State to review handling of child welfare cases in Montgomery County

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has ordered a state review of child welfare cases in Montgomery County following the deaths of two children whose cases contained “numerous similarities,” officials said.

The directive announced Wednesday came after a 2-month old child in Dayton died on Feb. 5 in what officials said was possibly the result of child abuse. The infant’s death follows the Dec. 13 death of 10-year-old Takoda Collins after what officials have called a period of extreme abuse.

DeWine ordered a team of technical assistance specialists from the state Department of Job and Family Services to conduct a review of Montgomery County’s alternative response cases from the past six months. The review will be done in partnership with the county’s Children Services department,

Alternative response cases are when a report of child abuse or neglect does not allege serious or imminent harm. Unlike traditional response cases, alternative response cases don’t involve the court system. Instead, caseworkers partner with families to ensure they receive the services they need to keep the children safe. A safety and risk assessment must still be completed for all alternative response cases to maintain children’s safety.