county submitted a summary of their discussions and a plan to expand their teams to address local issues.  Each team submitted a local plan on how the county will enhance local service delivery to children.

A follow-up summit was held in late 2009 to chart the progress of counties in their quest to meet the needs of Ohio’s children.  The opportunity to come together cross-jurisdictionally with colleagues to explore common challenges was one of the needs most frequently cited in the 2008 Post Summit Plans. Communities expressed a desire to learn from the experiences of their peers and to generate new approaches by sharing successes and challenges.  The 2009 Summit was formatted to respond to this request through its use of breakout sessions.  The Summit also gave counties the opportunity to hear about actions taken by the state to reduce bureaucratic barriers.  Lastly, county teams were asked to prioritize their current planning issues, align them with solutions, and identify strategies for sustaining a collaborative approach following the Summit.

This Web site offers resource materials and data to support the ongoing efforts of county teams as they continue to work to enhance the safety, well-being and permanent home environments of Ohio’s children.