Gov. DeWine to talk to first lady, officials about Children Services

Mike DeWine
Mike DeWine

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and his wife will meet with First Lady Melania Trump and officials from the president’s administration in a virtual roundtable to discuss the challenges facing the state’s children services system and a task force created to find solutions.

DeWine said in a tweet Monday that he won’t be hosting his usual coronavirus news conference today because of the meeting.

Children Services: Governor-ordered review finds shortfalls

“Fran (DeWine) and I will be sharing the work of Ohio’s Children Services Transformation Advisory Council — which I convened last fall to conduct a top-down review of Ohio’s foster care system and develop solutions.”

It is unclear whether the issues in Montgomery County Children Services will be addressed during the meeting. A Dayton Daily News investigation has found Children Services was contacted multiple times by teachers about possible abuse of Takoda Collins, a 10-year-old boy who authorities say was subjected to extreme abuse before his death. The investigation also found that agencies did not communicate with each other about the potential abuse and other flaws in the system.

The governor ordered a review of Montgomery County Children Services, and his office said afterward he was disappointed by its findings.

“As a United States Senator, (DeWine) included language in (federal law) that emphasized the importance of a child’s safety in all child welfare decisions. Unfortunately, that was not always the case in Montgomery County,” the office said in a statement.

The governor’s office declined comment prior to today’s meeting.

Timeline of Dayton Daily News coverage of children services controversy

Melania Trump has talked about the nation’s foster care system.

“#BeBest is committed to supporting & advocating for our nation’s child welfare system. Today, I joined @POTUS for the signing of an Executive Order that will provide critical improvements to help protect the well-being & outcomes for children in foster care,” she said in a tweet last week.

The executive order signed by President Donald Trump calls for an outline of reasonable best practices and standards for risk and safety assessments, including how to address domestic violence and substance abuse.